Laziness means many of us put all vegetables in the fridge, but that isn’t always the best idea. Tomatoes have much more flavour if you don’t refrigerate them – which is why you’re supposed to keep them in your pantry instead. However, if you want the extra shelf life that chilling affords, there’s a trick to retaining maximum flavour.
In an old issues of Australian Good Food, gardening writer Meredith Kirton outlines why “airing” your tomatoes prior to refrigeration is a good strategy:
Keep tomatoes in a pantry or cool, dark place rather than the refrigerator, if possible. Although they won’t last as long as if they were refrigerated, their flavour will be much better. If you do refrigerate them, take them out of the fridge the day before you plan to use them to let them “smell the air” again for a few hours before use, as they will regain some flavour this way.
If you can’t grow your own and your pantry is crowded, this is definitely a good compromise. (At the other hand of the scale, freezing tomatoes makes life easier if you want to peel them for sauces.)
This story has been updated since its original publication.