Ripening Of Pepers And Tomatoes - Knowledgebase Question

Bridgewater, NJ
Question by rjohaire
August 21, 2000
Am I correct in assuming that my bell pepers will be ripe when they turn red. Or is there a size/firmness they should become?
Also, I pick my tomatoes when they are look red. My wife complains they are too hard. Am I too anxious and picking them too early?

Answer from NGA
August 21, 2000


Most peppers technically ripen to red but can be eaten before then, such as the traditional sweet "green pepper" we enjoy in salads. Since the flavor changes as they ripen, let taste be your guide.

If you pick tomatoes too soon, they will be hard. Tomatoes ripen to a variety of shades of red (or yellow as the case may be) depending on variety. Some are deep red, some are fire engine red, and some are a bit pink when ripe. They should be juicy inside and slightly soft to the touch yet still firm. When truly ripe and approaching overripe they will just about fall off in your hand. When fully ripe they also taste their best.

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