Amuse Bouche

by Brian Clarey

Consider the fine and noble tomato, if you will… red, round and perfect… the juiciest fruit there is. Tomatoes are good in a salad or on a grilled cheese sandwich. They go so well with bacon that they should be sold in packages together. They’re also just fine sliced thin with a sprinkling of salt and pepper. There are also major health benefits to tomatoes, which are high in vitamins C and A, and have enough of the carotenoid antioxidant lycopene that they ward off cancer, diabetes and male infertility. And right now the tomato is at the peak of its season here in North Carolina, which is not going unnoticed. Tomato Day at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market is on Saturday beginning at 6 a.m. with more than 20 types of the fruit available for taste and purchase. And Harper’s restaurant has unveiled a new tomato menu for its TomatoFest, one which includes a tomato and onion salad, a killer BLT and pesto tilapia with tomatoes, which features fresh tomato slices and grilled asparagus. There’s more to the week in cuisine than the love apple, of course, like the Earth Fare culinary series episode on black bean citrus salad, which takes place on Wednesday at noon. Then on Friday at 7 p.m. you can learn all about dry rubs, which will take your grilled meats to the next level. And the Press Wine Caf will hold one of its Iron Press tastings on Wednesday at 7 p.m., which allows patrons to determine which wines will be featured at the restaurant for the next month. Also of interest locally, particularly during National Ice Cream Month, is the outbreak of the Ice Cream Wars in High Point, centering around a dispute between the Shoppes at Deep River and the owners of that development’s Cold Stone Creamery. The owners of Cold Stone are taking the mall to court because a Bruster’s Real Ice Cream is going up in the vicinity, in violation of their lease. And there’s a Ben & Jerry’s just down the road at the Palladium, though it was not mentioned in the lawsuit. I say we all go down there with our spoons and let a taste test determine who gets to stay and who packs it in.

Got room for one more course? Cynthia Sevier, food service director for Guilford County Schools, was named the School Nutrition Association’s 2007 Outstanding Director of the Year for North Carolina, which means she’ll be going to Chicago before this issue hits the streets. Congratulations Cynthia. And insert your own Tater Tots joke here.

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