The Simple Tape Hack That Keeps Tomatoes Fresh And Juicy

We can't think of too many better problems to solve in the kitchen than wasting fresh tomatoes. Tender, sweet, and flavorful, truly fresh, seasonal tomatoes completely blow away most store-bought versions, but their period of availability is short. That makes losing your fresh tomatoes to poor storage all the more unfortunate, as you might have to wait another nine months to get a tomato so good. Of course, few people are able to use up all their tomatoes in one go, no matter how much they love bruschetta, so getting storage right is essential for taking advantage all week long. Thankfully this tomato storage hack is as easy as they come and preserves tomatoes better than you could possibly imagine. All it takes is covering the stem area.

That's right, to keep your tomatoes in top form, all you need to do is store them in a way that the stub of the green stem and the small indentation around it are covered. This can be done in a few ways. You can flip your tomatoes over and store them upside down, or you can cover the stem area with a mostly airtight seal, like a piece of tape. It actually helps to remove the stem completely, but it's not strictly necessary. With this small change, your tomatoes can stay good for over a week, with minimal wrinkling or loss of juice, even outside of the refrigerator.

Cover the stem area of your tomatoes to keep them fresh for days

How does such a small move make such a big impact on your tomatoes? It's all about how they lose moisture. Tomatoes' skin is normally quite solid and good at trapping moisture. The small area on top of the tomato that was once connected to the plant is the most permeable part of its exterior, so the vast majority of the moisture loss that accounts for its premature spoiling occurs through there. Sealing up that opening, even just by turning the tomatoes over, prevents most of that moisture from escaping, just like wrapping up a baked good does. It makes such a huge difference that covering your stems can prevent over 75% of moisture loss.

Besides covering the stems, the best way to store your tomatoes depends on how ripe they are. If your tomatoes are already ripe, signaled by a deep color and slight give when you squeeze them, they are fine to store in the fridge, as their flavor won't be affected. If they still need to ripen, or if you plan on eating your tomatoes in a day or two, you should leave them at room temperature, and the covering will prevent them from getting mushy. Covering your tomato stems will make peak-flavor tomatoes available to you for days after they're ripe and ensure none of it goes to waste.