Kitchen Myths

Facts and fiction about food and cooking, by Peter Aitken

Tag Archives: tomatoes

Store tomatoes in the fridge for best flavor

Makes sense, right? Cold preserves food and slows down flavor loss for other foods, why not tomatoes? Turns out they’re unusual.

Flavor development in tomatoes depends on enzymatic activity that continues throughout the ripening process, even after picking. Chilling inhibits this process, resulting in less flavor. Chilling – meaning temperatures below about 55 degrees – also can affect the texture in unpleasant ways. Store your ‘maters at room temperature.

Of course, many commercial tomatoes are so tasteless to start with that the deleterious effects of refrigeration won’t be noticed!

You must use a serrated knife to slice ripe tomatoes

You certainly can use a serrated knife for ripe tomatoes, but there’s no need to. If you find yourself always turning to a serrated knife for this task it is probably because your straight-edged knives are not sharp enough. A well-sharpened regular knife will make paper-thin slices from a ripe tomato—in fact, some people use this as a test for a knife’s sharpness.

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