are the tomatoes sold in the supermarkets sometimes pale and hard?
Fresh tomatoes sold in the
supermarkets are firm and not completely
ripe because they're usually shipped long distances from the growing
area to the supermarket. If they were fully ripened they would bruise
easily, even under highly controlled conditions. But tomatoes will become
a bright red color, soften slightly, and develop good flavor and aroma if
kept for a few days at room temperature, between 55 and 70 degrees F.
2. How should tomatoes be ripened?
Just keep them on the kitchen counter. Cold also give tomatoes
a mealy unpleasant texture.
3. Why shouldn't tomatoes be
refrigerated? Cold stops tomatoes' ripening process and kills their flavor.
Once fully ripe, a tomato can be refrigerated, but only for a few days, any
longer results in flavor deterioration.
4. How many tomatoes are in
a pound? One pound of tomatoes equals about 2 large or 3 medium-sized
5. What is the yield from one
pound of tomatoes? One pound will yield about 2 1/2 cups chopped, 3 cups
wedged and 3 cups sliced tomatoes.
6. Is the tomato a vegetable
or a fruit? Botanically speaking, tomatoes are the fruit of the vine.
In 1893, however, the United States Supreme Court ruled that because the tomato
was used as a vegetable - eaten with the main part of the meal instead of
at the end - it should be legally classified as such, and therefore be subject
to the same tariffs as other vegetables when imported.
7. Are tomatoes nutritious?
Tomatoes are overflowing with good nutrition. One medium sized tomato provides
about one half of our recommended daily allowance for vitamin
C, and 20 percent of our vitamin A needs, along with fiber, carbohydrate,
potassium and iron. Tomatoes are also low in fat and sodium. BUT THE BIGGER
NUTRITION NEWS today is that tomatoes also contain a compound called lycopene,
which has been shown to reduce prostate cancer in men who eat at least 10
servings a week of tomatoes and tomato based foods.
8. How do I microwave tomatoes?
Core and halve tomatoes; season and dot with butter. Microwave on HIGH (100%
power) 3 to 4 minutes for four halves; 5 to 6 minutes for six to eight halves.
9. What's the technique for
roasting tomatoes? To roast tomatoes, cut in halves and gently squeeze
to remove seeds. Place cut side down in a pan; brush with oil. Roast at 425
degrees for 30 minutes; peel.
10. What are some quick ideas
for adding fresh tomatoes to meals? - Dip thick slices of tomatoes in
cornmeal seasoned with chili powder; sauté briefly until golden. - Include
fresh tomato wedges in Oriental stir-frys for added color and taste. - Top
thick slices of red ripe tomatoes with tuna or shrimp salad. - Place slices
on English muffin halves; top with hot pepper Monterey Jack cheese; broil
or microwave until cheese melts.
© 2002 Florida Tomato