Winning Ways to Ripen Tomatoes



What’s black and white and red all over? Tomatoes wrapped in newspapers. All joking aside, this trick really works. Find out how your daily paper can make your tomatoes better.

Once you hear the news about a hard freeze coming, reach for your newspaper. Pick your green tomatoes, wrap them individually in newspaper, and store them at room temperature to ripen.


If wrapping them individually seems like too much bother, you can put the unripe tomatoes on a shelf and cover them with sheets of newspaper. The idea is to trap ethylene gas to speed up ripening. Make sure to check your tomatoes often. Remove the ripe ones as well as any that have begun to rot.


Here are some more helpful hints for ripening and storing tasty tomatoes.

  • To really ripen a tomato in a hurry, put an unripe tomato in a brown paper bag with an apple or banana. These fruits give off ethylene gas to hasten ripening.

  • Tomatoes that have turned pink, but not yet red, can be picked and left in a warm place out of direct sunlight to ripen.

  • Once ripe, tomatoes should be stored at room temperature — not in the refrigerator. To make them last even longer, place them stem-end down on your counter. This blocks air from entering and moisture from leaving your tomato.


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  • FC&A Staff Writer