How to Store Fresh Tomatoes From Your Garden

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Fresh tomatoes from your garden need to be stored in a very particular way for the best possible results. Find out how to store fresh tomatoes from your garden with help from a true culinary adventurer in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Tomato Salads & Other Recipes
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Video Transcript

Hi there, this is chef Rachelle Boucher from Standards of Excellence, Westar Kitchen and Bath and Florida Builder Appliances. I'm still finding people that think they don't like tomatoes. All right granted there's probably a few of you that maybe really don't, but there's something about a garden fresh tomato that's so different from that tomato that just sat in the grocery store trucked across the country. I think a lot of you know this. So let's talk about how to store your garden fresh tomatoes. First you have to have a garden fresh tomato. I'd love to say these are mine, they're from my friend, Chef Ron. He's incredible. He brought his garden in today. So when you talk about garden fresh tomatoes and how to store them, there's several steps. The first thing is harvesting them. You don't want to just yank these tomatoes off of here. It's really important to have good garden cutters and you want to cut the tomato off. That makes a big difference. If you have the stem on, that's actually going to allow the tomato to live longer off the vine or not over ripen. If you have the tomato where the scar is evident, where that top has been pulled off, you're really going to see a lot quicker ripening, and that's a big deal when you're trying to store them. The next step is really key is washing the tomatoes. If you wash them right away or well before you eat them, that's going to help deteriorate the tomato itself, so it's really important just to wash them right before you eat them. Really key. Now the third thing is refrigeration. Big deal. You don't want to refrigerate your tomatoes. There are some exceptions. But when you refrigerate the tomatoes, they become mushy and that's when people think they don't like tomatoes. And it's not true. You like them, I hope. So the point is is not refrigerating them. Now if you have a tomato like this one, it is really ripe. It's not really spoiled, but you're going to have to refrigerate it. It's really going to become mush, but you'll still be able to use it for sauces or something else. Now also if you cut a tomato or if you make a dish with the tomatoes, cut, that does need to be refrigerated. So a couple exceptions but overall, please don't refrigerate them unless you really need to. Now let me just show you how to store the tomatoes for the best keeping. So you harvested your tomatoes, they're ripe, they're tender, particularly if you grow the heirloom tomatoes, they're really soft. So couple of important things. First of all, if they are open on the top like I talked about this scar, you want to store the tomatoes upside down. But it's also important to have them on something absorbent like a paper towel. You also don't want to pile these in a basket. So if you're out in your garden gathering, you don't want to just gather into a big basket, it's really important. You can also store your tomatoes in an egg carton. And again I like to put them upside down. The egg carton allows them especially if they're not completely ripe, it's going to allow them to ripen a little bit further. So both methods are really good. If the tomato has the stem on it, you can store it straight up. But really important to have them sitting out. Same thing here, I'm going to put this guy over here and this guy the stem is off, so I'll store them there. So having them flat, allowing the air to circulate is going to make a big difference in the life of the tomatoes. So enjoy some of this fresh garden bounty that you have. I hope these tips have helped you learn how to store garden fresh tomatoes.

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