Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Love Apple

I picked two green tomatoes: a Black Krim and a Pineapple (or is it Hillbilly?). The Krim had the faintest faint of color, hardly color. The other, a tomato yellow and pink when ripe, was nowhere near ripe -super green, but large! We traveled with them in a shoe box.

When we arrived in Minnesota, I found a ripening apple and put it in the box. Now, after 36 hours, the Krim is ready and the other has only one small spot of yellow on top.

The application of ethylene gas is common commercial practice to aid ripening of fruit. In fact, when fruit ripens, it naturally produces ethylene. Placing a ripe apple in a box or paper bag with your green, but mature, tomatoes will speed up ripening. It may even ripen a completely green, immature tomato, although it won't improve it's quality.

If you pick tomatoes at what is known as the "breaker" point, an apple will speed up its ripening. If the tomato is already "turning," meaning it has up 30% coloring, you won't need the apple because the tomato is now producing its own ethylene gas. Just put it in a bag to speed it along. If your tomato was immature when picked, like my Hillbilly/Pineapple, it may ripen with an apple, and why not try -it can't be any worse than a grocery tomato in wintertime. Or, eat fried green tomato.

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