Imported tomatoes

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Coldicote | 22:47 Sat 07th Apr 2012 | Food & Drink
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This is the time of year for imported tomatoes. They may feel nice and firm but for some reason many of them look under-ripe and stay that way. They'll often begin to deteriorate rather than ripen to a good colour and flavour. I wonder if they are treated in some way - does anyone know? Do you have a favourite variety of home grown?


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I always look forward to buying tomatoes from the local farm shop - grown in Evesham - they taste like real tomatoes - not imported insipid stuff
A lot of imported stuff is picked before it's ripe, that's why - it's the same with plums at plum-time, those Spanish plums are rock hard, not a patchon home-grown.
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I agree with you mojay and boxtops. I seem to remember a few years ago hearing of a process that made fresh fruit and veg last longer but cannot remember what it was called. I'm hoping to grow Shirley and Ailsa Craig this year.
Unfortunately I don't live near a farm shop nor do I drive, so I buy the supermarket, Sainsbury, aromatic and flavoursome. I buy a couple of packs and leave them in the fridge for again, maybe ten days, they have ripened and
sweetened..really nice flavour.
I have tried growing my own, with some success, but I don't get a lot of sun, so its supermarket.
Storing tomatoes in the fridge is a big changes their taste and texture,and makes them mushy.
sorry pasta, but it does'nt..maybe you buy them ripe to begin with.
I have done this for years..and it's as I said, they ripen, slowly, and taste great..
I really don't like red, ripe tomatoes,
I only eat them and enjoy them when they're really firm and crunchy - cherry toms are my fave, hmmm, I can eat them like sweets when they're like that
Supermarket tomatoes at this time of year are tasteless and a complete waste of money. Wait until Englih ones are available. And don't store them in the fridge!
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I have a small garden and usually grow a fews toms. Last year I had a surplus so scalded and skinned them, then boiled them down to a mush with a little salt and strained out the hard bits. Hence I had delicious tomato juice frozen as cubes. Interesting comments here, thank you.
Supermarket tomatoes are frequently refrigerated to extend shelf life-hence why they are tasteless. Tomatoes start to degrade at temps below 50f.

A scientific study -


by F. MAUL, S.A. Sargent, C.A. Sims, E.A. Baldwin, M.O. Balaban, D.J. Huber
Dept. Of Horticultural Sciences, Univ. Of Florida, P.O. Box 110690, Gainesville, FL, 32611-0690, U.S.A.
During fresh tomato handling, fruit are often exposed to temperatures < 20°C to extend postharvest life. Postharvest storage studies document the effect of low temperatures on fruit quality based on visual symptoms of chilling injury. However, low temperature storage (<12°C) may significantly affect ripe tomato flavor and aroma before visual chilling injury symptoms.


Storage temperatures < 20°C reduced ripe tomato aroma and flavor. Temperature abuse during handling is likely a contributing factor to poor tomato eating quality, therefore recommendations for optimum quality should be revised.

chi-chi's experience is the exception-maybe she has been lucky.
Supermarkets stock under-ripe tomatoes because they have a longer shelf life than fully ripe ones. As to flavour, the Piccilo variety has that real tomato taste straight from the supermarket shelf, but only the ones that are really red. Don't go for any that are under-ripe - they've hardly any flavour
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A very informative report, thank you Pasta. One thing that so far has not been mentioned is the protein content of tomatoes. I suggest you put 'tomatoes protein ' in the search box of your browser - the results could be surprising.
I also get the 'piccolo' variety...and cheap from good old Aldi's. ;-))
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I do sometimes buy toms from Tesco, ripe medium/small size, packed with about 6 or 7 on the vine. Quite acceptable but I'm wary of any large ones that look under-ripe.
Thank you all for your comments.
I don't buy tomaotoes at this time of the year because I don't much like the imported ones. It makes it even more of a treat to buy the lcoal English ones in a couple of months time.

If you do buy imported ones, go for Spanish over Dutch. Plenty come in from Holland but their climate is much the same as our and the tomatoes will have been grown in vast heated greenhouses. The spanish ones are more likely to have seen some sun which gives them a little more taste.
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Going back to the beginning I wondered if tomatoes were treated in some way. The process I was trying to think of was irradiation, applied to many foods. The subject is too complex to deal with here but there are many references on the internet.

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