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Dutchess_III's avatar

Do you put tomatoes in the refrigerator?

Asked by Dutchess_III (26940 points ) May 20th, 2012

I see that Jude asked this three years ago. We’ve gotten a bunch of new people since then, so I hope it’s OK.

At the grocery store many fruits and veggies are kept out in the room, not in the refrigerators, such as tomatoes, onions, bananas, potatoes, etc. I don’t refrigerate any of those…except my tomatoes. Why do I refrigerate my tomatoes? I assume because Mom always did. Do you?

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37 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Unless you are buying a gross, best to keep them out and eat them quickly. Better yet, pick what you need from the pots on your deck or in the garden.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Why would I spend money on tomatoes if I already had some in the garden?

What does refrigerating do to them?

ragingloli's avatar

I refrigerate everything that is not in a tin or devoid of water like noodles or rice. even bread.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Bananas @ragingloli? Potatoes?

ragingloli's avatar

@Dutchess_III Yes. Of course, my refrigerator is less than a cubic metre big on the outside, so I do not buy as much at once anyway.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Why would you put bananas and potatoes in the fridge? I put rice in the freezer….it doesn’t get buggy as fast.

bkcunningham's avatar

I don’t know why, but I think refrigeration changes the flavor of fresh produce. Refrigeration slows down the rotting of veggies. Perhaps that is why your mom put them there. I wonder why you’d put bananas in the fridge too. They turn black and nasty when you put them in the refigerator.

ragingloli's avatar

To slow the spoiling process and to keep the flies away?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@ragingloli The best thing to do with bananas is to leave them out. Eat them when they’re good. When the ones that are left start turning brown, to the point where people don’t want to eat them, freeze them. Then at some point in the future you can make the best banana bread ever with them!

@SpatzieLover Why?

ragingloli's avatar

@Dutchess_III
I do not have any problem with bananas turning brown.

bkcunningham's avatar

@Dutchess_III, do you freeze the entire banana, peel and all?

SpatzieLover's avatar

I’m Italian. Tomatoes go on the windowsill to ripen, then get eaten.

Tomatoes get mealy/grainy when refrigerated. Yuck!

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Tomatoes should be stored at room temperature. Here’s why:

One of the most common food storage mistakes, made by a large number of people, is keeping tomatoes in the refrigerator. It is wrong to assume that storing tomatoes in refrigerator keeps them fresher for longer; in actual fact, the opposite is true. Refrigeration makes them mealy after only a couple of days and gets rid of their flavor. There are far better ways of storing fresh tomatoes in order to keep them tasting fresh and sweet and maintain their firm texture.
The full story.

Fly's avatar

We only refrigerate them once we have cut them open. Otherwise, we leave them out with the plastic bag fully opened or removed. I find that if you refrigerate them whole, they get wrinkly and too soft.

gailcalled's avatar

@Dutchess_III: Given your interest in your land, why not buy two huge and cheap plastic pots, fill with decent dirt and plant a tomato plant and a basil plant in each one? All you are then missing is the mozzarella tree. I have them growing on my deck; it is a thrill to walk out five feet and pick several.

It is effortless, after you set things up. I have also reseeded dill and cilantro growing in the same pot (same dirt left over from last year. I just added some fertilizer.)

SpatzieLover's avatar

^^^Yum, yum @gailcalled. We do similar plantings. We’ve even given them as gifts. We give the pot with a recipe for caprese salad.

Dutchess_III's avatar

We have a garden at the house, @gailcalled. Not ready to put a garden in on the land yet…we’d have to fence it to keep the critters out.

Well, hmmmm.

@bkcunningham Yes, peel and all. It really, REALLY concentrates the taste. Then when you’re ready for them, thaw them out and peel them WARNING! They look REALLY GROSS!!! I then put them in a strainer,and put the strainer in a bowl, and put a sack of rocks on top and leave them in the fridge overnight. You end up with about a cup of banana juice in the bowl which I rend down before adding it to my batter. If I don’t drain them my banana bread is too wet.

JLeslie's avatar

I fridge them if they have already been ripe for two days, and I want to try and keep them a little longer, or after cutting them. They do lose some flavor or the texture changes a little if they are put in the fridge too soon.

I refridgerate bananas once they are as ripe as I like them, which is the second the green is gone, but not a second later.

Pretty much all fruits I keep out until ripe and then transfer to the fridge.

Veggies I put in the frdige as soon as I get home from the market, except potatoes I sometimes leave out if I am going to use them in a day or two.

bkcunningham's avatar

Thank you, @Dutchess_III, for the information. I have an awesome recipe for banana bread and I use overly ripened bananas. I’ve reluctantly thrown out bananas in the past, after I put my banana peels in my neighbors staghorn fern. No more. They go in the freezer.

Local corn and tomatoes are plentiful here now. No refrigeration required. We’ve been eating it up.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t have to toss potatoes out for several weeks. I keep them in a dark bread box on the counter.

@bkcunningham :) I have no problem buying bananas that may not get eaten right away! It’s nice, because I hate wasting food. PM me your banana bread recipe!

jaytkay's avatar

Frozen bananas are also good for smoothies.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

Nightshade foods are forbidden in my fridge.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I put the cherry and mini pear kinds in the fridge but the larger tomatoes I keep on the counter and try to eat them before they wrinkle. There is a difference in flavor once a tomato goes into the frig and at least in my frig, the texture turns grainy, almost freezer burned.

creative1's avatar

i find fresh tomatoes rot quicker in the refrig than when you simply keep them on the counter. So I keep mind on the counter.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wow…the things we do in our lives just because “That’s the way I’ve always done it.” Thanks you guys!

What do you think @YARNLADY? I’m not keeping my tomatoes in the fridge any more. Are you?

YARNLADY's avatar

In my experience, mine go bad faster on the counter. I have tried both ways, and the refrigerator keeps them up to a week. I have a special fruit and vegetable drawer in the bottom of the fridge that is humidity controlled.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, my great experiment is on!

rooeytoo's avatar

When I get real tomatoes I keep them on the counter in a bowl. When I get the red cannon balls from the grocery store, they go into the fridge. They have very little flavor to start with but I like the color in a salad. For cooking I used canned tomatoes, they seem to have much more flavor. When we had our own banana trees we would pick an entire hand at one time. That would last usually 2 weeks at least so they had to be refrigerated. I wrapped them in newspaper. They did get a little bit yucky looking but they taste great and the texture stayed firm. Of course I think it makes a difference when you are getting them fresh off the tree instead of out of the grocery store. I pretty much keep everything in the fridge because of ants, although since I am in a colder climate again that isn’t as great a problem.

Dutchess_III's avatar

EPIC FAIL! My tomatoes are all rotted and moldy. :( They wouldn’t have been if they’d been in the fridge.

jaytkay's avatar

They wouldn’t have been if they’d been in the fridge

You didn’t eat them fast enough

Going to check on the spinach in my fridge right now

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t want to have to go to the store everytime I want tomatoes tho!

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Dutchess_III Was this a proper experiment? Were the tomatoes from the same plant, about the same age, and were half stored in the refrigerator while the other half were kept out in proper conditions?

rooeytoo's avatar

@Dutchess_III – here is what I do with tomatoes, bananas, avocados, etc. I keep out on a plate as many as I think I will use in the next couple of days. The rest stay in the fridge. That way you have the best of both theories!

Dutchess_III's avatar

No it wasn’t a “proper” experiment @Pied_Pfeffer! From YEARS of experience I know that I can keep tomatoes for at LEAST a week, more like two, in the fridge! From the looks of them those guys started turning on the 3rd day. (And what are “proper conditions” when you’re talking about room temperature? I put them in a bowl with a paper towel under them and put another bowl on top to keep the flys out.)

Thanks @rooeytoo

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