Storing Ripe Tomatoes - Knowledgebase Question

San Pedro, CA
Question by Shanfam5
January 11, 1998
After tomatoes have ripened can you, or should you, put them in the refrigerator? Please tell me why or why not.


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Answer from NGA
January 11, 1998

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In cold temperatures, tomatoes convert sugars to starch, so they'll be less flavorful, but if makes the difference between extending your homegrown harvest or purchasing "pink tennisballs" from the grocery, use your fridge. If you have a cool, dark basement or garage, place them one-layer deep on a shelf. If they tomatoes are ripe, keep the area well ventilated, and check them often. Some say room temperature tomatoes are tastier, so if you're storing yours in the refrigerator, take them out an hour or so before eating them.

Burpee offers a few winter storage varieties - 'Red October Hybrid', 'Winter Red Hybrid' and 'Long Keeper' - and they do not require refrigeration to last a long time ('Long Keeper' lasts up to 12 weeks!).

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