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How to Ripen Tomato

Place not fully ripened tomatoes in a large plastic covered bowl with holes drilled in the top. The cover traps the tomatoes' natural ethylene gas and speeds up the ripening process; the air holes allow proper air and moisture circulation.

Green tomatoes will ripen when stored in a warmer spot with temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees. The tomatoes can be stored in a cooler location, but will take longer to ripen. In this state, you can hold tomatoes 4 to 6 weeks.

Short Term Tomato Storage

Tomatoes are sensitive to chill-injury, store on your counter at room temperature between 65 and 70 degrees F. Do not refrigerate unless necessary, such as extra-ripe tomatoes which helps to slow down the ripening process. Refrigeration causes tomatoes to lose flavor and nutrients.

Peeled, seeded pulp will hold in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days if covered well.

Tomato Long Term Storage

Set tomatoes on a rack without touching each other. Tomatoes that have started to turn red can be held in a dark area with temperature of 55 to 60 degrees. The storage spot must be humid (85 degrees is ideal) but not damp, or the tomatoes will rot.

Tomato sauce freezes great.

Whole or peeled tomatoes can be frozen in plastic bags for use in cooked meals later. However, this process does alter the taste and texture of the tomatoes.

Standard and plum tomatoes are excellent for canning.

Tomato Side Notes

There may be several thousand varieties of tomatoes, but the following 4 classifications are most commonly used:

The classic globe tomato group, which includes beefsteak tomatoes, encompasses tomatoes which tend to be red and roughly round. Globe tomatoes can be eaten raw or cooked, and they tend to have firm, flavorful flesh.

Roma tomatoes tend to be more oblong in shape, and they are more suitable for cooking and products like tomato paste.

Small tomatoes such as cherry and pear tomatoes are packed with flavor, and they make an excellent addition to dishes like salads and salsa; they also tend to be sweeter than other tomato varieties.

Heirloom tomato is a term used to refer to a number of heritage varieties such as Brandywines and zebras. Heirloom tomatoes tend to be more flavorful and fleshy.
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