Call them the tomato touchers. They’re the people who go to the farmers market and handle every plump orb, squeezing and groping, feeling them carefully for firmness and flaws before deciding which one will make it into their next Caprese salad.
Excessive tomato-squeezing can bruise the thin-skinned fruits for the rest of us: Leigh Hauter, who owns Bull Run Mountain Farm in Virginia, told the Post that he used to lose 25% of his tomatoes to damage when CSA customers picked them out themselves.
Still, it's hard for even the most-informed shopper to resist. (Just try buying the first tomato you lay a hand on. I admit to having handled, and pushed aside, plenty a tomato over the years. I'd be out of line in Italy, where it's improper etiquette to touch any of the fruit.)
The most vexing part is that squeezing an heirloom tomato isn't even the best test of ripeness, Paul Mock of Mock’s Greenhouse and Farm in West Virginia told the Post: A strong aroma or a dark color on the bottom of the tomato are the truer indicators.
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In addition to needless-but-irresistible tomato-squeezing, what are the other most egregious farmers market (or grocery store) offenses?
Well, there's this...
@sarahjampel Letting your dog pee on produce crates stored on the ground. Saw it weekly at McCarren Greenmarket.
Obtrusive photo-taking (there's a better way for that, too!)
During peak hours, aisle or entryway blocking (by walking incredibly slowly on an aimless, ambling path—even worse if you have a dog that's wandering—or by abandoning your bike/stroller/shopping cart at a central entry-point or intersection)
A (former) student of English, a lover of raisins, a user of comma splices. My spirit animal is an eggplant. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream. For that, I'm sorry.