This egg-shaped meaty tomato can is usually found red, though it can also be yellow. It's good for cooking and canning because its water content is relatively low, and it yields lots of thick sauce. Plum tomatoes are also delicious slow-roasted.
2 lb. plum tomatoes (10 to 12) = one 28-ounce can of tomatoes; 1 large tomato (5 oz.) = about 1 cup diced
You can substitute other fresh, meaty tomatoes or canned plum tomatoes.
To remove the core, use a sharp paring knife (a serrated knife works best) to carve a V-shape around it, or scoop it out with a handy gadget called a tomato shark. If your recipe calls for peeling the tomatoes, cut an X in the skin, boil them for a few seconds and then blanch them in ice water; this will loosen the skin and make peeling them much easier. If your recipe calls for removing the seeds, hold a halved tomato over a bowl, squeeze it gently, and work out the seeds with your fingers.
Leave tomatoes at room temperature until you're ready to use them. Refrigeration causes loss of flavor and a mealy texture.