Ripen Tomatoes Off The Vine
There is nothing better than a delicious tomato that is full of flavor picked right off the vine right? Wrong, there is another way.
Did you know that once a tomato starts to blush it can be picked off the vine and brought into the house to finish turning red on the counter? That way the bugs and weather can’t ruin them.
I picked these tomatoes before they were red, but I could have picked them even earlier. Once the fruit begins to blush they are technically at the peak of ripeness, as far as the flavor goes, and they won’t grow any bigger.
Tomatoes produce a gas called Ethylene. When the tomato is fully mature and still green, this gas starts the process of turning a fully mature green tomato soft and red.
Ever notice how the tomatoes that are sold in the store taste so blah? That is because they pick the tomatoes when they are still green, not fully mature and not at the peak of mature flavor. That way they can pack them and ship them, sometimes for weeks at a time, while they are still solid without getting squished so easily. They spray Ethylene gas on them to start the process of the tomatoes turning red on the outside but they still won’t get soft or have anymore flavor on the inside. That’s also why, when you cut them, they are hard and the inside is not very ripe.
Now you know why you can buy “vine ripened tomatoes” in the store and why they taste so much better than the other tomatoes. So go ahead and enjoy your tomatoes, whichever way you get them, but hopefully at the peak of flavor.