Tomatoes are a staple around my house, especially during the summer, and the fresher the better. They're great for quick batches of bruschetta, caprese, or topped with an egg or olive oil and some seasoning. Here are a few tips for keeping your tomatoes fresh for longer.
FOr not quite ripe tomatoes
- Don't store in the refrigerator. No one wants to eat an unripe tomato. Cooler temperatures slows things down, and storing them in the refrigerator all but ensures your tomatoes will never ripen.
- If you can purchase them on the vine, do it. The skin of a tomato is much like ours; it's designed to keep the right stuff in and the wrong stuff out. However, the little spot where the vine was connected (where the tomato received its nutrients) is a permeable layer. According to America's Test Kitchen, leaving this area exposed to the open air risks moisture leaving the tomato, and bacteria crawling into there. Gross. Buying tomatoes on the vine solves that problem.
- If you cant purchase on the vine, America's Test Kitchen recommends storing them upside down or with a piece of tape over their vine-hole. Vine-hole? What else am I supposed to call that? I'm open to suggestions.
- Store at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, in a single layer. This goes the same for peaches and is why when you watch a produce man at the grocery store unload many types of fruit, they're stored in their own little pocket of the box. If their edges are touching for prolonged periods, it can produce little mushy, mealy spots.
For fully ripe tomatoes
- If your tomato is ready to be eaten, but you're not ready to eat it, its OK to store it in the fridge. Remember, cooler temperature slows things, so it will stay in that state for longer.
- When your'e about read to eat a refrigerated tomato, give it time to come back up to room temp. This brings the flavor and texture back to an appropriate spot.