1. Why are the tomatoes sold in the supermarkets sometimes pale and hard?
    Fresh tomatoes sold in the supermarkets are firm and not completely ripe because they’re usually shipped long distances from the growing area to the supermarket. If they were fully ripened they would bruise easily, even under highly controlled conditions. But tomatoes will become a bright red color, soften slightly, and develop good flavor and aroma if kept for a few days at room temperature, between 55 and 70 degrees F.
  2. How should tomatoes be ripened? Just keep them on the kitchen counter. Cold also give tomatoes a mealy unpleasant texture.
  3. Why shouldn’t tomatoes be refrigerated? Cold stops tomatoes’ ripening process and kills their flavor. Once fully ripe, a tomato can be refrigerated, but only for a few days, any longer results in flavor deterioration.
  4. How many tomatoes are in a pound? One pound of tomatoes equals about 2 large or 3 medium-sized tomatoes.
  5. What is the yield from one pound of tomatoes? One pound will yield about 2 1/2 cups chopped, 3 cups wedged and 3 cups sliced tomatoes.
  6. Is the tomato a vegetable or a fruit? Botanically speaking, tomatoes are the fruit of the vine. In 1893, however, the United States Supreme Court ruled that because the tomato was used as a vegetable – eaten with the main part of the meal instead of at the end – it should be legally classified as such, and therefore be subject to the same tariffs as other vegetables when imported.
  7. Are tomatoes nutritious? Tomatoes are overflowing with good nutrition. One medium sized tomato provides 40 percent of our recommended daily allowance for vitamin C, and 20 percent of our vitamin A needs, along with 1g of fiber, 5g of carbohydrates, 340mg of potassium and 4 percent of the recommended daily allowance of iron. Tomatoes are also low in fat and sodium. Tomatoes also contain an antioxidant compound called lycopene.
  8. How do I microwave tomatoes? Core and halve tomatoes; season and dot with butter. Microwave on HIGH (100% power) 3 to 4 minutes for four halves; 5 to 6 minutes for six to eight halves.
  9. What’s the technique for roasting tomatoes? To roast tomatoes, cut in halves and gently squeeze to remove seeds. Place cut side down in a pan; brush with oil. Roast at 425 degrees for 30 minutes; peel.
  10. What are some quick ideas for adding fresh tomatoes to meals? Dip thick slices of tomatoes in cornmeal seasoned with chili powder; saut̩ briefly until golden. РInclude fresh tomato wedges in Oriental stir-frys for added color and taste. Top thick slices of red ripe tomatoes with tuna or shrimp salad. Place slices on English muffin halves; top with hot pepper Monterey Jack cheese; broil or microwave until cheese melts.