Tomatoes ripen best on the vine when the temperature stays around 75 degrees
Tomatoes are probably the most popular garden vegetable in America, with 93% of American gardeners growing their own tomatoes. And yes, tomatoes are technically classified as fruit because they contain seeds and grow from the flower of the tomato plant.
Tomatoes are the greatest dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and even cancer. Tomatoes also contain potassium, vitamin B, vitamin E, and fiber.
Each year, the small Spanish town of BuÃ±ol hosts the world’s biggest food fight when 40,000 people throw 150,000 tomatoes.
Certainly, at the end of the season, when the tomato plants do not stop producing, one is tempted to throw the tomatoes away. Especially the green ones.
You can, of course, eat the green tomatoes while they are green in salsas, chutneys, and even baked like eggplant in green tomato parmesan. Pickled green tomatoes are slightly sweet, but tangy and spicy, much like bread and butter pickles. Or you can cook all your green tomatoes in the famous Fried Green Tomatoes, where slices of green tomatoes are coated with egg and flour, cornmeal and breadcrumbs, then crispy fries.
Tomatoes ripen best on the vine when the temperature stays around 75 degrees.
But ripening tomatoes from the vine is a trick that most gardeners learn by chance. A common misconception about ripening tomatoes off the vine is that you need a lot of light, although sunlight isn’t actually necessary. Tomatoes give off a gas called ethylene which helps them ripen. Apples also give off ethylene, so you can store unripe tomatoes with apples to make them ripen faster.
Just keep the tomatoes at room temperature and don’t expose them to direct sunlight. Store them in a breathable container such as a cardboard box or paper bag.
Avoid storing tomatoes in plastic bags or sealed containers, as they can trap too much moisture and cause tomatoes to rot.
Do not refrigerate unripe tomatoes, as temperatures below 50 degrees will kill ripening enzymes and slow down the ripening process. Refrigeration decreases the flavor and overall quality of even red and ripe tomatoes. Cold temperatures change the texture of the tomato, breaking up the membranes inside the walls of the fruit and making the flesh floury.
Even when the fall gets cooler, keep your tomato plants well watered. It can help prevent common tomato diseases, including blossom end rot and even blight. If your plants are going from wet to dry, they are susceptible to blossom end rot, which is related to calcium levels. During periods of low water, tomato plants may not be able to absorb enough calcium from the soil.
So, bring your unripe green tomatoes into the house and keep them out of direct sunlight, and soon you will have succulent ripe tomatoes to eat on sandwiches, or toss into salads, then one. to others.