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She’s nine feet tall, fleshy, plump, but not too juicy. Moist, not too seedy. Pink, not too red. Fat hanging globes that split from their own excess emerge languidly from her extremities. She loves the heat.

She needs a longer, hotter summer to really show her stuff. The green fruit teasing us may not have time to ripen if the nights keep getting chilly. We had about three weeks of unrestrained abundance during the drought and heat wave; of course I supplemented her water – you don’t expect a queen to practice asceticism. She rewarded our loyalty with fruit larger than baseballs. We feasted on fresh tomato sandwiches, salsa, pasta, gazpacho, and roasted sauces. Chopped tomatoes and leftover sauce and lasagna line the freezer shelves, but there’s plenty of room left. We want more tomatoes. We need more tomatoes.

Her flavor is perfection. She’s ruined us for all the others. Those red plastic blobs from the store? Forget it. It’s like comparing Jennifer Aniston with Marlene Dietrich. You know who you would pick.

Technically, she is an heirloom beefsteak tomato, indeterminate, with low acidity. Seed catalogues say she grows six feet tall. None of the descriptions give true insight into her character. She’s not regal but more a burlesque drag queen, hamming up her obscene height in the garden and producing dramatic fruits that take all the time in the world to ripen. She knows how to make you wait. Her fruit is ugly, weird shapes and brown callouses on her skin ward off the uninitiated; but once you taste her, you know the true flavor of her inner beauty.

Oh German Queen. Oh Summer.

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