Friday, August 3, 2012 —
Some of our Last Chance Foods guests go limp at the thought of the Stir Fry, but not Ron Binaghi III of Stokes Farm in Old Tappan, New Jersey. Just like his family farm's tomatoes, Binaghi thrives in the heat of the hot seat.
His favorite way of eating a tomato is a tomato sandwich, considered a classic Southern dish. Binaghi mentions "lots of toast" in his version. If this were the Olympics, he'd get deductions from judges who hail from the South. Only soft, pillowy, white bread, the kind with no nutritional value, will do. IntoTheWoods.com blogger David Dalton recommends Bunny Bread©. And keep the fancy yuzu chili mayo from Empire Mayonnaise in the refrigerator. Hellman's© or, better, Duke's© is required here. TomatoDirt.com warns of "controversies" over whether to peel the tomato and how thick to slice it.
Binaghi was lucky that my line of questioning did not go further on the topic of tomato sandwiches. Otherwise, it would have been the 60-Minute Stir Fry.
His favorite type of tomato also sent me to the Internet. I had to find out what an Aunt Ruby's tomato is. It's an heirloom variety that remains green when fully ripe. CookingIssues.com specifically mentions the Aunties grown on Binaghi's farm.
Aunt Ruby heirlooms, tomato slices on white bread, I was all set to have Binaghi say something straight up the middle like "spaghetti and red sauce" or "mac and cheese" when I asked him about his favorite comfort food. I was thrown for a loop when he said "Sushi!" You can hear me practically choking on my surprise.