Are Tomatoes Berries

Are Tomatoes Berries

The discrepancy in berry nomenclature arose because people called certain fruits "berries" thousands of years before scientists came up with a precise definition for the word, said Judy Jernstedt, a professor of plant sciences at the University of California, Davis.Usually, people think of berries as small, squishy fruit that can be picked off plants, but the scientific classification is far more complex, Jernstedt said.For instance, a grape's outer skin is the exocarp, its fleshy middle is the mesocarp and the jelly-like insides holding the seeds constitute the endocarp, Jernstedt told Live Science.The same layered structure appears in other berries, including the banana and watermelon, although their exocarps are a bit tougher, taking the form of a peel and a rind, respectively.(The suffix "carp" comes from the word "carpel," which refers to the pistil, the female organ of the flower, Jernstedt said.).Rather, cherries, like other fleshy fruit with thin skin and a central stone that contains a seed, are called drupes, she said.Like other berries, bananas are composed of three fleshy layers: the outer skin, the mushy middle and the innermost part with the seeds.In other words, it can be difficult to classify nature's many fruits, which evolve without a thought about how scientists will view them

How To Grow Tomatoes Healthy

How To Grow Tomatoes Healthy

However, a little ongoing care and maintenance can mean the difference between productive, healthy plants and a disappointing yield.Spacing depends on a few factors including the types of tomatoes you’re growing and how you intend to support the plants.For more information on spacing tomatoes, check out this article I wrote on proper planting distances.Growing vertically allows better air circulation, less splashing of water onto leaves (therefore fewer occurrences of soil-borne diseases), and more light to reach the plants.Indeterminate or vining varieties, on the other hand can grow seven feet tall and require strong support.However, because I grow dozens of plants each season, these aren’t practical, easy to store, or economically feasible for me.However, they make irrigation more difficult and you need to run soaker hoses beneath the mulch to provide water.Blossom end rot results in black, leathery patches at the bottom of the fruits and, while it isn’t a disease, it is a condition triggered by inconsistent watering.Installing a soaker hose around the base of plants is another irrigation option that make watering quick and easy.My goal is to feed the soil with plenty of compost or aged manure, as well as slow-release organic tomato fertilizers.If your garden is prone to tomato diseases, be sure to practice crop rotation, all the tips mentioned above, and grow disease-resistant varieties like Defiant, Jasper, and Mountain Merit

Can Tomatoes In Water Bath

Can Tomatoes In Water Bath

Save a couple days in August or when tomatoes are at their peak and enjoy preserving summer in a jar!Farmers really don’t have the luxury of waiting until tomatoes are at peak ripeness, as the fruit becomes too easy to bruise at this stage, and tomatoes continue to ripen in the box or on the counter with the potential to spoil.Improper canning techniques can lead to the growth of the bacteria, Clostridium botulinum, that produces a toxin (botulin) that causes botulism, which is deadly illness.To prevent this bacterium from growing and releasing botulin in your canned goods, you need to lower the pH of your canning mixture - in other words, the canning mixture must be made acidic using lemon juice, citric acid or vinegar.In the past, tomatoes were considered a high-acid food which meant that they could be canned without the addition of an acid.However, we now understand that the acidity of a tomato depends on its variety and its ripeness, which makes it impossible to know for sure, if it is high- or low-acid.While you may be tempted to add other ingredients, it’s best to stick to this recipe until you really know how to can, as it has been tested for safety, and it is a good introduction to canning at home.Set a pot of water to boil and thoroughly wash the tomatoes, removing any minor blemishes and form an X on the bottom with a paring knife.Then, using a slotted spoon, dip the tomatoes (maybe three or four at a time) into the boiling water and leave until the skins slip off about 30 seconds.Then place approximately one-sixth of the tomato pieces into a large pot and crush them with a wooden spoon or mallet to liquefy them.Wash the canning jars, bands and set-aside, and using your dishwasher makes this task easier.Next comes a VERY IMPORTANT step—it’s absolutely critical to wipe off the top of the jar with a cloth before putting on the lid.Any tiny particle of food left on the rim could cause a jar to not properly seal.Pop on the lid, adjust the screw band until finger tight, and prepare for processing.Make sure that everything continues simmering while you are filling the canner and that there is at least 1 to 2 inches of boiling water above the top of the jars.Put the cover on the pot, bring to a boil and start timing the processing.Note: Processing takes longer at higher altitudes, so consult this table to see how much time is required in your area.After cleaning up the accrued dishes, I take a break and read while my jars are dancing away.Once the timer dings, I turn off the stove and very carefully take the top off of the pot venting the steam away from me.I look lovingly at my beautiful trivet of summertime bounty, and I wait until the next day to finish the job.I take off the screw bands (carefully) because they sometimes get food on them and leaving them on makes them rust.Into the pantry go the canned tomatoes to await use in canned tomato soup, stews, American chop suey (I cook the elbows right in the mix) or anything else I decide to make during the long winter months.This Canning Guide was updated and fact-checked as of August 2020, by Christina Ferroli, PhD, RDN, FAND

Does Tomatoes Need To Be Refrigerated

Does Tomatoes Need To Be Refrigerated

But the question has made me think back on it, and to be honest, I can remember losing quite a few beautiful summer tomatoes over the years to rapid rot and decomposition, because they were sitting out in sweltering heat.Right now, for example, I'm typing this while sitting in my sweltering apartment, and I'd guess—based on the amount of sweat soaking from my lower back into my chair—that it's at least 90° in here.To answer these questions, I set up a series of experiments that spanned an entire summer and included literally hundreds upon hundreds of tomatoes of different sources, varieties, and quality and ripeness levels, and recruited a small army of blind-tasters to evaluate the results.If your tomatoes have never been refrigerated (i.e., if you grew them yourself or bought them from a farmers market stand you trust, in season):.Remove the stems and store unripe tomatoes upside down on a plate or cutting board at room temperature until they fully ripen.Refrigerate any unconsumed fully ripe tomatoes, but allow them to come to room temperature before serving them.But this is the relevant quote: "Red ripe fruits were stored at 5°C for 1, 3, or 7 d followed by a recovery period of either 1 or 3 d at 20°C, and volatiles were measured.So here’s what you need to know: Leave your tomatoes at room temp for as long as possible, especially if they’re still a little shy of hitting their peak ripeness.And here’s the other thing to know: The refrigerator is not great for tomatoes—it can degrade their texture and dampen their flavor—but it’s far more harmful to lower-quality and underripe tomatoes than it is to truly ripe, delicious ones.I bought several of each variety, selecting similar-looking specimens to minimize variations in ripeness—fairly easy, given that these were all pretty crappy yet highly invariable mass-market fruit.In terms of relative quality, the cherry tomatoes were the best, the plums in the middle, and the standard ones were the worst.To make sure the cold of the refrigerator didn't sway their votes, I let the chilled tomatoes warm up to room temp before proceeding with the tasting.The standard tomatoes, for instance, had turned redder on the counter than they had in the fridge, though the difference was subtle.The plum tomatoes showed a similar effect, with the countertop ones (at left in the photo above) redder than the chilled ones to the right.Here, the refrigerated sample is to the left, with a slightly lighter, less red color, though the difference is just barely visible.The plum tomato showed the most drastic visual difference, with the refrigerated sample appearing more white and grainy in its flesh than the countertop one.The cherry tomatoes showed the least difference, with a just barely perceptible increase in redness in the countertop sample (at left).Well, first, my mom was disqualified because she kept rejecting all the tomatoes, regardless of storage method, while reminiscing about what they used to taste like in the farmlands of Maryland where she grew up in the '40s and '50s.My sister, thankfully, was able to focus on the task at hand—analyzing the relative, not absolute, merits of these tomatoes—and give me her opinion.She found the countertop ones to be more aromatic and sweet, with a better texture, than the refrigerated ones, though she said the differences weren't as apparent with the cherry tomatoes.A tomato that is just fine, but not great, like the plums I bought, can benefit quite a bit from being left out at room temp.So, a day later, I sat my family down again—this time my sister, stepfather, and mother (who, I explained to her, could only participate if she forgot about those mythic Maryland tomatoes and focused on the ones in front of her).Once again, I let the refrigerated tomatoes warm up to room temperature before serving them alongside the countertop ones.And the weirdest thing happened: My sister reversed all her picks from the day before, and consistently selected the refrigerated tomatoes as her favorites this time.One possibility with this initial set of test results is that, because my mom's home was a warmish 75 to 80°F, the heat started to take its toll on my countertop samples once enough time had elapsed.As I've reviewed some tomato literature, this explanation starts to make some sense, though I haven't verified that it's correct.According to this report from the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, firm, ripe tomatoes are best held at anywhere from 44 to 50°F (7 to 10°C), which is higher than fridge temperature but lower than most rooms.But what the studies I've found fail to explore is the effect of even higher temperatures on tomato storage.Given that tomatoes ripen in the summer, the challenge is that we're trying to store them at home during a season characterized by intense heat, and we don't usually have storage conditions in the 44-to-50°F range.This article from Business Insider illustrates my point well: The scientist quoted in the piece, who is recommending that we not refrigerate our tomatoes, casually defines normal kitchen temperature as between 68 and 73°F (20 and 23°C).My first test delivered some surprises, but it was based on just a few varieties of lesser-quality supermarket tomatoes, which left some questions unanswered.In five out of 11 tests, tasters unanimously preferred the refrigerated tomatoes—the countertop tomatoes tasted flat and dull in comparison.Below, you can see the relative merits of counter versus refrigerator storage at the four-day mark on a pair of tomatoes that started out just about equally ripe.If you buy underripe tomatoes, leave them out at room temperature until they're fully ripened, then move them to a cooler spot for longer storage.If you have a wine fridge or cool cellar, store all ripe tomatoes that you can't eat within the first day there.If you don't have a wine fridge or cool cellar, store all ripe tomatoes that you can't eat within the first day in the refrigerator.If you're storing tomatoes in the refrigerator, it may be better to locate them on a top shelf near the door, which is often warmer than the bottom and back of the fridge.If you're the kind of person who can't stand eating fridge-cold tomatoes and doesn't have the time or patience to let them warm back up on the counter, then you've got some tough decisions ahead of you, I'm afraid.Here on the East Coast, I went to the farmers market and bought a large load of both regular red tomatoes and a variety of heirlooms.** My plan was to do one giant blind tasting in the office, with as many people as I could wrangle, and more quantitative measures (as opposed to the strictly qualitative assessments I had done earlier in the summer).Meanwhile, over yonder in the Bay Area, Kenji went and picked his own tomatoes straight from the vine, just to remove any lingering question about the handling practices of the middlemen.When I ran my initial series of tests, it was at the height of summer in New York City, with temperatures well above 80°F (27°C).My whole argument revolved around very hot summertime conditions, and I had made no claim that the refrigerator was equal to or better than temps in the 70s and below.Tasters evaluated the tomatoes on a scale of one to 10 on four criteria: overall preference, flavor, aroma, and texture.Of all the tomatoes in the tasting, all of us (the 10 tasters plus me) agreed, unanimously, that the small yellow tomatoes—the ones that scored highest in the fridge and out—were the best.After 12 rounds, Max had correctly identified the odd tomato six times, which is slightly better than chance.(In a triangle test, random guessing should yield correct answers one-third of the time, which in this case would be four out of the 12 rounds.).What this test shows is that once that knowledge is removed, the differences can be subtle enough that tasters have a very hard time telling refrigerated and countertop tomatoes apart.Out in the Bay Area, Kenji also ran his tests, with tomatoes he picked directly off the vine himself.The fourth person who did the triangle test selected the odd one out incorrectly, but she still picked the refrigerated tomato as her favorite.Science itself has done nothing wrong: It's a beautiful system—the best one we've got—for answering questions about how pretty much everything in the observable universe works.The studies I found didn't examine tomatoes that were picked when fully ripe, and they didn't consider warmer storage temperatures, certainly not above 80°F.But that last step is the problem: The don't-refrigerate wisdom was good throughout the supply chain and kept the tomatoes in the best possible condition, but it doesn't necessarily apply to the retail customer with different storage conditions at home, or to tomatoes that are picked when ripe—conditions that had not been tested in any scientific study I found.Another example of the misuse of science is in this Alton Brown Facebook directive: "Do me a favor: Never put tomatoes in the refrigerator," he implores.How can we possibly draw an actionable conclusion from one single factor in such an intricate system as a tomato?None of my tests, nor Kenji's, are rigorous enough for publication in any kind of scientific journal, but I think we've each had clear enough results that no one should at this point continue to believe that the no-refrigeration rule is always true

How To Peel Tomatoes Quickly

How To Peel Tomatoes Quickly

These easy beer-based mixed drink recipes pair beautifully with a variety of game-day snacks, from sliders and sausages to pretzels and pizza

Can Tomatoes Pollinate Tomatillos

Can Tomatoes Pollinate Tomatillos

An essential part of salsa verde, tomatillos are an easy and productive plant to grow in the garden.This has been confirmed with self-pollination tests in which tomatillo flowers were bagged and isolated and ended up with empty husks.This is usually the reason why many gardeners notice empty husks on their tomatillos and wonder if they have separate male and female flowers.Both tomatoes and tomatillos are part of the nightshade family, much like peppers, eggplants, and potatoes.Manually pollinating tomatillos is very easy and requires no tools, although a brush or cotton swab can be used.Alternatively, you can take a small, fine brush or cotton swab and collect pollen by dabbing the central part of the flowers of one plant and then touch it gently on the central stigma of the other plant, and vice versa.It takes several weeks to over a month for tomatillos to fill their husks after pollination, depending on the variety

Did Tomatoes Come From China

Did Tomatoes Come From China

[6] The tomato is consumed in diverse ways, raw or cooked, in many dishes, sauces, salads, and drinks.(Determinate, or bush, plants are annuals that stop growing at a certain height and produce a crop all at once.).[citation needed] In this capacity, it has even become an American and British slang term: saying " " when presented with two choices can mean "What's the difference?".Indeterminate types are "tender" perennials, dying annually in temperate climates (they are originally native to tropical highlands), although they can live up to three years in a greenhouse in some cases.Tomato vines are typically pubescent, meaning covered with fine short hairs.Their flowers, appearing on the apical meristem, have the anthers fused along the edges, forming a column surrounding the pistil's style.[12] As a true fruit, it develops from the ovary of the plant after fertilization, its flesh comprising the pericarp walls.The fruit contains hollow spaces full of seeds and moisture, called locular cavities.On the other hand, hybrids of tomato and diploid potato can be created in the lab by somatic fusion, and are partially fertile,[19] providing evidence of the close relationship between these species.[23] The latest reference genome published in 2021 had 799 MB and encodes 34,384 (predicted) proteins, spread over 12 chromosomes.The first commercially available genetically modified food was a tomato called Flavr Savr, which was engineered to have a longer shelf life.Scientists are continuing to develop tomatoes with new traits not found in natural crops, such as increased resistance to pests or environmental stresses or better flavor.These efforts have resulted in significant regionally adapted breeding lines and hybrids, such as the Mountain series from North Carolina.Encyclopedia Britannica, tomatoes are a fruit labeled in grocery stores as a vegetable due to (the taste) and nutritional purposes.According to, tomatoes are a fruit labeled in grocery stores as a vegetable due to (the taste) and nutritional purposes.Tomatoes are not the only food source with this ambiguity; bell peppers, cucumbers, green beans, eggplants, avocados, and squashes of all kinds (such as courgettes/zucchini and pumpkins) are all botanically fruit, yet cooked as vegetables.In 1887, U.S

Does Tomatoes Feel Pain

Does Tomatoes Feel Pain

Instead, they have an elaborate system of chemical, hormonal and electrical signals that share information about what’s happening in other parts of the plant.The study, which was published in Frontiers of Sustainable Food Systems, found that the warning alarm was so ‘loud’ it was picked up as far away as the leaves, which may be a useful isgnal to track to see if tomatoes are under attack.“If studies like ours continue to advance, and the techniques for measuring electrical signals in open environments continue to improve, it will be possible to detect infestation of agricultural pests quite early, allowing for less aggressive control measures and more accurate insect management,” says Niemeyer Reissig

Best Beefsteak Tomatoes To Grow Uk

Best Beefsteak Tomatoes To Grow Uk

I firmly believe that there is a section of heaven piled high with end-of-summer beefsteak tomatoes and a shaker of salt.Known for slightly thicker skin and juicy fruit, beefsteaks are enjoyed fresh from the garden, roasted, or even stuffed.A friend of mine recently asked me which variety of beefsteak tomato seed was the best and honestly I had a bit of analysis paralysis.We would take those 48 varieties and use the data points on their website, like ratings and reviews, to index the 15 best beefsteak tomatoes.Porterhouse Hybrid tomatoes boast a rich, old-fashioned flavor having a 50/50 balance of sweetness and acidity as well, and take 80 days to mature.Burpee’s Supersteak Hybrid is another supersize tomato with average fruit sizes of 2 pounds.Taking 80 days to mature, this variety of tomatoes features a traditional beefsteak flavor with a balance of acidity and sweetness plus a meaty texture.Another heirloom pick, the Cherokee Purple beefsteak tomato has an initial smokiness with a sweet aftertaste.The Delicious variety of beefsteak tomatoes are full of flavor and yield large fruits between one and two pounds each.Another big variety, the Super Beefsteak produces fruit averaging 17 ounces each and takes 80 days to mature.With a great balance of acidity and sweet flavor plus a meaty interior, this variety produces many fruits per plant.With a smooth rosy exterior, these tomatoes average between eight and ten ounces and are ready for harvest in about 75 days.Ready for harvest in about 75 days, these tomatoes pack a full-body flavor with a rich balance of acidity and sweetness.Averaging at about a pound each, these beefsteak tomatoes are perfect when sliced on a sandwich and feature a tender texture and sweet-acidic balanced flavor.Tolerant to Verticillium and Fusarium wilt, this is a hardy beefsteak tomato plant and produces consistent yields.They have a meaty texture and robust heirloom flavor, tipping slightly onto the sweet side of the acidic/sweet scale

Best Tomatoes Zone 9

Best Tomatoes Zone 9

Earlier to ripen than the larger beefsteak tomatoes, medium varieties typically produce heavy clusters of fruit throughout the summer.This variety is a determinate type, meaning it grows in a bush form rather than a vine, making it a good choice for container gardening.Another recommended variety, "Early Pick Hybrid" is an abundant producer of rich, meaty red fruits, and is also known for its vigorous growth and disease resistance

Can Tomatoes Tolerate 40 Degrees

Can Tomatoes Tolerate 40 Degrees

Unfortunately, for all their variety of growth rate, shape, size and color, tomatoes are one of the most sensitive to cold of all our summer vegetables.Although mature plants might survive light frosts, temperatures below 40 F damage flower and fruit production, making tomatoes perennial only in U.S

Best Cherry Tomatoes Yellow

Best Cherry Tomatoes Yellow

Gold Nugget is a variety of award-winning yellow tomatoes that were created in the 1980s by Oregon State University.They produce a pale yellow tomato fruit that is great for snacking or adding to a Pomodoro or other Italian dish.They produce a pale yellow tomato fruit that is great for snacking or adding to a Pomodoro or other Italian dish.Isis Candy are a delicious type of cherry tomato that are a little sweet making them a favorite of both children and adults.Golden Sweet grape tomatoes are a mold and crack resistant cultivar that continues to produce fruit all season long since they are indeterminate.Kellogg’s Breakfast are a favorite of many experienced growers as they produce huge 1-2 pound yellow fruits all season long.They’ve won awards for their meaty, thin skin and tangy but sweet taste.They’ve won awards for their meaty, thin skin and tangy but sweet taste.They are a pale yellow heirloom tomato variety that has a pretty high yield throughout the season.They are a pale yellow heirloom tomato variety that has a pretty high yield throughout the season.Lemon Boy is a yellow hybrid variety of globe tomato that is mild, but meaty and a bit sweet.Yellow tomatoes are less acidic, more mild on the stomach, and often have a creamy texture than their red counterparts

Will Tomatoes Still Ripen Off The Vine

Will Tomatoes Still Ripen Off The Vine

The end of the growing season often arrives with tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) still ripening on the vine.Before frost ruins that crop of green tomatoes, pick some and bring them indoors to finish ripening.Pull the plant up by its roots and hang it upside down in a location where temperatures remain between 55 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit , such as in the basement or garage.Proper storage helps you stagger the ripening of the tomatoes if you harvest a large quantity of underripe fruit at once.Place the sorted groups into separate boxes, arranging them in a single layer, and store them uncovered in a 55- to 70-degree location.By sorting and modifying the temperatures of the stored tomatoes, you can enjoy ripe fruit for a month or more after harvest.If you're using an indoor hydroponic growing system and having trouble with your tomatoes, you may need to make some adjustment in your space

What Can Of Tomatoes

What Can Of Tomatoes

He learned his techniques from his mother (my grandmother), who typed up her time-tested instructions for how to can tomatoes and other seasonal produce, and made an entire booklet for him when he moved out of the house.Coarse kosher sat works best for canning, and using bottled lemon juice is the safest way to ensure a consistent level of acidity that will keep the jars shelf-stable.Canning can be a little labor-intensive and requires some practice and specialized equipment, like a wire jar rack for the water bath, but the result is well worth it.Make a big batch towards the end of summer for a bright tomatoey burst all year round—especially during the chilly winter months when freshness can feel hard to come by

Can Overripe Tomatoes Make You Sick

Can Overripe Tomatoes Make You Sick

If you're tossing away your mushy tomatoes, you're not only contributing to America's huge food waste problem — you're also doing yourself a grave disservice.You can simmer your lovely, sweet tomatoes with garlic, salt, and olive oil — then, you can use the sauce as a base for other recipes.You can add hot pasta water to make the sauce starchy, or mix in honey, garlic, and garam masala for a curry

How Many Tomatoes Should You Eat A Week

How Many Tomatoes Should You Eat A Week

The United States produced more than 32 million pounds of tomatoes in 2009, according to the U.S

What Are Jammy Tomatoes

What Are Jammy Tomatoes

That’s one reason this newly discovered recipe shot straight to the top of my favorite side-dishes list.Not only are they insanely easy to make, they’re also the perfect combination of sweet and acidic and are utterly addictive.I’ve made them with several dishes so far (Real Simple suggests making them with paprika-seasoned pork chops and cheddar grits, which is delicious), and they always pair perfectly

Which Tomatoes Are Juiciest

Which Tomatoes Are Juiciest

While plum or paste tomatoes make a good all-purpose choice, they tend to have very firm walls and decreased juiciness compared to some cherry and beefsteak varieties.Many modern hybrids have been developed for uniform shape and size, disease resistance, early fruiting or easy transportation.Growing these tomatoes at home can still produce a juicier product than you might buy in the store since you can harvest at the peak of ripeness, but open-pollinated heirlooms tend to offer more distinct flavors and more juice

Alternative To Tomatoes In Chili

Alternative To Tomatoes In Chili

When cooking chili, tomato can be replaced with any other vegetable, both as a side dish and as a condiment.With legumes: beans, chickpeas, lentils (even canned) that make a good thick sauce even without tomatoes.As for ketchup, experienced chefs recommend taking a variety of kebabs or a classic tomato version.If you are going to cook goulash, it is better to replace the tomato paste with hot ketchup, for example, red pepper.If the hostess prepares them in large quantities, then at any time she will be able to use a bright and fragrant liquid for culinary needs.Scientists have discovered the pigment lycopene in fruits and said that this substance slows down skin aging.Remember that freshly grated fruits always contain a lot of liquid, which undoubtedly affects the final result of the cook.If in the absence of tomato puree you decide to use fresh vegetables, grind them first, then eliminate the excess liquid by filtering the gruel through gauze.On the other hand, we find tomato sauce in large quantities, and the latter is responsible for many digestive disorders due to its very high acidity.Naturopaths advise limiting the consumption of tomato sauce and the results on digestive well-being are not long in coming.Peel the carrots then slice them into brunoise (small square pieces) using a food processor if possible.For curries, pizzas, pasta, rice, meat, fish … tomato is undoubtedly one of the most used ingredients to accompany dishes in the kitchen.If this is the case, our recommendation is to substitute the tomatoes with other vegetables, cheese, or even extra virgin olive oil.As for ketchup, experienced chefs recommend taking a variety of kebabs or a classic tomato version.If you are going to cook goulash, it is better to replace the tomato paste with hot ketchup, for example, red pepper

Should Cut Up Tomatoes Be Refrigerated

Should Cut Up Tomatoes Be Refrigerated

But the question has made me think back on it, and to be honest, I can remember losing quite a few beautiful summer tomatoes over the years to rapid rot and decomposition, because they were sitting out in sweltering heat.Right now, for example, I'm typing this while sitting in my sweltering apartment, and I'd guess—based on the amount of sweat soaking from my lower back into my chair—that it's at least 90° in here.To answer these questions, I set up a series of experiments that spanned an entire summer and included literally hundreds upon hundreds of tomatoes of different sources, varieties, and quality and ripeness levels, and recruited a small army of blind-tasters to evaluate the results.If your tomatoes have never been refrigerated (i.e., if you grew them yourself or bought them from a farmers market stand you trust, in season):.Remove the stems and store unripe tomatoes upside down on a plate or cutting board at room temperature until they fully ripen.Refrigerate any unconsumed fully ripe tomatoes, but allow them to come to room temperature before serving them.But this is the relevant quote: "Red ripe fruits were stored at 5°C for 1, 3, or 7 d followed by a recovery period of either 1 or 3 d at 20°C, and volatiles were measured.So here’s what you need to know: Leave your tomatoes at room temp for as long as possible, especially if they’re still a little shy of hitting their peak ripeness.And here’s the other thing to know: The refrigerator is not great for tomatoes—it can degrade their texture and dampen their flavor—but it’s far more harmful to lower-quality and underripe tomatoes than it is to truly ripe, delicious ones.I bought several of each variety, selecting similar-looking specimens to minimize variations in ripeness—fairly easy, given that these were all pretty crappy yet highly invariable mass-market fruit.In terms of relative quality, the cherry tomatoes were the best, the plums in the middle, and the standard ones were the worst.To make sure the cold of the refrigerator didn't sway their votes, I let the chilled tomatoes warm up to room temp before proceeding with the tasting.The standard tomatoes, for instance, had turned redder on the counter than they had in the fridge, though the difference was subtle.The plum tomatoes showed a similar effect, with the countertop ones (at left in the photo above) redder than the chilled ones to the right.Here, the refrigerated sample is to the left, with a slightly lighter, less red color, though the difference is just barely visible.The plum tomato showed the most drastic visual difference, with the refrigerated sample appearing more white and grainy in its flesh than the countertop one.The cherry tomatoes showed the least difference, with a just barely perceptible increase in redness in the countertop sample (at left).Well, first, my mom was disqualified because she kept rejecting all the tomatoes, regardless of storage method, while reminiscing about what they used to taste like in the farmlands of Maryland where she grew up in the '40s and '50s.My sister, thankfully, was able to focus on the task at hand—analyzing the relative, not absolute, merits of these tomatoes—and give me her opinion.She found the countertop ones to be more aromatic and sweet, with a better texture, than the refrigerated ones, though she said the differences weren't as apparent with the cherry tomatoes.A tomato that is just fine, but not great, like the plums I bought, can benefit quite a bit from being left out at room temp.So, a day later, I sat my family down again—this time my sister, stepfather, and mother (who, I explained to her, could only participate if she forgot about those mythic Maryland tomatoes and focused on the ones in front of her).Once again, I let the refrigerated tomatoes warm up to room temperature before serving them alongside the countertop ones.And the weirdest thing happened: My sister reversed all her picks from the day before, and consistently selected the refrigerated tomatoes as her favorites this time.One possibility with this initial set of test results is that, because my mom's home was a warmish 75 to 80°F, the heat started to take its toll on my countertop samples once enough time had elapsed.As I've reviewed some tomato literature, this explanation starts to make some sense, though I haven't verified that it's correct.According to this report from the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, firm, ripe tomatoes are best held at anywhere from 44 to 50°F (7 to 10°C), which is higher than fridge temperature but lower than most rooms.But what the studies I've found fail to explore is the effect of even higher temperatures on tomato storage.Given that tomatoes ripen in the summer, the challenge is that we're trying to store them at home during a season characterized by intense heat, and we don't usually have storage conditions in the 44-to-50°F range.This article from Business Insider illustrates my point well: The scientist quoted in the piece, who is recommending that we not refrigerate our tomatoes, casually defines normal kitchen temperature as between 68 and 73°F (20 and 23°C).My first test delivered some surprises, but it was based on just a few varieties of lesser-quality supermarket tomatoes, which left some questions unanswered.In five out of 11 tests, tasters unanimously preferred the refrigerated tomatoes—the countertop tomatoes tasted flat and dull in comparison.Below, you can see the relative merits of counter versus refrigerator storage at the four-day mark on a pair of tomatoes that started out just about equally ripe.If you buy underripe tomatoes, leave them out at room temperature until they're fully ripened, then move them to a cooler spot for longer storage.If you have a wine fridge or cool cellar, store all ripe tomatoes that you can't eat within the first day there.If you don't have a wine fridge or cool cellar, store all ripe tomatoes that you can't eat within the first day in the refrigerator.If you're storing tomatoes in the refrigerator, it may be better to locate them on a top shelf near the door, which is often warmer than the bottom and back of the fridge.If you're the kind of person who can't stand eating fridge-cold tomatoes and doesn't have the time or patience to let them warm back up on the counter, then you've got some tough decisions ahead of you, I'm afraid.Here on the East Coast, I went to the farmers market and bought a large load of both regular red tomatoes and a variety of heirlooms.** My plan was to do one giant blind tasting in the office, with as many people as I could wrangle, and more quantitative measures (as opposed to the strictly qualitative assessments I had done earlier in the summer).Meanwhile, over yonder in the Bay Area, Kenji went and picked his own tomatoes straight from the vine, just to remove any lingering question about the handling practices of the middlemen.When I ran my initial series of tests, it was at the height of summer in New York City, with temperatures well above 80°F (27°C).My whole argument revolved around very hot summertime conditions, and I had made no claim that the refrigerator was equal to or better than temps in the 70s and below.Tasters evaluated the tomatoes on a scale of one to 10 on four criteria: overall preference, flavor, aroma, and texture.Of all the tomatoes in the tasting, all of us (the 10 tasters plus me) agreed, unanimously, that the small yellow tomatoes—the ones that scored highest in the fridge and out—were the best.After 12 rounds, Max had correctly identified the odd tomato six times, which is slightly better than chance.(In a triangle test, random guessing should yield correct answers one-third of the time, which in this case would be four out of the 12 rounds.).What this test shows is that once that knowledge is removed, the differences can be subtle enough that tasters have a very hard time telling refrigerated and countertop tomatoes apart.Out in the Bay Area, Kenji also ran his tests, with tomatoes he picked directly off the vine himself.The fourth person who did the triangle test selected the odd one out incorrectly, but she still picked the refrigerated tomato as her favorite.Science itself has done nothing wrong: It's a beautiful system—the best one we've got—for answering questions about how pretty much everything in the observable universe works.The studies I found didn't examine tomatoes that were picked when fully ripe, and they didn't consider warmer storage temperatures, certainly not above 80°F.But that last step is the problem: The don't-refrigerate wisdom was good throughout the supply chain and kept the tomatoes in the best possible condition, but it doesn't necessarily apply to the retail customer with different storage conditions at home, or to tomatoes that are picked when ripe—conditions that had not been tested in any scientific study I found.Another example of the misuse of science is in this Alton Brown Facebook directive: "Do me a favor: Never put tomatoes in the refrigerator," he implores.How can we possibly draw an actionable conclusion from one single factor in such an intricate system as a tomato?None of my tests, nor Kenji's, are rigorous enough for publication in any kind of scientific journal, but I think we've each had clear enough results that no one should at this point continue to believe that the no-refrigeration rule is always true

Best Tomatoes You Can Get

Best Tomatoes You Can Get

After much slicing, dicing and tasting, our Test Kitchen team found four brands of canned tomatoes that really stood out.The biggest compliment our Test Kitchen can give to a packaged product is to call it almost homemade (our pros know the difference between purchased and from scratch).Of course, our Test Kitchen pros were right on the money: These tomatoes are real San Marzanos canned with a touch of salt and basil.A touch of acid plays well with other veggies in soups like minestrone, while the savory notes are really what makes homemade chili so homey.San Marzano tomatoes are slightly sweet, not too acidic and lend themselves well to flavors like basil and oregano which you’ll find in this marinara recipe.Use canned San Marzano tomatoes in soups, chilis and all sorts of homey dishes where you want to add freshness and a hint of acidity.—Nick Iverson, Milwaukee, Wisconsin I created this dish to fill two pans because these cheeseburger sliders disappear fast.The simple dipping sauce is a perfect match—the ranch balances out the heat of the jalapeno and chipotle peppers—and takes the recipe to the next level.—Angela Spengler, Niceville, Florida Go to Recipe These nacho bites are a fun fusion of Greek appetizers and flavors of the American Southwest.The simple dipping sauce is a perfect match—the ranch balances out the heat of the jalapeno and chipotle peppers—and takes the recipe to the next level.—Angela Spengler, Niceville, Florida Italian Sausage Orzo Soup I always look for recipes high in taste and nutrition but low on prep time and fat.—Renee Murby, Johnston, Rhode Island Go to Recipe The bountiful peppers found at the local farmers market in the early fall, combined with some standard Greek ingredients, create a dish that bursts with color and fresh flavor.—Renee Murby, Johnston, Rhode Island Creamy Avocado Manicotti I am always looking for creative ways to make vegetarian dinners a little different.I grow my own basil, and avocados are a versatile favorite, so this recipe is a fantastic way to make manicotti that's a little unusual.I grow my own basil, and avocados are a versatile favorite, so this recipe is a fantastic way to make manicotti that's a little unusual.—Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas Curried Chicken Cacciatore With a family, full-time load at college and a part-time job, the slow cooker's my best friend when it comes to getting hot and homemade meals like this one on the table.Go to Recipe With a family, full-time load at college and a part-time job, the slow cooker's my best friend when it comes to getting hot and homemade meals like this one on the table.—Sue Schoening, Sheboygan, Wisconsin Go to Recipe This easy skillet dish offers a delicious use for leftover taco meat.—Sue Schoening, Sheboygan, Wisconsin Sausage Tortilla Breakfast Bake This casserole is perfect for a special brunch.You can spice it up by adding cayenne and hot peppers, or mellow it by replacing the tomatoes and green chiles with mild salsa.You can spice it up by adding cayenne and hot peppers, or mellow it by replacing the tomatoes and green chiles with mild salsa.It’s so fun your kids won’t know they’re eating vegetables.—Matthew Hass, Franklin, Wisconsin Go to Recipe Pile the spaghetti squash on top of these Italian-style pulled pork sandwiches so it looks like a haystack.It’s so fun your kids won’t know they’re eating vegetables.—Matthew Hass, Franklin, Wisconsin Taste of Home Cauliflower with Roasted Almond & Pepper Dip This tasty vegetable side dish can set a chilling scene on Halloween if you style it to look like a brain—try adding spiders and spiderwebs to your table setting.The festive orange sauce takes some time, but it tastes incredible.—Lauren Knoelke, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Beef Osso Bucco Treat holiday guests to elegant comfort food at its best.Our osso bucco beef boasts a thick, savory sauce complemented by the addition of gremolata, a chopped herb condiment made of lemon zest, garlic, and parsley.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Greendale, Wisconsin Go to Recipe Treat holiday guests to elegant comfort food at its best.Our osso bucco beef boasts a thick, savory sauce complemented by the addition of gremolata, a chopped herb condiment made of lemon zest, garlic, and parsley.Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan Go to Recipe My son named this "pizza rice" after I threw together a quick dinner from what I had in the fridge and pantry.—Genie Gunn, Asheville, North Carolina Go to Recipe I make this heartwarming stew with pork ribs and hominy often.—Denise Klibert, Shreveport, Louisiana Go to Recipe I updated this chicken and rice dish by adding veggies and cashews to give it fresh and crunchy appeal.—Janie Zirbser, Mullica Hill, New Jersey Go to Recipe Not only are these boats a delightful way to get your veggies, they're basically a one-dish meal that covers all the bases—just grab your favorite garden goodies and add any spices or mix-ins you like.—Janie Zirbser, Mullica Hill, New Jersey Cheesy Fiesta Beef Casserole Over the years I’ve tweaked this recipe to end up with a wonderful, quick weeknight meal.Set out the beef in the slow cooker on warm, along with tortillas, bowls of shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream, and chopped lettuce, jalapenos, onions and tomatoes.Set out the beef in the slow cooker on warm, along with tortillas, bowls of shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream, and chopped lettuce, jalapenos, onions and tomatoes.—Hope Wasylenki, Gahanna, Ohio Taste of Home Sausage Broccoli Simmer A dinner that comes together in one skillet is always a winner.—Brenda Melancon, McComb, Mississippi Go to Recipe I’m originally from Louisiana, where my grandma spoke Cajun French as she taught me her spicy chicken spaghetti.—Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah Go to Recipe I love the tender texture of pork chops made in the slow cooker!—Nick Iverson, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Go to Recipe Tomatoes and red pepper flakes add spicy zing to these saucy eggs.This Hungarian cabbage rolls recipe is one of my favorites.—Katherine Stefanovich, Desert Hot Springs, California Whole Wheat Veggie Pizza A wonderful crust layered with herbed tomato sauce and toppings encourages my family of six to dig right in to this low-fat main course.—Denise Warner, Red Lodge, Montana Go to Recipe A wonderful crust layered with herbed tomato sauce and toppings encourages my family of six to dig right in to this low-fat main course.—Denise Warner, Red Lodge, Montana Mediterranean Turkey Skillet I've always heard that it’s important to eat a rainbow of colors to get all of the nutrients we need.—Raymond Wyatt, West St

Tomatoes Are Very Small

Tomatoes Are Very Small

Small tomato varieties are ideal for urban gardens because they don’t take up much space.Tiny Tim is a compact tomato variety that is ideal for containers or tubs.They’re fast growing and you’ll be able to start harvesting in just 60 days after planting.The plants are indeterminate (climbing), so they’ll need staking and the time to maturity is about 70 days.Golden Nuggets look great on the vine and they’re ideal for salads or snacks.Tumbling Tom tomato plants have a cascading or trailing habit which makes them ideal for hanging baskets.They’ll need consistent watering, especially if they’re located in full sun and you can harvest the small bright red tomatoes in about 70 days.Super Sweet tomato plants begin producing in summer and continue right through until the first frost.The plants are high yielding and produce many clusters of small, sweet tomatoes during the fruiting season.Black Pearl tomatoes are rich in color with a sweet, tangy flavor.The plants grow 5 feet (150 cm) tall and they will need a stake or cage for support.Growing small tomato varieties is fairly simple, even for inexperienced gardeners and kids.You can start your seeds indoors in early spring and transplant them out the garden once the weather has warmed up and there is no more chance of frost.Tomato plants grow best in full sun, so choose a spot that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight each day.You can pick individual tomatoes as you need them or snip off the whole bunch with garden shears or sharp scissors.I hope this article has helped you to choose the best small tomato varieties for your garden

Should Tomatoes Be Refrigerated Or Left On The Counter

Should Tomatoes Be Refrigerated Or Left On The Counter

But the question has made me think back on it, and to be honest, I can remember losing quite a few beautiful summer tomatoes over the years to rapid rot and decomposition, because they were sitting out in sweltering heat.Right now, for example, I'm typing this while sitting in my sweltering apartment, and I'd guess—based on the amount of sweat soaking from my lower back into my chair—that it's at least 90° in here.To answer these questions, I set up a series of experiments that spanned an entire summer and included literally hundreds upon hundreds of tomatoes of different sources, varieties, and quality and ripeness levels, and recruited a small army of blind-tasters to evaluate the results.If your tomatoes have never been refrigerated (i.e., if you grew them yourself or bought them from a farmers market stand you trust, in season):.Remove the stems and store unripe tomatoes upside down on a plate or cutting board at room temperature until they fully ripen.Refrigerate any unconsumed fully ripe tomatoes, but allow them to come to room temperature before serving them.But this is the relevant quote: "Red ripe fruits were stored at 5°C for 1, 3, or 7 d followed by a recovery period of either 1 or 3 d at 20°C, and volatiles were measured.So here’s what you need to know: Leave your tomatoes at room temp for as long as possible, especially if they’re still a little shy of hitting their peak ripeness.And here’s the other thing to know: The refrigerator is not great for tomatoes—it can degrade their texture and dampen their flavor—but it’s far more harmful to lower-quality and underripe tomatoes than it is to truly ripe, delicious ones.I bought several of each variety, selecting similar-looking specimens to minimize variations in ripeness—fairly easy, given that these were all pretty crappy yet highly invariable mass-market fruit.In terms of relative quality, the cherry tomatoes were the best, the plums in the middle, and the standard ones were the worst.To make sure the cold of the refrigerator didn't sway their votes, I let the chilled tomatoes warm up to room temp before proceeding with the tasting.The standard tomatoes, for instance, had turned redder on the counter than they had in the fridge, though the difference was subtle.The plum tomatoes showed a similar effect, with the countertop ones (at left in the photo above) redder than the chilled ones to the right.Here, the refrigerated sample is to the left, with a slightly lighter, less red color, though the difference is just barely visible.The plum tomato showed the most drastic visual difference, with the refrigerated sample appearing more white and grainy in its flesh than the countertop one.The cherry tomatoes showed the least difference, with a just barely perceptible increase in redness in the countertop sample (at left).Well, first, my mom was disqualified because she kept rejecting all the tomatoes, regardless of storage method, while reminiscing about what they used to taste like in the farmlands of Maryland where she grew up in the '40s and '50s.My sister, thankfully, was able to focus on the task at hand—analyzing the relative, not absolute, merits of these tomatoes—and give me her opinion.She found the countertop ones to be more aromatic and sweet, with a better texture, than the refrigerated ones, though she said the differences weren't as apparent with the cherry tomatoes.A tomato that is just fine, but not great, like the plums I bought, can benefit quite a bit from being left out at room temp.So, a day later, I sat my family down again—this time my sister, stepfather, and mother (who, I explained to her, could only participate if she forgot about those mythic Maryland tomatoes and focused on the ones in front of her).Once again, I let the refrigerated tomatoes warm up to room temperature before serving them alongside the countertop ones.And the weirdest thing happened: My sister reversed all her picks from the day before, and consistently selected the refrigerated tomatoes as her favorites this time.One possibility with this initial set of test results is that, because my mom's home was a warmish 75 to 80°F, the heat started to take its toll on my countertop samples once enough time had elapsed.As I've reviewed some tomato literature, this explanation starts to make some sense, though I haven't verified that it's correct.According to this report from the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, firm, ripe tomatoes are best held at anywhere from 44 to 50°F (7 to 10°C), which is higher than fridge temperature but lower than most rooms.But what the studies I've found fail to explore is the effect of even higher temperatures on tomato storage.Given that tomatoes ripen in the summer, the challenge is that we're trying to store them at home during a season characterized by intense heat, and we don't usually have storage conditions in the 44-to-50°F range.This article from Business Insider illustrates my point well: The scientist quoted in the piece, who is recommending that we not refrigerate our tomatoes, casually defines normal kitchen temperature as between 68 and 73°F (20 and 23°C).My first test delivered some surprises, but it was based on just a few varieties of lesser-quality supermarket tomatoes, which left some questions unanswered.In five out of 11 tests, tasters unanimously preferred the refrigerated tomatoes—the countertop tomatoes tasted flat and dull in comparison.Below, you can see the relative merits of counter versus refrigerator storage at the four-day mark on a pair of tomatoes that started out just about equally ripe.If you buy underripe tomatoes, leave them out at room temperature until they're fully ripened, then move them to a cooler spot for longer storage.If you have a wine fridge or cool cellar, store all ripe tomatoes that you can't eat within the first day there.If you don't have a wine fridge or cool cellar, store all ripe tomatoes that you can't eat within the first day in the refrigerator.If you're storing tomatoes in the refrigerator, it may be better to locate them on a top shelf near the door, which is often warmer than the bottom and back of the fridge.If you're the kind of person who can't stand eating fridge-cold tomatoes and doesn't have the time or patience to let them warm back up on the counter, then you've got some tough decisions ahead of you, I'm afraid.Here on the East Coast, I went to the farmers market and bought a large load of both regular red tomatoes and a variety of heirlooms.** My plan was to do one giant blind tasting in the office, with as many people as I could wrangle, and more quantitative measures (as opposed to the strictly qualitative assessments I had done earlier in the summer).Meanwhile, over yonder in the Bay Area, Kenji went and picked his own tomatoes straight from the vine, just to remove any lingering question about the handling practices of the middlemen.When I ran my initial series of tests, it was at the height of summer in New York City, with temperatures well above 80°F (27°C).My whole argument revolved around very hot summertime conditions, and I had made no claim that the refrigerator was equal to or better than temps in the 70s and below.Tasters evaluated the tomatoes on a scale of one to 10 on four criteria: overall preference, flavor, aroma, and texture.Of all the tomatoes in the tasting, all of us (the 10 tasters plus me) agreed, unanimously, that the small yellow tomatoes—the ones that scored highest in the fridge and out—were the best.After 12 rounds, Max had correctly identified the odd tomato six times, which is slightly better than chance.(In a triangle test, random guessing should yield correct answers one-third of the time, which in this case would be four out of the 12 rounds.).What this test shows is that once that knowledge is removed, the differences can be subtle enough that tasters have a very hard time telling refrigerated and countertop tomatoes apart.Out in the Bay Area, Kenji also ran his tests, with tomatoes he picked directly off the vine himself.The fourth person who did the triangle test selected the odd one out incorrectly, but she still picked the refrigerated tomato as her favorite.Science itself has done nothing wrong: It's a beautiful system—the best one we've got—for answering questions about how pretty much everything in the observable universe works.The studies I found didn't examine tomatoes that were picked when fully ripe, and they didn't consider warmer storage temperatures, certainly not above 80°F.But that last step is the problem: The don't-refrigerate wisdom was good throughout the supply chain and kept the tomatoes in the best possible condition, but it doesn't necessarily apply to the retail customer with different storage conditions at home, or to tomatoes that are picked when ripe—conditions that had not been tested in any scientific study I found.Another example of the misuse of science is in this Alton Brown Facebook directive: "Do me a favor: Never put tomatoes in the refrigerator," he implores.How can we possibly draw an actionable conclusion from one single factor in such an intricate system as a tomato?None of my tests, nor Kenji's, are rigorous enough for publication in any kind of scientific journal, but I think we've each had clear enough results that no one should at this point continue to believe that the no-refrigeration rule is always true

Does Sun Dried Tomatoes Go Bad

Does Sun Dried Tomatoes Go Bad

It extends their shelf life significantly and gives them a wonderful texture and flavor that is unique and very tasty.Typically, they are preserved in oil or salted and sometimes with additional herbs, such as rosemary or basil.Generally speaking, tomatoes preserved in oil usually last over a year before their best quality starts to decrease.Never leave them out on the counter or on a windowsill; other than cluttering your kitchen, they’ll deteriorate faster if constantly exposed to light and temperature fluctuations.If your sun-dried tomatoes are in a cellophane bag, you should store them in a cold pantry or a fridge before opening for up to 9 months.Once you have broken the seal on the jar or packet and introduced both air and moisture to the environment, bacteria and mold can start to grow—so you will need to eat your sun-dried tomatoes before they go off.Open containers of sun-dried tomatoes should be kept in the fridge at all times, preferably with a fitted lid or seal to minimize airflow.Ensure that the oil still covers the tomatoes, as this will help repel moisture and keep them fresh for longer.Estimates on how long sun-dried tomatoes last once in the fridge vary; you are likely to find that the first thing that changes is the oil may turn rancid.Although the seal and oil should preserve the tomatoes well, you can increase their chance of lasting by protecting them from variations in surrounding temperature and light exposure.Expiry dates are often intended as guidelines on your food, and most people are aware that – with proper caution – it is not necessarily dangerous to eat things that have expired.Desiccated shells of tomatoes are not worth eating, even if they aren’t off – but the lack of moisture is a sign that they are.Proper storage is the key to extending the shelf-life, which translates to a cool and dark shelf in the pantry, and then some of your valuable fridge space once they have been opened

Will Tomatoes Keep In The Fridge

Will Tomatoes Keep In The Fridge

But the question has made me think back on it, and to be honest, I can remember losing quite a few beautiful summer tomatoes over the years to rapid rot and decomposition, because they were sitting out in sweltering heat.Right now, for example, I'm typing this while sitting in my sweltering apartment, and I'd guess—based on the amount of sweat soaking from my lower back into my chair—that it's at least 90° in here.To answer these questions, I set up a series of experiments that spanned an entire summer and included literally hundreds upon hundreds of tomatoes of different sources, varieties, and quality and ripeness levels, and recruited a small army of blind-tasters to evaluate the results.If your tomatoes have never been refrigerated (i.e., if you grew them yourself or bought them from a farmers market stand you trust, in season):.Remove the stems and store unripe tomatoes upside down on a plate or cutting board at room temperature until they fully ripen.Refrigerate any unconsumed fully ripe tomatoes, but allow them to come to room temperature before serving them.But this is the relevant quote: "Red ripe fruits were stored at 5°C for 1, 3, or 7 d followed by a recovery period of either 1 or 3 d at 20°C, and volatiles were measured.So here’s what you need to know: Leave your tomatoes at room temp for as long as possible, especially if they’re still a little shy of hitting their peak ripeness.And here’s the other thing to know: The refrigerator is not great for tomatoes—it can degrade their texture and dampen their flavor—but it’s far more harmful to lower-quality and underripe tomatoes than it is to truly ripe, delicious ones.I bought several of each variety, selecting similar-looking specimens to minimize variations in ripeness—fairly easy, given that these were all pretty crappy yet highly invariable mass-market fruit.In terms of relative quality, the cherry tomatoes were the best, the plums in the middle, and the standard ones were the worst.To make sure the cold of the refrigerator didn't sway their votes, I let the chilled tomatoes warm up to room temp before proceeding with the tasting.The standard tomatoes, for instance, had turned redder on the counter than they had in the fridge, though the difference was subtle.The plum tomatoes showed a similar effect, with the countertop ones (at left in the photo above) redder than the chilled ones to the right.Here, the refrigerated sample is to the left, with a slightly lighter, less red color, though the difference is just barely visible.The plum tomato showed the most drastic visual difference, with the refrigerated sample appearing more white and grainy in its flesh than the countertop one.The cherry tomatoes showed the least difference, with a just barely perceptible increase in redness in the countertop sample (at left).Well, first, my mom was disqualified because she kept rejecting all the tomatoes, regardless of storage method, while reminiscing about what they used to taste like in the farmlands of Maryland where she grew up in the '40s and '50s.My sister, thankfully, was able to focus on the task at hand—analyzing the relative, not absolute, merits of these tomatoes—and give me her opinion.She found the countertop ones to be more aromatic and sweet, with a better texture, than the refrigerated ones, though she said the differences weren't as apparent with the cherry tomatoes.A tomato that is just fine, but not great, like the plums I bought, can benefit quite a bit from being left out at room temp.So, a day later, I sat my family down again—this time my sister, stepfather, and mother (who, I explained to her, could only participate if she forgot about those mythic Maryland tomatoes and focused on the ones in front of her).Once again, I let the refrigerated tomatoes warm up to room temperature before serving them alongside the countertop ones.And the weirdest thing happened: My sister reversed all her picks from the day before, and consistently selected the refrigerated tomatoes as her favorites this time.One possibility with this initial set of test results is that, because my mom's home was a warmish 75 to 80°F, the heat started to take its toll on my countertop samples once enough time had elapsed.As I've reviewed some tomato literature, this explanation starts to make some sense, though I haven't verified that it's correct.According to this report from the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, firm, ripe tomatoes are best held at anywhere from 44 to 50°F (7 to 10°C), which is higher than fridge temperature but lower than most rooms.But what the studies I've found fail to explore is the effect of even higher temperatures on tomato storage.Given that tomatoes ripen in the summer, the challenge is that we're trying to store them at home during a season characterized by intense heat, and we don't usually have storage conditions in the 44-to-50°F range.This article from Business Insider illustrates my point well: The scientist quoted in the piece, who is recommending that we not refrigerate our tomatoes, casually defines normal kitchen temperature as between 68 and 73°F (20 and 23°C).My first test delivered some surprises, but it was based on just a few varieties of lesser-quality supermarket tomatoes, which left some questions unanswered.In five out of 11 tests, tasters unanimously preferred the refrigerated tomatoes—the countertop tomatoes tasted flat and dull in comparison.Below, you can see the relative merits of counter versus refrigerator storage at the four-day mark on a pair of tomatoes that started out just about equally ripe.If you buy underripe tomatoes, leave them out at room temperature until they're fully ripened, then move them to a cooler spot for longer storage.If you have a wine fridge or cool cellar, store all ripe tomatoes that you can't eat within the first day there.If you don't have a wine fridge or cool cellar, store all ripe tomatoes that you can't eat within the first day in the refrigerator.If you're storing tomatoes in the refrigerator, it may be better to locate them on a top shelf near the door, which is often warmer than the bottom and back of the fridge.If you're the kind of person who can't stand eating fridge-cold tomatoes and doesn't have the time or patience to let them warm back up on the counter, then you've got some tough decisions ahead of you, I'm afraid.Here on the East Coast, I went to the farmers market and bought a large load of both regular red tomatoes and a variety of heirlooms.** My plan was to do one giant blind tasting in the office, with as many people as I could wrangle, and more quantitative measures (as opposed to the strictly qualitative assessments I had done earlier in the summer).Meanwhile, over yonder in the Bay Area, Kenji went and picked his own tomatoes straight from the vine, just to remove any lingering question about the handling practices of the middlemen.When I ran my initial series of tests, it was at the height of summer in New York City, with temperatures well above 80°F (27°C).My whole argument revolved around very hot summertime conditions, and I had made no claim that the refrigerator was equal to or better than temps in the 70s and below.Tasters evaluated the tomatoes on a scale of one to 10 on four criteria: overall preference, flavor, aroma, and texture.Of all the tomatoes in the tasting, all of us (the 10 tasters plus me) agreed, unanimously, that the small yellow tomatoes—the ones that scored highest in the fridge and out—were the best.After 12 rounds, Max had correctly identified the odd tomato six times, which is slightly better than chance.(In a triangle test, random guessing should yield correct answers one-third of the time, which in this case would be four out of the 12 rounds.).What this test shows is that once that knowledge is removed, the differences can be subtle enough that tasters have a very hard time telling refrigerated and countertop tomatoes apart.Out in the Bay Area, Kenji also ran his tests, with tomatoes he picked directly off the vine himself.The fourth person who did the triangle test selected the odd one out incorrectly, but she still picked the refrigerated tomato as her favorite.Science itself has done nothing wrong: It's a beautiful system—the best one we've got—for answering questions about how pretty much everything in the observable universe works.The studies I found didn't examine tomatoes that were picked when fully ripe, and they didn't consider warmer storage temperatures, certainly not above 80°F.But that last step is the problem: The don't-refrigerate wisdom was good throughout the supply chain and kept the tomatoes in the best possible condition, but it doesn't necessarily apply to the retail customer with different storage conditions at home, or to tomatoes that are picked when ripe—conditions that had not been tested in any scientific study I found.Another example of the misuse of science is in this Alton Brown Facebook directive: "Do me a favor: Never put tomatoes in the refrigerator," he implores.How can we possibly draw an actionable conclusion from one single factor in such an intricate system as a tomato?None of my tests, nor Kenji's, are rigorous enough for publication in any kind of scientific journal, but I think we've each had clear enough results that no one should at this point continue to believe that the no-refrigeration rule is always true