Revising why fresh tomatoes taste bad to some


I’m a science research pro currently writing an article on tomatoes and it brought up a personal issue from my dad’s family: to some of us raw tomatoes taste positively rancid, yet cooked tomatoes are just fine for us. (Trust me we could beat anyone on adding ketchup to steak and fries a lot of people say it ruins the flavors of the meat and fries but not to us!)

Anyway in current terms the scientist in me wonders why raw tomatoes taste bad to us (and I mean really bad - some comments on the old discussion of this about how maybe we just don’t like the slimy texture of a raw tomato - to me that was laugh out loud funny I absolutely can tell slimy from rancid but nice try!)

So two questions really why do they taste bad?

Then how much does cooking a tomato alter the positive health impact. And for those of us missing whatever it is that makes raw tomatoes taste great to the rest of you have people with my genetic makeup even got the right stuff floating around to be able to benefit from whatever either obviously goes away or undergoes chemical change when tomatoes are cooked?

I don’t have a lot of time now because I’m doing a contract project and taking some classes, but if anyone knows and happens to see this I’d appreciate the info. Otherwise I’m going to look into this some more later on and report back.

Have you ever had a tomato fresh from the garden, or just those things you get at the grocery store? Because I’m pretty sure nobody actually likes grocery store tomatoes.

You’re a professional science research person, and you need us to help you out?

what science are you a pro in? what is your background?

There are two things in this world that money can’t buy: true love and home grown tomatoes.

I can’t give you the reason, but I know what you’re getting at. Especially as a little kid, i found the taste fresh tomato absolutely overrode the taste of anything else (the rest of a sandwich for instance) and not in a good way.
And fresh from the garden tomatoes where even worse in this regard.

Now if the only cooked tomato reference you are using is ketchup, I don’t think that is very telling. It tastes just as much of vinegar and sugar than anything else.
Oh, and there is some evidence that shows the more you cook and process the crap out of tomatoes, the better they are for you. The crap in this case, being lycopene. Also, it’s not crap.

Could it be like the cilantro effect? Tastes like fresh beatific greenitude to many, tastes like nasty soap to others.

And I LOVE grocery store tomatoes. >:[

There is a lot of genetic variability in the response to different flavors.

Ditto that.

Although, farm stand tomatoes will sometimes do. Sometimes.

Supermarket tomatoes: Fugeddaboutit. I think they are grown in the warehouse area in the back of the store. Not even recognizably the same flavor as a real ripe tomato.

Likewise, fresh field-ripened Hawaiian pineapples. (Yum!) vs. most pineapples seen in stores not in Hawaii. (Inedible.)

I’m pretty sure you can buy home grown tomatoes…

It’s not like grocery store tomatoes all come from the same factory or anything: some are local hothouse tomatoes, some are imports from Mexico, some from California, and in summer months they’re locally grown. Anyway they mostly taste just fine to me.

I love raw tomatoes and have no clue what some people find offensive about the taste. Especially with a little salt and pepper and hot sauce, I could sit and eat 2 or 3 of them plain.

This is the case for my father, too, who will eat a lot of things I won’t (like tripe). Sun dried tomatoes, fine. Tomato sauce on pasta or pizza, fine. Fresh heirlooms from my garden, no.

He grew up in Italy before the era of hothouse tomatoes and supermarkets, so I feel pretty sure there’s some actual physical taste thing at play. WAG, a genetic thing like the ability to smell asparigine.

I say it is the fish genes they have put into tomatoes. I hate seafood and the tomatoes that taste like fish.

The only way grocery tomatoes are even remotely palatable are when they are cooked - and seasoned with salt and pepper and spices. Otherwise just wait it out for heirlooms from the local farm market.

This describes me pretty well, too.

I simply do not care for the taste and texture of raw tomatoes. Putting them on a hamburger or sandwich ruins it for me - fortunately they’re relatively easy to pick off if I wind up with them, so I don’t stress too much about it.

It’s not a farm-fresh vs. grocery-store thing, either. I’ve had them both, and they’re both awful to me.

Unlike the OP, though, I would not describe the taste of a raw tomato as “rancid” at all (“slimy texture” has a lot to do with my dislike), so I’m not in the category of people that the OP is investigating.

Well, no, but, geesh, gads. Don’t fuck up the nice saying! :slight_smile:

Sure you can pay a home owner to pick tomatoes off of his plant, but I think the saying is meant for commercial availability. Even at a farmers market, by the time the delivery trucks get there, the tomatoes are at least a day old.

If you pick a tomato off of a plant that you grew with your own two hands like a real Christian American who plays baseball, then that baby is so sweet that you can eat it like an apple. The juice drips down your chin. There is no comparison between store bought and home grown tomatoes.

Yeah, I’ll mostly agree with this, too, although not as strongly. For me, fresh tomatoes fall into the “meh, I can take it or leave it” category, and I’d generally prefer to leave it. Garden fresh tomatoes that other people are raving about included. Make them into tomato sauce and use them as a cooking base, please. I’m not fond of ketchup as a condiment either.

I’m sure that there are a wide variety of reasons why grocery store tomatoes are flavorless, but I’ve never yet had one that tasted like a tomato. Though I’ll grant that there may be a selection effect here: During that time of year when garden tomatoes are in season, I have little reason to buy tomato-shaped objects from the store, so it might be that there are good ones in the stores then that I’m just not aware of.

I’m gonna disagree with the store-bought tomato hate just a bit. I often buy smaller tomatoes, such as grape or sugar plum, and find them to be pretty good in flavor and texture. There’s also a brown tomato that Trader Joe’s sells sometimes that is pretty good. (I live in Southern California). In general, however, store bought tomatoes are rubbish.

My husband and daughter both hate raw tomatoes but like cooked tomatoes, tomato sauce, etc. Never heard them say they taste rancid, though. I think it is mostly a texture thing with them. They both hate mushrooms, too (cooked and raw).