How to Pick a Great Tomato

by Anne Maxfield on October 28, 2010

Accidental Locavore Tomato Close UpHow to Pick a Great Tomato:

  • Tomatoes should give just a little when you pick them up.
  • Not too firm but definitely not mushy.
  • No black spots, or torn skin (unless you’re going to eat them immediately). If there are blemishes or bumps, especially at the top, that’s usually fine, just cosmetic.
  • Smell them, do they smell like a tomato?

If they’re not really ripe you can just keep them out on the counter stem side down, and/or wrap them in a piece of newspaper.

NEVER refrigerate them, it kills the flavor.

As for colors, try one of each, see what you like, and go for those the next time. Some of my favorites are German Stripe (yellow w/red stripes large and very fragile skins, very sweet and probably out of season now), Purple Cherokee (dark purple almost brown, great flavor) and Green Zebra (smaller green w/green stripes, tart taste a little citrus). If you’re at a greenmarket or farmstand, tell the farmer what tastes you like, and see what they recommend. They’re usually happy to make suggestions.

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