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Jul 25, 2014
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Fact or Fiction: Don’t put tomatoes in the fridge

August 16th 10:08am, 2010

081610_tomatoesWelcome to Fact or Fiction, a new online column in which we dive into the truth behind some well-accepted foodie wives’ tales – and reveal whether they’re fact or fiction.

You shouldn’t store fresh tomatoes in the refrigerator.

Fact. Refrigerating a tomato can result in a fruit that is less flavorful, crisp and aromatic when you take it out. In order for your heirloom tomatoes to truly shine this season, keep them in a paper bag until they ripen. Once they ripen (you’ll know they’re ready when they’re bright in color and slightly soft), store them at room temperature – around 55 degrees Fahrenheit, stem up and not stacked on top of one another (which can cause bruising). In this scorching heat, that means they need to be in air conditioning. If you cut a few too many for that caprese salad, however, sliced tomatoes will need to be kept in the fridge. Just wrap them in plastic wrap, and they’ll stay good in there for a few days – much longer and they, too, will lose their flavor.

Looking for some fresh ways to use your heirlooms this season? Check out our Flawless Flavor feature from the August issue for a few tasty ideas.

By Stacy Schultz

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3 Responses to “Fact or Fiction: Don’t put tomatoes in the fridge”

  1. BeerGuy Says:
    August 16th, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Who has a room temperature of 55°F? Did you mean 75°F?

    And forget about storing cut tomatoes. They loose a significant amount of their aroma and flavor in the first hour they are sliced.

  2. Alanna Says:
    August 16th, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Right, I keep “all” my rooms at a cool 55F, that’s so comfy, so environmentally friendly. Typo?

  3. Stacy Schultz Says:
    August 17th, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Thanks for your comment. No this isn’t a typo, though you do bring up a great point. While the optimal temperature for storing tomatoes is 55 degrees, of course, no one keeps their rooms at this temperature. Chilling them much lower than that can again hinder flavor, texture and juiciness, so keeping them out of the fridge just as close to 55 degrees as possible is best. The normal air conditioned room should be just fine for a few days.

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