Tips for Tomatoes

'Tis the season for tomatoes…

With their wonderful flavor and juiciness, you really can’t beat fresh tomatoes. Here are some tips to consider when buying and storing these gems. 

The best tomatoes are usually dry-farmed, which means the tomato plants aren't watered much after their flowers set. This forces the plants to work a bit harder to make the tomatoes and leads to a deeper, richer flavor. Choose vine-ripened, meaning tomatoes were allowed to ripen on the vine before they were picked.

Some tips on picking tomatoes: Tomatoes aren’t meant to look perfect.  They come in all sorts of sizes, shapes, colors and tastes.  Cracked skin is okay, but soft spots, obvious icky spots and leaking are signs of bad tomatoes. Choose tomatoes that feel heavy for their size. Hold it in your hand and if you think, “Wow that’s a heavy tomato!" then you’re in business. Smell the tomatoes, as they should smell earthy, like dirt, but not musty smelling. And, if you’re at a farmers market, you can certainly taste them. Yes, you can! Sample the tomatoes before you buy them.

When storing tomatoes, handle with care.  Don't pile or stack them on top of each other or they’ll get squashed. And ideally, don’t refrigerate tomatoes. Temperatures under 50° turn off the flavor of tomatoes, literally, and the texture will become mushy and mealy. 

 

Check out a few of my recipes for using your tasty tomato finds! 

Homemade Tomato Sauce

 

Grilled Tomato Sandwich

 

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