Some people have never seen a real tomato. I’m not talking about the perfectly uniform red spherical or slightly elongated varieties that typically line supermarket bins and veggie trays in typical neighborhoods, but real lumpy beefy acidic nightshades with genetic histories beyond the greengrocer’s unholy laboratories. Some whole countries have never seen the real thing I suspect, Thailand for instance, which prides itself on the finest sweetest least-fibrous variety of every possible fruit (no comment on the women), but in this case relegated to the cardboard-cut-out picture-perfect puff-pieces that serve as little more than filler to an honest sandwich or salad.
Many countries and cultures don’t necessarily eat sandwiches, of course, so I can’t blame them for their negligence, any more than I can blame the happy Mexicans who produce most of the ones we Americans eat these days. They invented the blessed fruit, after all, or at least nurtured its evolution from some primordial berry into the lusty beefsteaks (sometimes) available today, though such varieties are hard to find in Mexico itself (be prepared to ask for jitomates if the word tomate doesn’t work, presumably the most direct etymological descendant of an earlier aboriginal form, something like xitomatl, meaning ‘plump thing with a navel’ in Nahuatl). Sounds like someone I know. Italians see them as ‘golden apples,’ pomodoros.