Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Guidelines for Tomato Selection and Storage

By Nicole Sugerman

With so many colors and varieties of tomatoes, it can sometimes be hard to tell which are ripe. If you are unsure, ask the shareholder staffing the pickup for help. Here are some guidelines when selecting tomatoes:
• We harvest some of the tomatoes less ripe purposefully. Tomatoes ripen very quickly. If you do not think you will eat your tomatoes within the next day or two, do not select the ones that are the ripest—select one that is a little firmer, with some green, and it will ripen up within a couple of days on your kitchen counter.
• You can determine ripeness by how squishy the tomato is, and how it smells. Some of our tomatoes ripen green, some ripen yellow, some pink. Instead of looking only for bright red color as an indication of ripeness, feel it and see if it is soft or firm. A riper tomato will also smell more tomato-ey.
• For best taste, do not put your tomatoes in the fridge! Refrigerating tomatoes ruins the consistency and diminishes some of the flavor. Your tomatoes will not spoil if you leave them at room temperature—just eat them when they are ripe. If you use part of a tomato, you may have to refrigerate the unused half to prevent molding.

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