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Apr 24, 2007 04:12 PM

Storing tomatoes

When I use half a tomato, I usually wrap it up and put it in the fridge. (I never store whole tomatoes in the fridge.) Could I leave a leftover half on the counter?

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  1. I keep cut tomatoes on the counter for a day or so (cut-side down on a plate). Longer than that, and it needs to go in the fridge.

    1. Very preferably on the counter, cut side sealed up. The flavor of raw tomatoes deteriorates significantly under 55F, and it's rarely worth keeping them in the frig unless you want them for visual rather than flavor appeal.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Karl S

        I usually just put the cut side on a plate and leave it out for a day or too. If it's gone past that and still around, I stick in in the fridge where mostly it then ends up getting thrown out, but if I'm making a stew or something, I'll cut it up and throw it in.

        1. re: Karl S

          Yep, Karl S. is right. Storing tomatoes in the frig (glad to hear lauren doesn't do this!) permanently shuts down their major flavor component, z-3 dexenel. The cold also changes the molecular structure of the tomato so it becomes mushy. Not that it's a big deal, but leave the half-tomato out, cut-side down, wrapped with plastic. Use it the next day in something or as a snack.

          1. re: rworange

            Thanks! That's very helpful.

            Why don't I just eat it? Well, if I just ate everything leftover just to not have to deal with the leftovers..... I'd have an empty kitchen and a broken scale!

          2. Why not just eat it? It's not like eating more tomato has lead to heart disease or cancer...