I grew up in the farm country of Western New York and had a fine vegetable garden, but tomatoes were basically just another vegetable, less prized than sweet corn or squash or potatoes. There were none in my garden. In retrospect, I think that being so far north meant that tomatoes didn't grow as well as they do farther south.
I formulated this theory after moving to Maryland, where tomatoes are very nearly a religion. <G> Perfect, juicy, sun-ripened Maryland tomatoes are much sought after. Locations of farm stands with great tomatoes are greedily exchanged.