A burger at Croxley Ales in Farmingdale is garnished with...

A burger at Croxley Ales in Farmingdale is garnished with a seriously unripe tomato. (July 12, 2012) Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

This is not a rhetorical question: What is the point of serving completely underripe tomatoes? At Croxley Ales in Farmingdale I had this cheeseburger, otherwise satisfying but for the wan, hard slab of juiceless tomato. I run across this species from time to time, in salads and on sandwiches, and every time I am puzzled. Why does the chef think I want to put this in my mouth?

It doesn’t lend the proceedings a tomato-y taste; it has no taste at all. I suppose it provides some bulk and crunch, but this could be accomplished by more lettuce. It adds color, I suppose, but a sickly pale pink hue that nevertheless declares vividly that someone in the kitchen doesn’t care.

I don't know about Croxley Ales, but come August I'll be topping virtually everything I make with a luscious, red, local tomato.


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