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Peeling/Skinning Tomatoes

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

        1. 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

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

            1. re: jounipesonen

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

              1. re: Harters

                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

                  "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

                    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

                      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

                        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. 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. "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

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

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

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

                  1. 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. 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

                        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. 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. 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. 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

                              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. 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.