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If refrigerating tomatoes is supposed to be verboten, then what of gazpacho?

I think the whole "no tomatoes in refrigerator" thing is a bit overblown.

Personally, and full disclosure, I prefer my tomatoes chilled. And I like to eat tomatoes just like apples - all way down to the core.

So yeah, I refrigerate my tomatoes.

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  1. I make gazpacho in 8 liter batches and store it in the refrig for a week or so. Last bowl is as good as the first!

    1. You can eat tomatoes at any temperature you wish, hot or cold...the refrigeration aspect has more to do with halting the ripening process.


      4 Replies
        1. re: magiesmom

          I've never had a tomato go mealy on me with a day of refrigeration. Or even two.

          Now a week in there. Maybe. But who keeps tomatoes in the fridge for a week. Life's too short.

          Eat them. Chilled!

          1. re: ipsedixit

            I like them room temp or warm, as if pretending that they're right off the vine. I like gazpacho, too. If the tomato's good it's good at all temps.
            That's my story and I'm stickin' with it. Refrigerated pico de gallo is no less good.

        2. re: fourunder

          I don't pick my tomatoes until they're ripe.

        3. I eat my tomatoes sliced -- didn't know there was a core.

          1. Here is a link about temperature and volatiles I posted a few hours ago.


            1. There is a food safety reason you refrigerate gazpacho. Cut fruits and vegetables must be stored below 41 degrees to avoid the growth of bacteria.

              8 Replies
              1. re: UncleMorty

                That's a storage issue.

                Gazpacho is served chilled. Regardless of how it is stored.

                In other words, theoretically you could store it cold but serve it hot. But no one does that.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Serving it warm, may be a good pasta sauce or a hot tomato soup.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    authentic gazpacho (when made in the field) is served the same temperature as the air in the shade of the trees nearby where it is made. in other words, it is kept in the shade, and eaten at the ambient temperature on the day it is made. (this amazing info i gathered from my "foods of the world" book on spanish food from the time-life series. LOVE those books).

                    refrigeration dulls the flavors of the uncut tomato. once it is cut, though, i refrigerate it. for best flavor, let those slices come to room temp to use in a sandwich or whatever.. gazpacho is refrigerated, too, once i've eaten from the freshly-made batch.

                    best way to store tomatoes? wrapped loosely in paper and set out in a single layer (with room for air to circulate around them) in a cool, dark place -- like a cement basement floor. you'd be surprised!

                      1. re: linguafood

                        we're reading the same twitter feed, i see! LOL

                        but drongo (below) beat us by an hour!

                        1. re: alkapal

                          I saw. I'm still not sure I believe this.... might hafta make my own experiment with farmers market tomatoes today :-)

                      2. re: alkapal

                        I keep a small fan running on low on my tomatoes and some other produce on the countertop 24/7. It almost eliminates molding and rot, and keeps them from getting too ripe too fast. I figure it's the ethylene gas being pushed away from them.

                        1. re: EWSflash

                          When they're fully ripe you can turn off the fan and turn them STEM DOWN and they'll be good for a loooooong time! These days I buy Compari tomatoes on the stem, packed in a clamshell that holds at least a half dozen or so clusters still on the vine. When I get them home I leave them in the clam shell because it makes it easier to keep them stem down by simply turning the whole pack face down. I don't think my kitchen is magic, but for me they stay fresh for at least 2 or 3 weeks. I can safely buy 2 or 3 clam shells at a time with no fear of spoilage.

                  2. My mother always refrigerated tomatoes and I used to prefer them that way. Sometime along the way I got used to them not being chilled and now prefer that. Your tomatoes, your home: do what you want!

                    I suppose the same process that causes the mealiness in refrigerated tomatoes also is responsible for the end product of gazpacho. I am sure there is a better way of saying that. lol.

                    1. Gazpacho is a blend of many veggies, once processed, a chill brings out all the flavors. Unprocessed tomatoes, stand alone, IMO taste better at room temp. Curious, how do you like to eat most cheeses, room temp or cold.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: treb

                        Both ways...except brie...room temp.

                        1. re: treb

                          i think a chill dulls the flavors. i've done a side by side taste test. chilled, however, may be more *refreshing* on a hot day, for certain.

                          cheeses are best eaten at room temp, as well.

                        2. Because you've already seasoned the tomatoes with many other flavors in gazpacho, so the complexity of its flavors in its raw state are already masked, so you won't notice the loss as much. That's why. You might not notice it anyway, but plenty of other people can and do. YMMV, ita dixisti.

                          1. I make my gazpacho and minutes later I am eating it. I don't chill it at all. Is it really better cold than with the warmth of the sun still in the tomato?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: smtucker

                              I think so.

                              Some, like yourself, prefer it room temp but I find a nice chill makes it the perfect summer time treat.

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  Uh...gee, testing refrigerated tomatoes vs. not refrigerated tomatoes?

                                  It's a nice link.


                                    1. re: ipsedixit


                                      Maybe you should review your OP.

                                      1. re: sandylc

                                        Not refrigerating tomatoes was part of the premise of the OP.

                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          Yes, I saw that.

                                          That's why I posted a link to an interesting article about refrigerating tomatoes.

                                          1. re: sandylc

                                            I think the author of the article is saying, based on at least somewhat structured testing, that if you don't eat tomatoes for 2 days, then storing them in the refrigerator is better than storing them at room temperature.

                                            To me, that seems relevant to this thread.

                                2. re: sandylc

                                  Dan Gritzer at Serious Eats has doubled down on his recommendation that tomatoes should be refrigerated: "Why You Should Refrigerate Tomatoes and Ignore Anyone Who Says Otherwise" http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/09/wh...

                                  1. re: drongo

                                    Well, the "rule" of not refrigerating tomatoes has always applied to store bought tomatoes that are most frequently shipped unripe, although once reddened by gas in the shipping trucks on their way to market until more recently when hybridized tomatoes that turn red BEFORE they are ripe came to market. And refrigerating RIPE tomatoes for one day hardly proves a thing.

                                    I grew up surrounded by tomato farmers in San Diego County back in the day when California's citrus crops and truck farms fed the nation. Everyone back then always kept tomatoes on the counter UNTIL cut open, sliced, or used in a sauce, after which any leftovers were always refrigerated, whether it was a single tomato with a slice or two removed for sandwiches or a salsa or gazpacho or cooked tomato sauce. And yes, back then "Beefsteak" tomatoes were common, and of such a size that one single slice was larger in diameter than a slice of Wonder Bread (my childhood favorite for bologna sandwiches with lots of mayo!). They were that big AND had fabulous flavor!

                                    Another lesson in ancient history brought to you by Caroline1! '-)

                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                      You paint a beautiful picture, Caroline!

                                3. Hey look!I googled it, and found an old post of mine with the same question!


                                  1. You're an adult. Eat your tomatoes at whichever temp floats your boat.

                                    1. It's not overblown - refrigerating tomatoes will decrease the amount of volatiles without the tomato having the chance to refresh the volatiles as it would have at room temperature. And McGee in "On Food and Cooking" also explains that the low temperature in the fridge is damaging the membranes inside the fruit walls -> mealy texture. Both phenomenons obviously don't play a role with gazpacho as by crushing the tomato you lost the majority of the volatiles and also damaged the membranes anyway.

                                        1. I make a salade de tomates with the heirloom fruits I get at the local Farmer's markets here in SoCal, just chunks of tomato with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. While I agree that chilling leftover cut-up modern varieties lessens their flavor, the Brandywines, Cherokee Blacks and similar breeds retain their flavor very well, and are not as funky when had for lunch the next day.

                                            1. I think a vast majority of us prefer tomatoes unchilled, so storing them in the refrigerator is terrible idea because you can't just decide to eat the tomato, you have to unchill it.

                                              I have solved most of my storage problems by not buying too many tomatoes at a time. Simple.