Ahhhhhhhh…fresh tomatoes! Nothing like ‘em. From soul-soothing bowls of steaming tomato soup, to piled-high sandwiches made with juicy sliced tomatoes; it’s no wonder why tomatoes are superstars.
And, now available, our sweet lil’ grape tomatoes—the oblong brethren of cherry tomatoes—will make you smile with their bite-size shape and tangy flavor. More durable than cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes have a hardier skin and longer shelf life. Not just for salads—try them in a variety of your favorite, soups, flat bread pizzas, chilies and pasta dishes.
Care & Handling
Never buy tomatoes from a refrigerated case as the cold temperature damages the tomatoes. Look for plump, heavy tomatoes with smooth skins. They should be free of bruises, blemishes, or deep cracks, although fine cracks at the stem ends of ripe tomatoes do not affect flavor. If greenhouse tomatoes still have their leaves, check that they are fresh and green.
Room temperature (above 55°F) is best for storing tomatoes; do not 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. Be sure to arrange them in the bag stem-side up to prevent bruising. Keep the tomatoes out of sunlight as they will overheat and ripen unevenly. Once the tomatoes are red and yield to the touch, they will keep for a day or two at room temperature. Should you need to hold them longer, refrigerate them; if they'll fit, place them in the butter compartment, which is the warmest part of the refrigerator. For full flavor, let the tomatoes come back to room temperature before you serve them.
Wash tomatoes gently in cold water before serving. To cut tomato slices for a salad or sandwich, stand the tomato upright and cut from top to bottom--the slices will retain their juices better than slices cut from side to side. Add sliced tomatoes to salads and sandwiches at the last minute because they begin to release their juices as soon as they are cut; contact with salty condiments or dressings will draw out more juice.
Nutrition & Health Benefits:
Fresh tomatoes are a delicious source of vitamin C and are one of the best sources of lycopene. Preliminary research suggests that lycopene may fight heart disease and cancer, as well. Tomatoes are also a good source of vitamin A and potassium.