WHAT IS A PLUM TOMATO?
This popular Italian fruit is a member of the berry family. Red in color, it has a similar oval shape as the stone fruit it’s named after. Plum tomatoes have less seeds then many other tomato varieties, resulting in more flesh per ounce. Tomato afficianados refer to this as being “meaty.” This makes plum tomatoes a popular choice for industrial sauce and canning applications. The smaller version of this fruit has the same egg shape and is called a grape tomato.
WHY ARE PLUM TOMATOES GOOD FOR YOU?
Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene. This antioxidant is a pigment that gives many fruits and vegetables their red color. What’s interesting about tomatoes in particular is that the amount of lycopene in this fruit increases when they’re cooked and is more easily absorbed by your stomach. Tomatoes have one of the highest lycopene quantities in food, beaten only by watermelon and guavas. Also rich in vitamins and essential mineral like potassium,
WHEN ARE PLUM TOMATOES IN SEASON?
They are a late Spring through early Fall harvest, so May through October in the northern hemisphere.
HOW SHOULD PLUM TOMATOES BE STORED?
If you buy unripened tomatoes, do not refrigerate them. Store them in your home at room temperature while they’re still ripening. But make sure to remove the stem and place them upside down. Remember that as they continue to ripen, tomatoes will bruise more easily (if you stack them up). Once your red fruits / vegetables / whatever have ripened, store them in your refrigerator (to slow their descent into spoilage). Also keep your tomatoes out of direct sunlight.
WHAT IS THE PROPER WAY TO CONCASSER A TOMATO?
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DOES STORING MY TOMATO IN A PAPER BAG REALLY ACCELERATE RIPENING?
So there is a little bit of confusion on this topic. Just to be clear, a tomato has two stages of maturation. The first is cell division and the second is when the cells stop dividing and start growing. Tomatoes that are picked too early (are still in the first stage) don’t ripen off the vine. Ones picked after this breaker stage will. As the tomato ripens it releases more simple sugars (making the tomato sweeter) and slowly softens its flesh. And fruits like tomatoes emit a lot of ethylene (plant hormone) gas. So yes, placing a plum tomato that hasn’t been picked too early in a porous paper bag (not plastic) will accelerate maturation. However you need to remove this fruit once it has hit its peak. Otherwise the tomato will continue its rapid descent into spoilage.