In a conversation with a rather astute associate of mine about the idea of Vanishing Feast, the devil's advocate appeared, and asked me "So why is this important? A tomato is just a tomato." It was a great question. The challenge was meant so I could think through why this would be important for someone who doesn't have a vested interest in this project. It forced me to practice the principle of detachment, which to me in communications, is a important part of the process.
To survive the shark infested waters of corporate America, I learned detachment as a survival mechanism. When the devil advocate played his role mentioned above, I wasn't aware of the story of San Marzano tomatoes. Had I been, I would've been prepared. Now I am, and this story will be the featured response should that question come up again.
I woke up one morning with the words San Marzano in my head. I couldn't imagine what theses Italian plum tomatoes had to do with anything but a delcious tomato sauce. So I asked my good friend Google to search the words San Marzano. Lo and behold I found a fascinating story at sanmarzanotomatoes.org. From the site;
Royalty, emmigration, 70 years of glory, gradual neglect, forsaken, replaced, threat of extinction, rescue, redemption, prosperity, politics, public relations, protectionism, DNA testing, and the most ironic outcome of all: - this is the story of the San Marzano Tomato that few people in America know about.
Take a trip over there and read the whole story. It's a fun and fascinating read. I'll leave you with this tidbit, the moral of San Marzano story is what Vanishing Feast is all about.
I hope to get to Campania, Italy this year to video some of the lore of this scrappy heirloom hero.