The secret to vine ripe tomatoes...in the off-season
Home Cook'n reader Charles R. Gaush sent us this timely tip: In the off season, you can buy vine ripened tomatoes if you can afford them. However, I buy the standard "pink cardboard" tomatoes but do NOT put them in the refrigerator. Instead, I leave them in the plastic bag on the kitchen counter for 3 - 7 days (depending on how pink they are) to ripen. The tomatoes are fine but will ripen only at room temperature or higher because ripening is an enzymatic process that takes place VERY slowly in the refrigerator. When the tomatoes are deep red and soft, they are indistinguishable from vine ripened tomatoes. THEN I put then in the refrigerator.
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