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Peeling/Skinning Tomatoes

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jounipesonen Mar 29, 2013 07:53 AM

What's with the obsession (yes, revealing my opinion :-) ) of skinning and peeling tomatoes? There's no question the 'skins' contain nutrients and roughage that are beneficial - as well as having taste. (It becomes totally ludicrous to me when one is speaking of cherry tomatoes).

If for some cosmetic and/or texture reason the product should be smooth then almost any stick blender should handle that - never mind blenders and food processors.

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  1. sunshine842 RE: jounipesonen Mar 29, 2013 12:17 PM

    but if you want chunks of tomatoes without big flakes of tomato skin....

    Peel 'em or don't -- it's your choice.

    Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.

    1. Will Owen RE: jounipesonen Mar 29, 2013 06:14 PM

      It's hard enough to do I usually don't, but easy enough so that if I see the need I don't feel put-upon. And if I want a purée I have a dandy Italian machine that suction-cups to the work table and spits pure juice and flesh out the front and skins and seeds out the side.

      Some of the baby cherry tomatoes I'm getting lately have annoyingly heavy-duty skins, by the way. Not a whole lot to be done about that …

      1. Sarah Perry RE: jounipesonen Apr 1, 2013 05:39 AM

        I almos never peel, but when I do - dunk them for a few seconds in boiling water and the skins come right off.

        1. h
          Harters RE: jounipesonen Apr 1, 2013 08:14 AM

          Generally, I skin tomatoes whether cooking them or eating them raw.

          I am a tad surprised that anyone should choose to call this an "obsession".

          7 Replies
          1. re: Harters
            j
            jounipesonen RE: Harters Apr 3, 2013 04:50 AM

            a friendly obsession - albeit not to the tomato :-)

            1. re: jounipesonen
              h
              Harters RE: jounipesonen Apr 3, 2013 05:24 AM

              I also deseed/dejuice them when eating them raw. And have been known to sieve out the seeds when cooking them.

              1. re: Harters
                sunshine842 RE: Harters Apr 3, 2013 05:40 AM

                oh, Harters.

                I revel in eating tomatoes fully intact with seeds and juice and skin -- but only if they're just-picked right off the vine and still warm to the touch from the sun.

                The late, great American humorist Lewis Grizzard wrote this ode to juicy, homegrown maters:

                http://lewisgrizzard.com/columns/arch...

                1. re: sunshine842
                  h
                  Harters RE: sunshine842 Apr 3, 2013 06:18 AM

                  "only if they're just-picked right off the vine and still warm to the touch from the sun."

                  HAH!

                  You do this to taunt me, knowing full well that I live on a small, cold island off the coast of northern Europe ;-)

                  FWIW, I would never eat tomatoes until I was in my 20s. Then came 1976 when I decided to grow them in a "Gro-bag", outside the back door. That was probably the last "proper" hot summer we had.

                  1. re: Harters
                    sunshine842 RE: Harters Apr 3, 2013 07:47 AM

                    I had them here a couple of years ago...

                    two years ago we had a drought = no tomatoes
                    last year we thought we were going to drown = blight on all my lovely tomatoes.

                    We were at Chatsworth last August and it made me feel much better to see how rubbish their tomatoes looked, too -- I figure if their tomatoes looked that bad with a hive of professional gardeners tutting over them, I didn't feel nearly so inadequate that mine looked anemic, too.

                    1. re: sunshine842
                      h
                      Harters RE: sunshine842 Apr 3, 2013 09:24 AM

                      When the brother-in-law first moved to the UK, he picked tomatoes as his job. Bloody hard work for very little pay. Of course, these were tomatoes grown under glass, not outdoor ones.

                      1. re: Harters
                        sunshine842 RE: Harters Apr 3, 2013 01:27 PM

                        I hail from a part of Florida that supplies an enormous percentage of the US eastern seaboard with tomatoes...it's thankless work, and I'm reminded of it every time I head to the you-pick fields for canned tomatoes/sauce/salsa/juice.

          2. f
            ferret RE: jounipesonen Apr 1, 2013 08:43 AM

            It's all about what you're trying to make. There are recipes that require a smooth pureed texture and those that are more rustic. Same with potatoes.

            1. chefj RE: jounipesonen Apr 1, 2013 04:47 PM

              "f for some cosmetic and/or texture reason the product should be smooth then almost any stick blender should handle that - never mind blenders and food processors."
              No they do not. May be Vitamix would.

              1 Reply
              1. re: chefj
                j
                jounipesonen RE: chefj Apr 3, 2013 04:49 AM

                oh - mine did quite ok - there are only the tiniest tiniest specks.

              2. C. Hamster RE: jounipesonen Apr 2, 2013 01:41 PM

                Stick blenders and even food processors are not up to the task.

                1 Reply
                1. re: C. Hamster
                  sunshine842 RE: C. Hamster Apr 2, 2013 01:50 PM

                  Mine is.

                2. k
                  kseiverd RE: jounipesonen Apr 2, 2013 01:58 PM

                  Core, put little X on blossom end, maybe 30 seconds in boiling water and skin will slide right off.

                  1. j
                    jounipesonen RE: jounipesonen Apr 3, 2013 04:54 AM

                    I can tell an extreme case of eating something with the 'skin' - I once sat behind a 'well-lubricated' Cubs fan at Wrigley and he was eating peanuts WITH the shell!

                    1. jmckee RE: jounipesonen Apr 3, 2013 10:12 AM

                      I confess that I have never done this. I don't find any reason to do so. As Lynne Rosetto Kasper points out in "The Italian Country Table", many of the factors in a tomato's flavor are in the skin, the seed, and the gel around the seed.

                      Plus, as a devotee of the late Laurie Colwin's theory of "“a cuisine de la 'slobbe' raffinée,” (The Cooking of the Refined Slob), it seems needlessly "fussy" to me.

                      And for the earlier poster, yeah, I think even if you are One Of Those People who peel when cooking, peeling when eating a tomato raw is rather extreme.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jmckee
                        j
                        jounipesonen RE: jmckee Apr 3, 2013 08:44 PM

                        Exactly -
                        "As Lynne Rosetto Kasper points out in "The Italian Country Table", many of the factors in a tomato's flavor are in the skin, the seed, and the gel around the seed." -
                        to say nothing of the nutrients, etc,

                      2. Veggo RE: jounipesonen Apr 3, 2013 01:36 PM

                        I only peel roma/plum tomatoes that I use in sauces and soups, and I cut off about 1/3 inch of the stem end that can be off-color and a bit fibrous. An easy task.

                        1. Caitlin McGrath RE: jounipesonen Apr 3, 2013 01:57 PM

                          I very, very rarely peel tomatoes. But for those times when they're to be peeled and finely chopped for a cooked dish, I was really happy to learn the trick of grating a halved tomato on the coarse holes of a box grater (or equivalent flat or microplane grater). The tomato pulp comes through the grater in a pile, and the skin is left behind in your hand.

                          1. Caroline1 RE: jounipesonen Jul 13, 2013 12:09 PM

                            Often as not, I peel my tomatoes, but ONLY with a kitchen torch! And if a little smoke flavor sneaks its way in, so much the better. That boiling water trick is a pain! Yay torches! And I get to play with fire too. What could be better than that?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Caroline1
                              grayelf RE: Caroline1 Jul 13, 2013 08:52 PM

                              I always skin tomatoes (the quick dip in boiling water way) before dicing them for guacamole. Something about the bits of skin just bugs me as over against the smoothness of the avocado. I usually deseed them as well, to ensure the dip doesn't get too liquid.

                            2. s
                              sr44 RE: jounipesonen Jul 13, 2013 09:33 PM

                              You can freeze them whole and washed. When defrosted, the skin slips right off and the tomato flesh is nearly puréed. All you need to do is strain the seeds out. Not something for July or August, perhaps, but nice on February.

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