Mr Bee hated raw tomato with a passion before we moved to Guernsey, but then he tried some cherry tomatoes warmed by the sun on the hedge vege in the first few weeks following our arrival in Guernsey.
He is truly converted; to my genuine amazement he actually speaks fondly about the hedge vege tomatoes, sliced in half, drizzled with balsamic vinegar, cracked black pepper and salt.
When the Guernsey tomatoes are in season we eat two or three punnets per day. They are so cheap and delicious. I quite often have one for my lunch. Not that long ago the tomato industry was Guernsey's main income but it went into rapid decline due to the rising cost of transporting the tomatoes off Island and from fierce competition from Holland. My Dad remembers as a child always looking forward to Channel Island potatoes and tomatoes.
Although the export of tomatoes has all but disappeared I am grateful growers still supply the local market. I don't think it is that the tomatoes sold in Guernsey are better than elsewhere, it is just that they don't have to travel far to their point of sale.
Often the tomatoes are picked when they are perfectly ripe and then the grower only need to walk a few metres to the hedge vege stall outside their house to sell them. They are mostly ripened on the plants, not picked green and left to 'ripen' later (though they never do, not properly), nor do they need to sell varieties which have toughen skins for good transportation.
So I'm glad to share with you the Guernsey tomato. Don't they look tasty, you can't smell them, you can't taste them and you can't have any; unless you pay Guernsey a visit that is ;)