Tomatoes, red, ripe, and fresh from Summer vines…tomatoes green for pies, pickles, and other good dishes after the first light frost of fall…tomatoes for winter and early spring “put up” plain or in juice, catsup, chili sauce, relishes, marmalade’s…The calendar round, tomatoes add their special note of bright color, tempting flavor, and vitamin value.
Tomatoes Star for Vitamin C
As a vitamin C rich food, tomatoes are among the best. One good-sized, vine-ripened tomato will give you about half your day’s quota of vitamin C, as well as a generous amount of vitamin A.
To get most good from tomatoes, eat them raw and fresh. But remember they hold a large share of their vitamins even when cooked or canned.
- Sort and use ripest tomatoes first. Keep the rest spread out where it’s cool…the refrigerator is a good place.
- Peel and cut tomatoes quickly, just before you are ready to cook them or serve raw in salad. If you must prepare tomatoes ahead of time, be sure to keep them covered in a cold place until you use them.
- To peel tomatoes: Stroke the skin with the back of a knife until loosened, or Dip in hot water 1 to 2 minutes, then quickly into cold water, or Run tip of fork into tomato and rotate over a flame until the skin wrinkles slightly.
When the Frost is on Tomatoes
Green tomatoes, caught by the first light frost, can be brought indoors. “Mature greens”— those about to turn color and often with a white spot around t lie blossom end — will ripen at cool room temperatures (55° to 70° F.) in either sunlight, or shade. Spread them out in the cellar, or woodshed, or on the porch if not too cold. Or line them up on I he window sill if the room’s not too warm.
Immature green tomatoes won’t ripen and are likely to rot if kept too long. It’s best to pickle or cook them soon after picking.