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Tomatoes how do you like them?

chef chicklet Jul 13, 2007 10:11 AM

I love tomatoes and sometimes yes I like them cold. BUT, only on certain HOT food items (please note) just pizza or enchiladas, or a few cold ones dropped into a soup. More for the temperature and texture pleasure, not the flavor. Room temperature salads like a beautiful Caprese, would not be the same with a chilled tomato, now would it?

I love them both ways chilled, and room temperature. I'm sure that there are allot of opinions and yes they probably do lose some flavor, but my question is, "Are you willing to sacrifice the coldness factor for a little flavor?" Or is there absolutely no way, EVER a chance that you will you eat a chilly tomato.

This is NOT to be confused with the horrid, cold packed tomatoes that we all have seen in stores everywhere when its not tomato season. You know, those pale things that go for around $1.89 lb that they label "tomato". Like most of you, I always pass on those, and wait for vine ripened (and even those can be iffy) and or wait for the glorious tomato season.

Yes I know the tomato should not be stored below, 50 F, However, if it is merely for a couple of days, I don't notice any huge difference. So CH what do you like with your fresh tomatoes and how do you feel about the chill issue.
And what is your very favorite way to use them?

Sharon

  1. o
    Oh Robin Jul 13, 2007 10:36 AM

    I love a tomato sandwich like I used to eat in Japan. Soft white bread, mayo, salt & pepper. Yum.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Oh Robin
      chef chicklet Jul 13, 2007 10:55 AM

      Sounds perfectly lovely....

      1. re: chef chicklet
        FoodWine Jul 15, 2007 07:01 PM

        My version of the tomato sandwich is (good quality) tomatoes, sliced on top of Finnish dark, sour rye bread (no one bakes it like the Finns), with a little mild cheese on the bread. A light sprinkling of white pepper, herbal salt -and maybe fresh tiny bits of scallion (picked from the garden) on top of the tomato slices. Heaven.

        Or, Scandinavian new potatoes (the tiny, tender ones), herring & fresh locally grown tomatoes. Perfect meal.

        - I love tomatoes. I eat them any way they come. Raw, cold, room temperature, warm, hot, cooked -any way.

        I make all my tomato-sauces from scratch, of course.

      2. re: Oh Robin
        mrbozo Jul 13, 2007 11:12 AM

        I prefer my tomatoes warm off the vine with a dash of sea salt after each bite.

        I like the sandwich you described but my favourite is tomato, aged provolone, and Vidalia onion between a sliced length of fresh baguette.

        I also like a salad of tomato, bocconcini and torn fresh basil, drizzled with EVOO.

        1. re: Oh Robin
          c
          cackalackie Jul 13, 2007 12:19 PM

          Just like we eat them in the South! Perfection........

        2. d
          dtud Jul 13, 2007 10:58 AM

          i like my tomatoes room temperature. i love to just cut them up in round slices and sprinkle w/whatever cheese i have on hand - blue, goat, parm, etc. - drizzle with some balsamic and crack some salt & pepper. perfect. i also love fresh basil with them as well.

          1. c
            coombe Jul 13, 2007 11:19 AM

            I must confess that the "chill" is not the issue with me. I rarely find a tomato I like - they've got to be ripe but very firm with lots of sweetish flavour and then they can be whatever temperature they want. Anything else.... can't eat it, especially if the skins are hard and the inside soft.

            1 Reply
            1. re: coombe
              widehomehi Jul 13, 2007 11:36 AM

              Tomatoes are great if there out of a home garden or local farmers that just grow from good dirt but the rest are blechy.My grandpa grew vegis and those tomatoes fresh out of his garden were not comparable to anything any company could mass produce.Tomatoes in general are tasteless these days I even remember back in the 70's tomatoes from a store we're mostly pretty good now there mostly plain and are something that resembles a tomato but not a true tomato.It kind of reminds me of the difference between farm raised salmon and fresh wild salmon.There's just no comparison at all.The large companies will use whatever strain they can get by with thats the toughest and easiest to grow overall,with the simplest method,that will suit the general pallet.I think they figure most people have forgotten what a real tomato tastes like so we'll just put a new spin on junk and sell if for 5 times more than it's worth.Some organics ok but too expensive.
              I love tomatoes in Greek salads the best.

            2. puppymomma Jul 13, 2007 11:54 AM

              I have to admit that I love tomatoes sans seeds! I love BLT's, salads with lots of tomato (though thin slices or small pieces), sauteed in omlettes, thin sliced with mozarella and basil, and probably other ways I can't think of. But they can't have lots of seeds. A few are okay. That means that cherry tomatoes are out! I don't like biting into them and getting a squirt of seeds. What can I say? :)

              Of course, I love them cooked too. But I don't get to use them too often because my husband doesn't like chunks of tomato in anything. They have to be pureed.

              His dad was a farmer and would salt them and slap on a big hunk of mayo.

              Meryl
              http://theoccasionalcook.blogspot.com/

              1. THenderson Jul 13, 2007 12:33 PM

                hmm..."I say to-may-to, you say tom-ah-to"
                Oh...well, I think tomatoes are good in so many ways, I'll not bore you with the details.
                But, in general, a good heirloom / homegrown tomato is good as is - - only to be improved imo by a little mayo, s&p. As far as temp goes...love diced ones on burritos, enchiladas, nachos etc. the same temp I like my lettuce on these dishes - cold. Gasp...

                1. s
                  slacker Jul 13, 2007 12:36 PM

                  Heirloom, from the farmer's market. Room Temperature. Sliced on a plate. That's it. No olive oil, no salt and pepper, no basil. Just pure unadulterated beautiful tomatoes.

                  1. e
                    eat_well Jul 13, 2007 12:58 PM

                    I like them homegrown or not at all! My tomato sandwich consists of as many tomato slices as I can fit on a toasted croissant, drizzled with EVOO and topped with salt & pepper. Yum! My favorite salad with tomato is my "BLAT salad". It has bacon, lettuce (crisp, bland iceberg) tomatoes, and avocado. Bacon, tomatoes and avocadoes make such lovely harmony together!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: eat_well
                      THenderson Jul 13, 2007 01:03 PM

                      oh you are so right about that bacon, tomato and avo combination, really perfect - - and isnt' it funny how with some things...only iceberg will do?

                      1. re: eat_well
                        g
                        GoodFoodGal Jul 19, 2007 05:29 PM

                        eat well,

                        BLAT -- sounds great! Will have to try that!

                      2. ArikaDawn Jul 13, 2007 01:14 PM

                        I will eat them in anything. I am a bit of a tomato fiend and enjoy them hot, cold, and anywhere in between. I had tomatoes and capers in my omelet last night, will be having mussels in a chunky marinara at one of my fave restaurants this evening, and inevitably they will turn up somewhere tommorrow in one of my meals. One of my favorite things is a big homegrown tomato chilled *GASP* and then sliced and salted. Yummy!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ArikaDawn
                          chef chicklet Jul 13, 2007 01:42 PM

                          I know exactly what you mean. A whole beautiful and chilled tomato all to myself, sea salt ready to go with each bite.

                          I also love to throw them in a wonderfully executed Alfredo sauce, just because...

                        2. amymsmom Jul 13, 2007 02:57 PM

                          In season, any temperature, sprinkled with "Jane's Crazy Mixed Up Salt". That's actually my salt of choice, though I just bought coarse sea salt from Penzey's - should have gotten fine.

                          Out of season, I eat cherry and grape tomatoes like grapes - just pop them in my mouth.

                          I make a tomato salad with chopped drained tomatoes, chopped onion, sliced garlic and whatever italian herbs I have around. I use fresh from my garden in season - have basil, oregano and sometimes parsley. Season with red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, vinegar and a little EVOO (I keep it very low calorie).

                          I made my last batch with in-season grape tomatoes - the most amazing batch ever!

                          1. chef chicklet Jul 13, 2007 03:02 PM

                            http://www.leitesculinaria.com/recipe...

                            And so here is a beautiful summer tomato salad. The tomato probably the most beautiful and tasty (fruit) vegetables that is so versatile, widely used and difficult to maintain its freshness, Pretty as a picture.

                            1. DockPotato Jul 14, 2007 01:25 PM

                              In the 50's I was a youngster on the family farm - field tomatoes were our principal crop. I loved tomatoes then and still do. IMO the only way to truly experience a tomato is sun-warm and fresh off the vine -. no knife or anything - just bite it. The set of the tomato makes a difference. A ripe tomato of the first set tasted best to me - it had to be all red with a bit of green highlight on the shoulders. Inside was gooey-firm, again with faint hints of green. It was sweet, yet tart, and the flavour had the smell of the tomato plant itself. That flavour dies very quickly and I fear very few people experience it.

                              Subsequent fruit sets became sweet, sugary, less gelatinous, and gradually lost the tang. Just as good, but different.

                              Essex county operators do a decent job and get me through the spring. A good hothouse tomato is okay until my plants bear. Today and last week, however, I bought some "hoop-house" tomatoes from a local produce stall. These are not industrial fruit, but are produced in real dirt under cloches, not hydroponically.

                              The quality is past midway between a good hothouse or field tomato.

                              1. chelleyd01 Jul 14, 2007 02:58 PM

                                I like grape tomatoes, halved and into the oven on 200 for an hour or 2 to really intensify the sweetness.

                                I like summer tomatoes, off the vine with a little mayo on golden wheat bread, sea salt and pepper.

                                I like eeehhhh tomatoes roasted in the oven as I do with the grape ones, added to alfredo, smeared on good bread with balsamic drizzle or added to fajitas.

                                NOTHING beats a cherry tomato, still warm from the sun, picked right now and eaten, dirt and all. Ahhhhhhhhh, summah!

                                1. s
                                  ScarletB Jul 14, 2007 08:36 PM

                                  I love tomatoes so much and I just wait all year for summer, mainly for tomatoes (and berries). We have so many green tomatoes in the garden, I just salivate every time I look at them!

                                  My favorite ways to eat tomatoes are: in BLTs with basil mayo, on good bread spread with brie and sprinkled with salt and pepper (perfect for picnics!), and tomato bread salad. I like them lots of other ways like slow-roasted, in orzo or pasta salad, etc., but those three are my favorite.

                                  I've never really had them chilled as I was always told they get mealy and lose flavor in the fridge.

                                  1. QueenB Jul 15, 2007 07:08 AM

                                    Room temperature please. Sometimes I'll eat cherry tomatoes like candy. Bigger ones, I'll slice and make into sandwiches, or salads.

                                    The only thing I don't like is a hot tomato.

                                    1. Karl S Jul 15, 2007 12:53 PM

                                      Coarse salt. That's it.

                                      No chill; that's unnecessary tomato abuse (there's no reason to chill an uncooked tomato, and I notice that it makes the tomatoes flatter in flavor - I've figured out farmstands that chill their tomatoes in the peak of the season when they have too many at once and those that don't).

                                      1. b
                                        Bunson Jul 15, 2007 01:01 PM

                                        I eat them raw like fruit...vine ripened tomatoes are perfect as is. I used to dip them into sugar when I was younger...basically as a dessert...but wouldn't dare do that now.

                                        1. c
                                          cmkdvs Jul 15, 2007 01:25 PM

                                          I purposely choose small ones at the farmer's market, so I can eat one at a sitting don't have to refrigerate even after cutting. But home grown right off the vine are better than anything I have ever bought, all right.

                                          Have never found anything I like better than good mozzarella toasted on good whole-grain bread, topped with sliced tomatoes. If I have an avocado slices of that go on too, but it's not necessary.

                                          1. bryan Jul 15, 2007 05:45 PM

                                            I prefer room temp. tomatoes, but I do like to freeze the little super sweets and pop 'em like grapes for a snack. I also like baked or broiled tomatoes too.

                                            Personally, it doesn't get any better than homemade bruschetta. My sister gilds the lily by double garlicing (?) the toast and then spreading a smear of goat cheese first, then topping with the chopped tomatoes, basil and olive oil. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And NEVER get sick of it.

                                            I also love a steakhouse salad of tomatoes and onions with red wine vinegar and oil, sprinkled with a little oregano.

                                            And a blt, and a tomato sandwich, and a tomato omelette, a tomato quiche, tomato soup, pasta salad w/ fresh tomatoes, rice salad w/ fresh tomatoes, jellied consomme topped with fresh tomatoes... I think you get the idea.

                                            1. othervoice Jul 15, 2007 06:25 PM

                                              When I was young growing up in NH and MA. My uncle would grow tomato's in his back yard. He would see my Dad and I coming and pick one off the vines just for us. These tomato's were 8-10 inches in diameter. One slice was the size of a dinner plate. He'd carry around a salt shaker in his back pocket and we'd dive in. Ah the memories.......

                                              1. m
                                                midgepingleton Jul 15, 2007 07:01 PM

                                                Heirloom tomatoes sliced, portabello mushrooms sliced, some thinly sliced red onion tossed in olive oil, sea salt, pepper and a bit of red wine vinegar is my favorite tomato salad.

                                                1. zorra Jul 15, 2007 07:49 PM

                                                  I have never been a huge tomato fan, but I love love love a good caprese with a perfectly ripe tomato (and yes, room temperature). And I love the sweetness of grape tomatoes in a salad. Otherwise, I can take or leave tomatoes unless they are perfectly ripe and were homegrown. I loathe mealy tomatoes, and that's mostly what you can get commercially.

                                                  1. g
                                                    GoodFoodGal Jul 19, 2007 05:24 PM

                                                    I like vine ripened tomatoes, at room temp. I toast a bagel (sesame, onion, whatever) then spread cream cheese on it; next, a layer of red leaf lettuce, and then a thick tomato slice. I season it with a little salt and pepper. A nice way to start the day!

                                                    For a night time snack, I like to cover a flour tortilla with shredded mozzarella, or cheese blend, and top it with sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms (sauted portabellas pieces) if I have them on hand. The flavor of the sun-drieds is intense, and wonderful. You can buy them in a bag in your local produce section, and they don't require refrigeration. They are also good right out of the bag. You won't need any pizza sauce for this little treat. Bake until cheese is golden brown.

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