The Q&A Archives: Cores Of Hothouse Tomatoes Hard

Question: When I buy hothouse or hydroponic tomatoes from our local stores, I discover that part of the cores seems hard. Regular "salad" tomatoes or vine-ripened ones don't seem to have that problem. I'm just curious. The hydroponic/hothouse ones are great tasting (and seem ripe), but they just have that hard core that I cut out as if I were coring an apple.

Answer: It's possible that it has to do with the variety, though I have not heard of this problem before. There are a number of tomato varieties that have been bred for greenhouse cultivation, and perhaps this is a characteristic of the ones you've been tasting. It's also possible that it has something to do with inadequate pollination. Tomatoes are self-pollinating, but they rely on a breeze to gently shake the plants so the pollen is transferred. Perhaps, because the tomatoes are growing in a greenhouse, they aren't getting enough of a breeze to provide for complete pollination. Other than that, I can't thing of any other reason.

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