Confessions of a Mater Hater

May 12, 2012 | By | Comments (29)

IMG_2093 copy_phixr

My friends, I have something shocking to tell you. My name is Grumpy and I hate fresh tomatoes.

I cannot tell you how hard this secret has made my life. Every day I live a lie. Telling people you hate fresh tomatoes is like saying you hate giggling babies or that you loathe the prospect of world peace.

So you lie. You conceal. You pretend. You dissemble. You squirm. When people pluck a ripe cherry tomato from the vine, pop it into their mouth, and suggest you do the same, you squeal with false delight and flee like the French in WWII. When people place a dish of freshly sliced tomatoes in front of you at the dinner table, you exclaim, “Golly, those are simply to beautiful to eat!” All the while, you’re thinking, “Barf! Vomit! Hurl! Get me outta here!”

Grumpy doesn’t hate all tomatoes. Only uncooked ones. He loves tomatoes on pizza. He loves tomatoes in pasta sauce. He even made the most delicious pasta sauce he’s ever tasted from ‘Roma’ tomatoes he grew in his own garden. But he doesn’t like them raw. He also recoils from the smell of fresh tomato juice like John Edwards recoils from decency. And he asks you to understand.

No one taught Grumpy to dislike fresh tomatoes. It wasn’t a choice. Grumpy was born that way. Because of this, he suffered derision, humiliation, and discrimination from an intolerant society that won’t accept someone who’s “different.” Just yesterday, I was served a cheeseburger at the Atlanta airport that came with a tomato slice on it even though I specified, “No tomato.” I know what the restaurant staff was thinking. “We don’t want your kind in here.”

Why? Am I so unlike you? If you prick me, do I not bleed? If you serve me a Michelob Ultra, do I not look insulted and pour it over your head? Yes! Yes, I do!

A Little help from My Friends

Hating fresh tomatoes is so lonely. You want to shout to the world, “This is who I am!”, but you dare not. So you act like one of them. When they serve you a fresh tomato, you pretend to eat it, wait for them to momentarily glance away, and then quick-as-lightning squirrel it away inside your napkin, shove it in your pocket, and say, “Yum!” Then you desperately grab another napkin in case they offer you one more.

PAS12 010_phixr

Gardens at P. Allen Smith‘s Moss Mountain Farm in Arkansas

Until last week, I thought I was the only fresh tomato hater in the world. Then I attended the Garden2Blog event at P. Allen Smith’s place in Arkansas, where garden bloggers from all over the country convene to share ideas and post embarrassing photos of each other on Facebook. We were having salads at lunch, when I spotted fellow blogger Christopher Tidrick, who writes From the Soil, do something extraordinary. He carefully extracted all of the fresh tomatoes from the greens, and pushed them off to the side of his plate.

OMG!!!!!!! Another fresh tomato hater! Grumpy is not alone!

I wept uncontrollably. At last, at last, somebody understands.

“You don’t like fresh tomatoes?” I blubbered incredulously.

“No, I never have,” he responded.

Then an even bigger miracle than world peace happened. “I don’t like them either,” chimed in blogger Kylee Baumle, who writes Our Little Acre. OMG!!! The sea had parted. It was the beginning of a movement! Read Chris’ and Kylee’s fresh mater-hating confessions on their blogs this week. If you’re not sobbing by the end, you are a stranger to compassion and probably an evil reptile creature from V. (Well, evil except for Lisa, Anna’s daughter. She was nice and really hot.)


I love Lisa. She makes me want to shed my skin.

We’re Here, We’re Weird, and We Count!

Chris, Kylee, and I know we’re not the only fresh mater haters out there. There are millions of us in hiding, but most people don’t know it. We could be your neighbor. We could be your pastor. We could be your Army buddy. We could be your high school teacher. We could be your pool boy. We could be the girl who does your nails. We could be the doctor who checks your prostate.

Tidrick  Chris                             Kylee   Kylee

It’s time for us to come out from the cupboard. Fresh mater haters demand our right to be treated as equals in society. Join Chris, Kylee, and Grumpy as we proudly proclaim to the whole world, “We’re here, we’re weird, and we count!”

Oh, and I hate fresh cucumbers too.


  1. Dallas Garden Buzz

    Do you like eggplant? Check out one of our writer’s who admitted thumbs down to home grown eggplants!

    August 13, 2012 at 9:23 pm
  2. Grumpy Gardener (His Benevolence)

    Never heard of the cucumber trick before, but I’d say that sounds better than eating them.

    June 10, 2012 at 10:03 am
  3. Christa

    Whoa! I could have let you slide on the mater hater comments, but when you end it with hatin on a cucumber……
    Actually, I do not like fresh tomato’s either, but I am growing them for my man every year. They actually just taste bland. Can’t get past the bland..

    June 5, 2012 at 11:09 am
  4. BloominChick Jo

    Great post, to each his or her own I always say! I love tomato’s, raw or cooked, but won’t judge others on what they eat or don’t as I have a long list of don’ts myself – including cucumbers. My mother used they to keep crickets & other insets from coming in around our porch doors when I was a little girl and it worked. But I’ve been replused by the thought it eating them ever since. I do however use them around our patio door to keep crickets from coming into the kitchen.

    June 4, 2012 at 11:58 am
  5. Grumpy Gardener (His Magnificence)

    Red tomato ice cream? Oh BARF!!!!!!!!!

    May 31, 2012 at 3:35 pm
  6. Deborah Baker

    I have been so depressed lately and happened to run across your blog on mater haters. Depression is gone! for now that is. I laughed so much, especially the anonymous horticulturalist. When I was a child riding in the back of my dad’s pick up truck with my 3 siblings from the High’s Ice Cream Parlor with my hair blowing in the wind while I lapped up my vanilla ice cream cone before the wind and sun melted it away I remember biting into a fly. Yes a hard black ugly fly….eeeeuuuwwwwaa. Spitting and sputtering I still ate my ice cream cone. We’ve all got our stories. Maybe you should try….ripe red tomato ice cream….yummmm! you knew that was coming didn’t you.

    May 30, 2012 at 3:44 pm
  7. Mike

    I do declare! What kind of person doesn’t love fresh, homegrown maters? To find out there are so many of you is down right disheartening. One’s parentage could be brought into question for that alone but for anyone to proclaim their preference for store bought maters is purely sacreligious as those things aren’t even fit for a mater fight.

    May 30, 2012 at 12:53 pm
  8. Schalk

    I Hated Raw Tomatoes to, still can’t eat them on their own, But the modern Store Bought tomatoes are far more tolerable. Them I can eat with Meat or on a Tomato and Onion Sandwich. (I grew into that, and now loves it.)
    I must admit I’ve never tried Heirloom Tomatoes as they are not that common in my part of the world.

    May 30, 2012 at 3:32 am
  9. Grumpy Gardener (His Benevolence)

    I gotta be me.

    May 28, 2012 at 3:40 pm
  10. June

    In what kind of perverse and strange blog have I wandered? No fresh tomatoes?? What next – no Santa Claus??

    May 24, 2012 at 2:19 pm
  11. Phillip

    You can add me to that list too. I’ve never been a fan and thought I was weird or something.

    May 23, 2012 at 1:00 pm
  12. Grumpy Gardener (His Magnificence)

    Will do!

    May 22, 2012 at 1:29 pm
  13. Aunty Matter

    While you’re at it, check out Lisa as Supergirl on “Smallville.”

    May 21, 2012 at 11:21 am
  14. Grumpy Gardener (His Benevolence)

    It’s high time people accepted Mater Haters for who we are.

    May 21, 2012 at 8:59 am
  15. OldCrabbyBat

    Raw Mater-Hater….me too! Born and raised by a very long line of N.AL farmers and spent my childhood picking them for the annual canning marathon. I lived in fear of grabbing a rotten/pecked/whatever specimen all summer long. Give me my marinara sauce, ketchup, soup, paste, etc., etc. EVERY time…

    May 20, 2012 at 5:37 pm
  16. Lisa

    You’re right on–it’s hard to be a southerner and hate tomatoes. Thanks for your honesty, Grumpy. You’re NOT ALONE.

    May 17, 2012 at 11:23 pm
  17. Amanda

    preach it, Grumpy. I’m with you!

    May 17, 2012 at 5:54 pm
  18. Gabrielle@ flowerbulbcrazy

    You are hilarious! I must become a regular to your blog! You really crack me up. I love fresh tomatoes- :} Hehe

    May 17, 2012 at 1:32 pm
  19. UrsulaV

    I couldn’t eat raw tomatoes for many years. The texture gags me.
    I finally got to the point where I can do a tomato sandwich, if it is a SERIOUSLY fresh and good tomato, but I’m eating for flavor over texture, and I still don’t want one by itself.

    May 17, 2012 at 9:59 am
  20. Robin

    Team Cooked Tomatoes No Raw!

    May 13, 2012 at 1:36 pm
  21. Mary

    I’ll stand on your side of the garden on this. I practically starved to death during childhood summers, since tomato sandwiches were the only lunchtime fare at my grandparent’s house where I spent my time.

    May 12, 2012 at 10:56 pm
  22. annoymous horticulturalist

    I sell Tomatoes, Tomato tags, tomato cages and other tomato paraphanelia for a living and have been living with the same dirty secret. For me it started as a child, my first memory of the red bastages were being handed one and told to eat it like an apple. I took a big bite, and the flavor was not bad, the texture was not for me. I looked at the tomato in my hand and saw half a worm wiggling and writhing from being bitten in half. I vomited immediately and have never really got over it. I still get grossed out. I had a Yellow tomato once, it was ok, I managed to swallow it, but keep those worm infested things away from me.

    May 12, 2012 at 4:39 pm
  23. Erin

    Up until 2 or 3 years ago, I couldn’t eat a raw tomato without my gag reflex kicking in. I’ve worked hard to overcome it, and now I can eat a cherry tomato, but only if it’s sliced in several pieces first , then doused in salad dressing (and I’m not really going to like it, I just won’t gag). What about salsa though? I have always liked salsa…although gazpacho makes me ill. Hmmm…I’m an enigma!

    May 12, 2012 at 11:28 am
  24. Annie Haven | Authentic Haven Brand

    I’m sending fresh Matter for all #special occasions <|;-)

    May 12, 2012 at 10:21 am
  25. Jill in Atlanta

    I don’t either. I love cherry tomatoes, just barely heated on pasta, so I’m trying to like them raw. But no, I’m not there yet. However, I do like to grow them for the rest of my tomato loving family!

    May 12, 2012 at 10:03 am
  26. Vicki

    Ahhh! Neither the hubs nor I like fresh tomatoes, either! It’s such a relief to know we are not alone!

    May 12, 2012 at 10:01 am
  27. Gloria

    Well I am born and raised a Georgia girl and lived the last half of my life in South Carolina. I too do not like fresh tomatoes! especially those tomato, mayo sandwiches that a lot of good southerns just love. I too eat all those cooked tomato products just not that fresh one.

    May 12, 2012 at 9:45 am
  28. carolyn choi

    You sure were born that way : weird. It’s apparent that you and your ilk are not Southern born or bred or you’d of cut your eyeteeth on ‘maters. There’s just something wrong with a person who can’t bite into a big, ripe, raw tomato and savor its juicy taste.
    I’d suggest therapy but it might be hard to find a therapist in your neck of the woods that could refrain from laughing.
    Remember there’s only two things that money can’t buy and that’s true love and homegrown tomatoes. NOT cooked. Raw. For god’s sake who cooks tomatoes in the summer in the South ?!

    May 12, 2012 at 9:33 am
  29. TC

    Perhaps y’all should try rotten ones!

    May 12, 2012 at 9:16 am

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