How To Easily Pick Out 1 Pound Of Tomatoes Without A Scale

Let's set the stage. It's a Saturday morning and you're doing your part to shop small and local. You're at the farmer's market, eyeing up the gorgeous heirloom tomatoes for sale and you remember that recipe you saw for an heirloom tomato galette. It's the perfect recipe for an appetizer for that night's dinner and you think you need about a pound-and-a-half of tomatoes, but you don't want to overbuy. How can you purchase just the right quantity of perfectly ripe tomatoes?

Tomatoes that have never been refrigerated, like those at your farmer's market, fare best if you keep them at room temperature. Unfortunately, though, that means you're on borrowed time once those tomatoes are ripe, particularly since Johnny's Selected Seeds points out that many heirloom varieties of tomatoes are thin-skinned, making them both more delicious and also more fragile. Thankfully, there's an easy rule of thumb to follow for picking out one pound of tomatoes. 

When picking out tomatoes, keep baseball in mind

If you're looking to purchase a pound of summer-ripened tomatoes, look no further than America's favorite pastime. If you can pick out three tomatoes that are each the size of a baseball, you're holding about a pound of tomatoes, according to The Kitchn. Of course, you'll want to select the very best ripe tomatoes, choosing ones that are blemish-free and that give just enough to signal ripeness.

And how big is a baseball, exactly? According to Wezen Ball, a regulation baseball is 9 to 9 1/4 inches in circumference or just under three inches in diameter. Heirloom varieties of tomato that get roughly to the size of a baseball include Rutgers, Druzba, and Thessaloniki, per Backyard Vegetable Gardening. Each of these three varieties tends to weigh in around five ounces, which means that three tomatoes get you right around that one-pound mark. Understanding how many baseball-sized tomatoes are in one pound helps you estimate your tomato needs without wasting any of summer's bounty.