How to use these new findings on tomatoes to the advantage


A new study appears to suggest that the characteristics that make a tomato most appealing when choosing one at the store also make it the least appealing when biting into it. Apparently, it is the very same gene that can either make a tomato uniform or tasty, depending on whether it is "switched on" or not.

It sounds promising, if the industry picks up the study's suggestions. But not that I, the consumer, have this information, is there anything I can do to get a better product? Do I just look for uglier tomatoes?

Best Answer

Picking a tomato which is individually ugly isn't going to help you. It's still the same variety and grown, stored and shipped under the same conditions as the other tomatoes in the pile.

Try looking for a store (farmers' and ethnic markets are good for this) which has a whole bin of ugly tomatoes; those are a different variety and/or handled differently. Heck, here in California, there's even a hybrid brand which is marketed under the name "Uglyripe", which is quite tasty.

Also, just "ugly" isn't a sufficient description. What you're looking for is irregularities in color, shape and size. Bruising, blemishes, wormholes and brown streaks don't indicate a better-tasting tomato, just one which has been abused.