Tomatoes are a total mystery to me. I buy them, I grow them, I eat them, but I can't say that I understand them.
First of all, why is it so hard to get a good tasting tomato in the middle of winter in Michigan? I know some tomatoes are imported from warmer places and some are grown in green houses. Unless they're labeled, I usually can't tell the difference. Neither one has much flavor and they're usually mushy.
Next, I just don't understand what to do with them. Whether it's February and I'm getting the flavorless ones from the produce department, or the middle of July and I'm harvesting fresh tomatoes from my garden, I've always followed the conventional wisdom that you should not refrigerate an uncut tomato. So I don't. I leave them sitting on the counter. This poses two problems. Number one, I like tomatoes to be cold (I don't care that someone, somewhere says they're more flavorful at room temp.). Number two, they go bad rapidly. RAPIDLY!
My mom recently gave me some extra grape tomatoes she didn't want. She had kept them in the refrigerator, so I refrigerated them when I brought them home. The next day I took them out to put them in a salad. Here is what they looked like:
On the flip side, I picked up a nice looking hot house tomato from the supermarket a day or so later. I left it on the counter overnight. The next day it looked like this:
So which is it, refrigerate or not? I just don't know. I guess the best choice is to buy them and eat them the same day or wait until summer and pick them fresh moments before I need them. Or stop eating tomatoes.
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