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Splat!

August 17, 1986

Poor Ruth Reichl! Have her taste buds become so jaded from eating all her meals in restaurants that she's forgotten what a vine-ripened tomato tastes like?

In her review of Mille Fleurs in Rancho Santa Fe ("Fresh Local Ingredients of Success," Aug. 10), she described the tomato she ate there as "a bright red circle that tastes as if someone had sliced off a piece of the sun and cooled it in a forest stream. The kind that used to fill our summers. The kind that hardly seem to exist anymore."

With practically no time, effort, expense or space involved, I am able to enjoy this same incomparable taste experience all summer long by growing tomatoes in my own tiny little garden. There are always plenty left over for making sauces, etc., and for sharing with others.

If Reichl ever gets tired of the "dinner for two, food only, about $80" routine, she's welcome to come to my house for a complete meal planned entirely around home-grown tomatoes.

Incidentally, to truly appreciate the flavor of a vine-ripened tomato, it should never be refrigerated or "cooled in a forest stream"; just pick it and eat it as soon as possible.

CAROL SEBASTIAN

Huntington Beach

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