Tomatoes

Did you know?

Though technically fruit, tomatoes fall under the category of “vegetable” according to the Supreme Court. The high court issued this 1893 tomato ruling because of a tariff dispute.

Selection

Look for plump, heavy tomatoes with smooth skin. They should be free of bruises, blemishes, or deep cracks, although fine cracks at the stem ends of ripe tomatoes do not affect flavor. Make sure the leaves are tomatoes are fresh and green. Ripe tomatoes are fragrant. Fully ripe tomatoes are soft and yield to the touch.

Storage and Handling

Room temperature is best for storing tomatoes, don’t refrigerate them. Place less- than-ripe tomatoes in a paper bag with an apple or banana; the ethylene gas given off by the fruit will hasten the ripening process. Keep the tomatoes out of sunlight- they will overheat and ripen unevenly – arrange them stem side up to prevent bruising. Once the tomatoes are red and yield to the touch, they will keep for a day or two at room temperature.

Preparation

Wash tomatoes gently in cold water before serving them. To cut tomato slices, stand the tomato upright and cut from the top to bottom – the slices will retain their juices better than those cut from side to side. Add sliced tomatoes to salads or sandwiches at the last minute because they begin to release their juices as soon as they are cut. When a recipe calls for peeled tomatoes, drop them into boiling water and blanch for 15-30 seconds. Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and cool briefly under running water. The skin can then be rubbed off easily. Or, you can loosen the peel in a microwave by heating the tomato for 15 seconds on high power.

Information courtesy of: www.fruit&veggiesmorematters.com

For Tomato Recipes, please click here.