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How-To

How to Store Tomatoes at Room Temperature

Fine Cooking Issue 112
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Fresh vine-ripened tomatoes are one of the summer’s chief pleasures. To keep them tasting their best, don’t refrigerate them unless they’re about to spoil. Refrigeration shuts down flavor-producing enzyme activity and causes a mealy texture. (Refrigerated tomatoes can recover some of their flavor enzyme activity if left at room temperature for a day or two before using.)

To store a cut tomato, cover the cut side with plastic wrap, pulling it taut over the cut side and wrapping it loosely around the uncut sides of the tomato. Put the tomato cut side down on a small plate; it’ll keep at room temperature for up to two days.

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  • cinmyrs | 07/24/2018

    "Room temperature" in my house in the summer is around 80 degrees. Every year there are times when I can't keep up with my garden's production and I have to throw a lot of rotting tomatoes away. A couple of years ago I purchased a small wine refrigerator, which can be set to higher temps than a regular refrigerator. I keep my home grown tomatoes at about 60 degrees and I am able to keep them fresh much longer.

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