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Tomatoes won’t 'over-ripen or spoil' with storage hack that keeps them perfectly ripe

Tomatoes have a limited time to be consumed and yet few people consider how to make them last longer.

The red fruits, particularly those purchased loose off the vine, tend to turn watery and tasteless when they pass their peak.

Luckily the delicious sweet juice and crunchy skin are easy to preserve for longer with the right storage method.

Speaking previously to Express.co.uk, Sophie Nahmad, Chef at Gousto, shared her foolproof method to keep tomatoes looking, and tasting their best.

Sophie explained that the first thing to consider when choosing where to keep tomatoes “depends a lot on what the weather is up to outside”.

She continued: “If it is warm, you’re better off storing tomatoes in the fridge, as unless you plan to eat them immediately, they’ll over-ripen and spoil very fast.

“If it’s a little cooler outside, keep them in a fruit bowl. This makes sure they’re at their tastiest, as storing them in the fridge stops ripening and affects taste and aroma.”

Tomatoes that aren’t needed straight away can be kept in the fridge to preserve the ripening process. But be sure to remove them a day before eating to allow some of that natural juiciness to deepen in a warmer environment.

Popping them in a bag with a banana “just for an afternoon” can work wonders on this front, said Sophie, though she warned that the inverse is true too.

It’s important to separate tomatoes from certain foods, however, as they can speed up ripening much too quickly.

This is due to ethylene gas, which bananas and apples are particularly high in. “As a rule of thumb, bananas, apples, mangos, and avocados should all be kept away from tomatoes to stop over-ripening,” said Sophie. She added: “But also remember that tomatoes produce some ethylene gas themselves.”

Tomatoes should also be stored away from ethylene-sensitive foods like fresh herbs, cucumbers, and asparagus to avoid spoiling those too.

As for whether smaller tomatoes, like cherry or plum tomatoes, decay quicker than salad tomatoes or beef, smaller varieties are the ones to watch.

This is because larger fruits take longer to reach the green (mature) stage, which is needed to progress to the red stage.

“Sometimes though, I’ve found that cherry and plum tomatoes last longer because they don’t damage as easily in their packaging”, noted Sophie.

As for what someone can do if their tomatoes are too ripe, or have gone mushy, the chef said: “We love creating scrumptious recipes at Gousto that use up over-ripened ingredients – the challenge makes it all the more fun.

“An easy go-to for over-ripened tomatoes is a fresh tomato sauce or chutney, but over-ripe tomatoes are also perfect for a zingy, cooling Gazpacho.”


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