How to Stop Tomatoes From Spoiling

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Tomatoes don't have to spoil so long as you keep a few important things in mind. Learn how to stop tomatoes from spoiling 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

Hello everyone, this is Chef Rachelle Boucher, from Standards of Excellence, Westar Kitchen and Bath, and Florida Builder Appliances. It is tomato mania right now, and I wanna show you how to prevent tomatoes from spoiling. They all come in at about the same time, and you end up with a lot of tomatoes. So let me show you a few tips. The first important thing is how you harvest or pick a tomato, even if it's in the grocery store. You wanna look for tomatoes with the stem part on. Not necessarily the whole stem, but at least this much. So, when you're harvesting, you wanna cut them, rather than pulling them off. If you can see the visible scar, which from pulling the tomato off, that makes a tomato more vulnerable to molding. So another thing I'll show you is how to store them, that's really important. Now when you take the tomatoes from either the farmer's market, especially these heirlooms, or from the, from the grocery store, excuse me, you don't wanna pile them up. So I actually get a half case, or a flat box, and lay them out in that. That's a big deal is how you transport them. And then, when you get them home, don't wash them. Water right away is going to deteriorate that tomato. You wanna wash them right before you use them. And then storage. You wanna make sure that you're storing the tomatoes either on like a egg crate, something like this where you're really getting some air, or on a towel or paper towel covered plate. And again, if you have the stem on, you can store the tomato up. If the stem is gone, and the scar is visible, you wanna make sure to store the tomatoes down. And we'll talk about refrigeration in just a minute. So, a couple of sort of damaged tomatoes here around the good ones. I've got this tomato, it's really ripe, it's kind of split open, I'm certainly not gonna throw that away. I'll wash this really well, cut that area away for sure, and then use it to cook down for sauce or something else. Now this tomatoes quite dried out. It's really been, it's really, the outside is withered quite a bit, but otherwise, it's pretty good. That one will need to be, it can be cut away, or again, saved for sauce. Over here, you're gonna see some mold. Now tomatoes are not as much in danger of bacteria, because they have a high acid, but they are in danger of mold, and especially these fabulous heirloom tomatoes, they can tend to have real scarring on them, and that's the way they're supposed to be. But when you're purchasing or growing, you've gotta look for that mold area. Again, you're just gonna cut that away, and you'll use it, but they can't sit out with the other ones. You wanna remove these tomatoes from all of your good ones, or they will help them spoil. Another important thing is you don't wanna have these with other fruits and vegetables. Other fruits and vegetables will ripen one another from off-gassing. So, good points to know. So most people know the tomato is not completely ripe, you do wanna leave it out on the counter, hopefully in one of my storage ways, so that it continues to ripen. But I don't think that everybody knows that refrigeration is not good for tomatoes across the board. If you take a nice tomato, especially one that you spent a lot of money or grew all summer, you put it in the fridge, it's going to deteriorate inside, become mushy, and then people think they don't like tomatoes. So, bad thing. But what you can do, I mean, there are times when you do need to refrigerate tomatoes. If they're like these ones that I've shown where they're a little bit too ripe, or you've gotta kind of cut away, or else you've cut them into a salad or another dish, you are gonna have to refrigerate, but it is an exception rather than the rule. The rule is please leave them out as long as you can, and wash them the last minute and then eat them fresh. So, the other point too in refrigeration, is you wanna store tomatoes in a lower humidity. Higher humidity is going to encourage mold. So, I hope that these tips help you get more savvy with how you prevent tomatoes from spoiling.

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