How Do I Choose the Best Grape Tomato?

Missy Nolan

Grape tomatoes are tiny tomatoes that are rich in vitamin C and fiber. When choosing the best tomatoes, make sure to examine each grape tomato carefully for signs of decay or damage. Avoid dull grape tomatoes that have cracks, mold or other markings. A fresh grape tomato is firm, bright and free of wrinkles. It also should be stored in a warm area and have a fresh scent.

Easy grape tomatoes should be examined for flaws.
Easy grape tomatoes should be examined for flaws.

Cracks or bruises are a fairly obvious sign that you are not dealing with the best grape tomato. A good tomato should be completely free of blemishes, with a rich red or reddish-orange skin. Black blemishes indicate decay or damage during the handling process. Green spots mean that a tomato has not fully ripened, and some grape tomatoes never fully finish the ripening process. You can still eat an unripened tomato, but the taste will be significantly different from that of a ripe one.

Inspect grape tomatoes for any sign of mold, and discard the entire tomato if you detect it.
Inspect grape tomatoes for any sign of mold, and discard the entire tomato if you detect it.

Mold is another thing you won't find on a good grape tomato. Carefully check for signs of mold on each tomato before you consume it. Tomato mold is generally an off-white, gray or black shade, but other colors might appear on some varieties. Mold usually is found on the top or bottom of a grape tomato, although it can cover any part of this juicy red fruit. Do not cut the mold off or wash it away; discard tomatoes that are moldy.

Gently rub your fingers against the skin of your grape tomatoes. It should feel slightly firm when you press your fingers on it. Ripe tomatoes should also be smooth and wrinkle-free. Wrinkles are a sign that the tomatoes are getting old and need to be eaten soon. If you don't want to throw them away, aging tomatoes are best used in pasta sauces or soups.

Storage is important when it comes to choosing the best tomatoes. All tomatoes should be kept in a warm area at or above room temperature, away from direct sunlight. Avoid buying tomatoes that have been frozen or refrigerated, because this might halt the ripening process or cause them to age more quickly.

A grape tomato's scent gives you a final clue about whether it is good to eat. Hold the tomato just below your nose, squeeze gently, and sniff the skin. It should smell sweet, with a slight woody odor. A strong, unpleasant odor means that the tomato is rotten and should not be eaten.

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