How to pick the perfect tomato: 7 key tips from an experienced farmer

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Everyone loves to have fresh produce in their home since being able to cook healthy meals for ourselves and our families is important.

So, we always want to make sure we’re buying the best produce that is available to us. Especially, when we purchase tomatoes.

Selecting the right juicy tomato can taste even better than candy.

It’s easy to just grab a bunch of tomatoes from the grocery store and be on your way without considering its shape, size or color.

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And if you’re thinking that the farmer’s market is the only place where you can score some quality tomatoes… you are wrong my friend. You can get perfectly delectable tomatoes from your local grocer too.

Here is the ultimate guide on how to select the most delicious tomatoes that you can find.

1) Regardless of where you buy, you have to know what you’re looking for: large tomatoes or small tomatoes

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2) Choose large tomatoes that have deep coloring

According to Kitchn, when shopping for larger tomatoes the most important thing you’ll want to look for is tomatoes that have deep coloring. This color should be even throughout the entire tomato.

3) Avoid red tomatoes with yellow or green patches haven’t been fully ripened on the vine.

Farmer’s will sometimes prematurely pick green tomatoes because they are easier to pack but this compromises the flavor.

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4) Your tomato should have some weight to it and feel firm and dense.

Next, you’ll want to take the tomato and hold it in the palm of your hand without squeezing.

5) Make sure your tomato smells sweet and earthy

If your tomato is lacking a sweet and earthy smell, then it’s likely that it will also lack in flavor. The more pungent your tomato is the tastier it should be.

6) Small tomatoes should be plump and smooth.

Your cherry or grape tomatoes should also have intense and consistent coloring. Make sure they aren’t wrinkled or wilted looking.

You’ll also want to do a sniff test on these as well to make sure they haven’t spoiled.

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7) Finally, the best tomatoes usually come from closer to where YOU live

Foreign tomatoes are picked while they are un-ripened and shipped long distance. Local tomatoes don’t have to be shipped long distance, so they are ripened on the vine which means more flavor.

Not only will they taste better, but more likely than not, they’ll be cheaper too!

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Source: Flickr/Michele Gauger

Now that you’ve chosen the best tomatoes from your grocer or farmer’s market, you’ll want to store them to ensure that they stay tasty and ripe.

The number one rule for storing tomatoes is to NEVER refrigerate your tomatoes.

According to Rodale’s OrganicLife, putting your tomatoes in the refrigerator because this will damage the membranes on the inside of your tomato. This stops the ripening process and loses its fresh flavor. They should be left out on the counter where they will fully ripen.

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featured image credit: HauteNosh

D.G. Sciortino

D.G. is a contributing writer in Shareably. She’s based in Connecticut and can be reached at [email protected]

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