August 10th, 2007


The mystery of tomato refrigeration.

It seems to be widely agreed -- certainly my own experience agrees -- that refrigerating a tomato will cause it to become grainy/mushy (rather than firm and smooth) and bland (rather than fruity and sweet). Pretty much all the websites I can find on the topic say you should try to store tomatos at just above 55°F. But nobody seems to say why. They mention that cold blocks the ripening enzyme, but once they're ripe, you'd think that'd be good. What is it about cold that's bad for them? Whatever mechanism causes the problem, it's blocked by drying; sundried tomatos in oil keep perfectly well in the fridge (and keeping them refrigerated after opening prevents the oil from going rancid).
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