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TIP OF THE DAY: Ripen Tomatoes The Right Way

Keep ‘em on the counter. Photo by
Nathalie Dulex | SXC.

Never put tomatoes in the refrigerator: The cold kills their delicate flavor. If you’ve used half a tomato, it’s better to keep the other half covered in plastic wrap on the counter and consume it the following day.

Tomato Ripening Tips

  • You can ripen tomatoes on the counter, but they’ll ripen faster on a sunny windowsill.
  • To ripen tomatoes quickly, place them in a paper bag, which traps the ethylene gas emitted by the tomatoes (this technique works for all fruits that ripen—bananas, peaches, pears and plums, e.g.). Monitor the fruit daily because it can go from rock hard to overripe in a few days.
  • Apples produce an unusually large amount of ethylene, so you can add an apple to the bag to speed ripening.
Note that it’s important to store apples apart from green vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and leafy greens—their qualities can be affected by the ethylene gas. That’s why there are separate fruit and vegetable bins in the refrigerator.


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