When using fresh tomatoes, a pinch of sugar makes all the difference

  • Living
  • Friday, 02 Jun 2023

Tomatoes are not only an eye-catcher on every salad, but also taste wonderfully aromatic. Stored in the fridge, however, they can lose their aroma. — Photo: Zacharie Scheurer/dpa

Roma, panicle, cherry or cocktail - there are more than 3,000 varieties of tomato worldwide and no matter what kind you are preparing, all are packed with vitamins and low in calories.

Tomatoes taste best when fully ripe, says a German association of fruit and vegetable producers (BVEO), so ideally, try to find some that were grown locally, rather than ones that have travelled a long distance.

The BVEO experts have a few tips for making tomatoes taste even better than usual, whether you're cooking them up or eating them raw.

1. Make the right choice when buying

Fresh tomatoes can be recognized by their intense colour, whether they are red, yellow or purple. The flesh should be firm and the skin should not be bruised. If the stalk and stem are still attached, they should be neither wilted nor dry. Packaged tomatoes should not have too much moisture under the film.

2. Store them right

The optimum temperature to store tomatoes is 12 to 18 degrees Celsius. This is outside the fridge in an airy place protected from light. In the fridge, on the other hand, tomatoes can quickly lose their aroma and may even develop brown cold spots.

Because tomatoes give off ethylene gas, they should not be stored next to other vegetables and fruit, as these will ripen more quickly. If stored correctly, fresh tomatoes can be kept for up to 14 days.

3. How to prepare them

You can find entire cookbooks dedicated to the tomato, with recipes to make a tart dressing for a salad, puree them for a pizza or grilling them out on the barbecue.

The BVEO also suggests boiling your tomatoes down to make a jam or chutney. The flavour comes out perfectly with a little lemon and the sugar and it is really tasty as a dip or condiment accompanying a cheese plate.

Whenever you are cooking with tomatoes, make sure to add a pinch of sugar, as that really enhances their flavour.

Plus, did you know that botanically speaking, tomatoes are actually a berry and related to cucumber, pumpkin and aubergine? – dpa

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