When you have cherry tomatoes on hand, there are a few things you can do to keep them fresh. You can freeze them, dehydrate them, or even cook them!
Here, we’ll discuss how to preserve cherry tomatoes correctly and provide an answer to the topic of how long they keep.
Cherry Tomatoes: What are they?
A little kind of tomato known as a cherry tomato gets its name from how it looks like a cherry. The vegetable, which is occasionally offered on the vine, can be red (the most frequent color), yellow, orange, green, or virtually black, and can vary in size from slightly smaller than a cherry to approximately twice that size. The juiciness and thin skin of these tomatoes, which make the fruits explode in your mouth when eaten, are praised by chefs.
While cherry tomatoes, like all tomatoes, are at their finest in the summer, they may also be grown in a greenhouse while retaining a lot of flavor and texture due to their small size. After a quick rinse, the inexpensive vegetable can be consumed raw without peeling, seeding, or cutting.
Various Cherry Tomatoes
The various cherry tomato types’ color, size, and form vary. Due to their magnificent gold color, juicy flesh, and vibrant flavor, sungold tomatoes are well-liked. Black cherry tomatoes can have a smokier flavor and a striking color. Although heirloom types can be acquired at farmers’ markets, specialty shops, or even produced at home, traditional red cherry tomatoes are most frequently available in supermarkets. The majority of recipes allow for the interchangeability of several cherry tomato varieties.
How to Store Cherry Tomatoes Properly?
It’s crucial to ensure proper storage when it comes to your belongings. The process varies depending on what you store (fruit, veggies).
Some items should be kept in the refrigerator, while others should be kept at room temperature. But if done improperly, this will result in rotting.
Cherry tomatoes are identical to regular tomatoes; they are smaller and have a slightly distinct flavor. You can therefore utilize the same method of storage for both types.
Keep your tomatoes outdoors in a temperature-controlled environment when storing them.
You are allowing them to ripen by doing this before putting them in the refrigerator. Your tomatoes should be stored in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge to ensure a long life.
Ways to Store Cherry Tomatoes
For cherry tomatoes to last a long time, proper storage is required. Your tomatoes can survive from one week to six months, depending on where you store them: on the counter, in the refrigerator, or the freezer. Then, how should these be stored?
On the Counter (Room Temperature)
It is advantageous to have your cherry tomatoes lying stem down when you leave them out on the counter at room temperature. Doing this can prevent the fruit from being smashed or bruised.
It’s crucial to avoid letting your tomatoes become overripe. As a result, try to prevent contact with other fruits, as this will have that effect.
Your cherry tomatoes should be left on the counter for ripening purposes primarily. Your tomatoes won’t stay very long if you leave them out.
In the Refrigerator
Tomatoes must maintain their ideal temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Any lower will cause spoilage, while any higher degrades tomato quality.
Because of this, be sure to have your tomatoes close or seated in the refrigerator door when you put them in there. You are putting the tomatoes in the warmest part of the refrigerator by doing this.
Bags that are sealed are not necessary. The most crucial things are to watch the temperature of your refrigerator and to avoid cross-contamination with other food items.
Like many other goods, you can decide to freeze your tomatoes if you won’t need them for a while, need more space for storage, or want them to survive longer.
Your ripe cherry tomatoes should be placed on a baking sheet and frozen for about an hour before being taken out. Afterward, you put your tomatoes in a zippered bag, leaving all the air out before storing them in the freezer.
Since cherry tomatoes are prone to icing and sticking together, it is advantageous to arrange your tomatoes on a baking sheet beforehand. Future tomato removal will be simpler thanks to this procedure.
How Long do Cherry Tomatoes Last?
On the Counter (Room Temperature)
When tomatoes are stored on the counter at room temperature, they can survive up to a week before becoming bad.
The refrigerator is the ideal place to store tomatoes for a longer shelf life. This will keep for up to two weeks at room temperature and will last longer than that.
Additionally, you have the option of freezing your tomatoes for later use. Your tomatoes can survive up to six months if stored properly.
How Long do Cherry Tomatoes Keep in the Refrigerator?
Cherry tomatoes can be kept longer in the refrigerator since the colder environment slows the ripening process and keeps the tomatoes fresh. To preserve their moisture, they should be kept in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator in a plastic bag or other containers with a lid.
Cherry tomatoes can keep for about a week at room temperature. They can keep for up to two to three weeks in the refrigerator.
Before eating cherry tomatoes, it is necessary to inspect them for any signs of deterioration.
Is it Best to Freeze Tomatoes Whole or Chopped?
According to your intended use for the frozen tomatoes.
It is preferable to chop the tomatoes before freezing if you intend to use them in a sauce or soup. Tomatoes that have been chopped will thaw more quickly and evenly, making them simpler to use in a dish.
It is advisable to freeze the tomatoes whole if you intend to bake with them or use them in a recipe that calls for extensive cooking times. When frozen and thawed, whole tomatoes retain their shape better and don’t get as mushy as chopped tomatoes often do.
In both situations, it’s crucial to blanch and peel the tomatoes before freezing them; doing so will help keep the tomatoes’ flavor and texture intact.
It’s also crucial to remember that frozen tomatoes won’t have the same flavor as fresh tomatoes and might not work for meals where the tomato flavor plays a significant role.
How do Cherry Tomatoes Taste?
Cherry tomatoes have a flavor similar to other fresh tomatoes but slightly more intense due to their small size. They have a thin, sharp peel, a highly juicy interior, and are bright and sweet. Different cultivars have different sweetness or spiciness. They acquire a richer flavor when cooked, like how fresh tomatoes become tomato sauce.
How should you Prepare Cherry Tomatoes?
Give cherry tomatoes a thorough washing, drain them, or carefully pat them dry to prepare them. The tomatoes can be sliced, cut in half, or used whole in recipes. To preserve their texture and delicious juiciness, they are typically eaten raw. Add them on a veggie platter as a snack, or toss them in salads and salsas. They flavor pasta meals during the summer, whether cooked or uncooked.
Cherry tomatoes lose part of their freshness when cooked, but their flavor becomes richer and more complex. Slice, bake, or sauté them to produce tomatoes that pop. Due to their high peel-to-meat ratio, cherry tomatoes are not the greatest choice for tomato sauce or soup.
Try this tip to cut many cherry tomatoes: assemble two-quart takeout containers with circular caps. Tomatoes should be placed between the tops. With one hand on top of the container containing the tomatoes, cut the tomatoes in half with the serrated knife with the other.
How to Determine When to Throw Out Cherry Tomatoes?
No matter how you preserve them, cherry tomatoes don’t survive a lifetime. Despite your best efforts, they will ultimately go bad. But what indicators exist?
- The appearance and texture of your cherry tomatoes will tell you the most about their quality.
- Dark spots on the fruit are among the first things you’ll notice. This staining is a sign of a rotting tomato. Thus it should be thrown out.
The tomato can be pinched with your fingers. You can tell the fruit is over its expiration date if it feels very soft to the touch and allows your fingertips to sink into it. All tomatoes should feel firm to the touch; anything in the opposite direction is a blatant indication of rotting.
Skin with Lines
Your cherry tomato has gone rotten if the skin has wrinkled and is not maintaining its customarily smooth appearance.
How is Nutrition Affected by Freezing Tomatoes?
Tomatoes’ nutritional value may be somewhat impacted by freezing.
The majority of the vitamins and minerals in tomatoes are generally preserved by freezing, although the texture and flavor of the fruit may be impacted. When tomatoes are frozen, their water content swells, leading to cell rupture and mushy tomatoes when thawed. Additionally, this may change the way the tomatoes taste and feel, making them less ideal for dishes where tomato flavor and texture are essential.
However, because tomatoes may be frozen when they are at their ripest and, therefore, at their most nutritious, freezing them can also assist in preserving their nutritional worth.
In terms of vitamins and minerals, freezing tomatoes retains most of their vitamin C and vitamin content. Still, it depletes them of their vitamin k, folate, and vitamin b6 levels.
The nutritional content of the tomatoes will also depend on how they were cultivated and how ripe they were when they were frozen, so it’s crucial to keep that in mind.
Grape Tomatoes vs. Cherry Tomatoes
There are also significant distinctions between the year-round tiny kinds of cherry and grape tomatoes. Grape tomatoes are oblong and resemble their namesake fruit in size and form. They are easier to transport and have a longer shelf life since they have thicker skin and contain less water.
This explains why grape tomatoes, rather than cherry tomatoes, are more frequently found in supermarket stores. Although the two can be substituted for one another in recipes, cherry tomatoes will yield slightly different results because they have a thinner peel and more juice than grape tomatoes.
Overall, cherry tomatoes can survive a long time, depending on how you care for them. While it’s vital to recognize that tomatoes might spoil quickly, this is not what most people want.
The worst scenario is throwing away a huge quantity of cherry tomatoes due to improper storage.
Cherry tomatoes should be kept on the counter at room temperature for the best possible storage. They ripen and may be held at a comfortable temperature when left on the counter.
According to the optimal temperature for tomatoes, 55 degrees Fahrenheit, anything warmer (in the refrigerator) would not benefit them.
They only last for up to a week when left out on the counter, which is a drawback.