GREEN WITH ENVY Thanks to a memorable movie, just about everyone has heard of fried green tomatoes. But how many people have ever tasted one? Supposedly, green tomatoes are tart—not sweet, like red ones. So why would anyone want to eat the fruit when it isn’t ripe yet? “For starters, green tomatoes are actually flavorful,” says Cora Lamar, the owner of Oak Hill Farms, in Poteet, a wholesaler whose customers include Central Market.

To prove just how tasty, we asked five chefs to share their favorite way to prepare fried green tomatoes.

Scott Cohen, the executive chef at San Antonio’s Las Canarias (La Mansión del Rio Hotel, 112 College; 210-518-1000), likes to offer them as croutons for his lusty red tomato soup. (Recipe)

At Hoover’s Cooking, in Austin (2002 Manor Road; 512-479-5006), Hoover Alexander favors the classic home-style version. (Recipe)

Chad and Amber Burns, the husband-and-wife team that heads up the kitchen at Ocotillo, in Lajitas (Lajitas Resort, FM 170; 915-424-5035), add nuts and sesame seeds as well as a green-chile-and-lime tartar sauce for extra punch. (Recipe)

Chef Gilbert Garza, of Suze, in Dallas (4345 W. Northwest Hwy.; 214-350-6135), devised a starter of fried green tomatoes glazed with marinara and topped with manchego cheese. (According to Garza, the appetizer is a bit like a crab cake, but lighter and more imaginative.) Let the tastings begin. (Recipe)