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Help! Tomatoes got put in the fridge by mistake

Rheta Jul 2, 2011 02:11 PM

I realized a few minutes ago that the tomatoes, I bought yesterday, got put in the fridge. I'm so mad at myself. I always keep tomatoes on the counter and out of the fridge. If I put these on the counter instead of back in the fridge, are they going to have that bad texture and no taste? Thanks.

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  1. thew RE: Rheta Jul 2, 2011 02:33 PM

    the texture wont have degraded yet.

    1. cowboyardee RE: Rheta Jul 2, 2011 02:45 PM

      Texture should be fine still. Taste will be just a little bit dulled once you let em return to room temp.

      1. Karl S RE: Rheta Jul 2, 2011 03:14 PM

        You can always use them for cooking. For raw, it depends on how cold the spot in the fridge was. If it was low 40sF, they won't be as affected if it was mid-30sF.

        1. eclecticsynergy RE: Rheta Jul 3, 2011 12:52 PM

          My experience has been that the acid balance will restore itself, leaving the flavor mostly intact. As for texture, you'll have to cut one and find out. If it's gone mealy, it won't ever be right again and you'll have to use them for cooking as Karl S has suggested. Good luck.

          1. e
            escondido123 RE: Rheta Jul 3, 2011 01:02 PM

            Of course, it will also depend on how good the tomatoes were when you bought them. If you'd already tasted one then you will be able to see the difference, if any.

            1. j
              jaykayen RE: Rheta Jul 4, 2011 09:15 AM

              It depends on the tomatoes. They're usually fine. If you cut them and then store them, the texture suffers significantly more.

              1. ipsedixit RE: Rheta Jul 4, 2011 09:16 AM


                It's just tomatoes.

                Take'em out and enjoy them as usual.

                1. Uncle Bob RE: Rheta Jul 4, 2011 10:21 AM

                  If you bought them from a regular grocery store...Odds are they have already been refrigerated two or three times ~~ Just enjoy them as is........

                  1. a
                    AngelSanctuary RE: Rheta Jul 4, 2011 11:26 PM

                    What?! I always put them in the fridge what have I been doing to my tomatoes?!

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: AngelSanctuary
                      Karl S RE: AngelSanctuary Jul 5, 2011 03:41 AM

                      Well, if they are good tomatoes and not being used for cooking (as opposed to eating raw), you are ruining them. They should not be refrigerated but kept on the counter. When exposed to cold, they get mealy and lose flavor. And they don't really keep longer in the fridge, so it's a waste of fridge space, too.

                      1. re: Karl S
                        heathercheryl RE: Karl S Jul 5, 2011 06:19 AM

                        I guess most of my tomatoes have been refrigerated; most are flavorless and a bit mealy...the only good tomatoes come directly from a garden.

                        1. re: heathercheryl
                          Karl S RE: heathercheryl Jul 5, 2011 08:41 AM

                          Yes, that's correct. That's why I don't bother buying them. Cherry, grape and cocktail tomatoes tend to be the best bet in grocery store tomatoes.

                          But, in salads outside of local tomato season, I just use black seedless grapes, which have a nice acid-sweet balance that suffices for what tomatoes would suffice for.

                          1. re: heathercheryl
                            escondido123 RE: heathercheryl Jul 5, 2011 08:50 AM

                            Or directly from a Farmers' Market. The ones I buy are local and not refrigerated.

                            1. re: escondido123
                              Karl S RE: escondido123 Jul 5, 2011 12:02 PM

                              You have to be careful with vendors at farmer's markets. I often shop early, and find tomatoes that are distinctly chilled. Later in the day, it's much harder to tell.

                              Good vendors may at least tell you they never refrigerate them below 55F, but will keep them close to that temperature to avoid wasting crop, as it were.

                              1. re: Karl S
                                escondido123 RE: Karl S Jul 5, 2011 12:51 PM

                                I know the vendors at the market where I shop and only buy from the very local ones that don't refrigerate.

                      2. Stephanie Wong RE: Rheta Jul 5, 2011 08:43 AM

                        Years ago, 14 lbs of garden tomatoes which I was going to put up for winter were refrigerated by a "helper" friend . .. . aargh. Hopefully, your tomatoes weren't in the fridge too long and came out okay. If you find they're "ruined",you might try roasting them to intensify what little flavor is left and the mushiness won't be a factor.

                        I cut mine in half (through the equator) and packed a mix of herbs, garlic, parsley atop the cut surface, sprinkled with bread crumbs, and drizzled with olive oil. Then roasted these halves until they were cooked through & served on top of spaghetti or other pasta. Made a tasty fresh pasta sauce.

                        1. RealMenJulienne RE: Rheta Jul 5, 2011 12:54 PM

                          One day in the fridge shouldn't noticably hurt them. And besides I don't think there is such a thing as a bad tomato. Some just need a little more salt than others.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: RealMenJulienne
                            Nanzi RE: RealMenJulienne Jul 6, 2011 04:53 PM

                            Or Sugar instead of salt, RealMenJulienne, but that comes from my Indiana GrandMom, and for some reason, my Dad was just furious that she taught me that!!

                            1. re: Nanzi
                              cowboyardee RE: Nanzi Jul 6, 2011 06:30 PM

                              If you get a tomato lacking in both sweetness and tartness, just a touch of balsamic vinegar can do wonders. Excellent way to jack up the flavor of a sauce made from mediocre tomatoes. Just don't overdo it or, balsamic will be all you taste.

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