Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Green Tomato + Banana + Paper Bag = ?

Do you usually set those "not yet ripe" tomatoes down on the sunny kitchen sill and wait patiently for them to ripen? Ever wonder if there is a way to speed things up a bit? Well, there is! Try the paper bag method.

1. Insert ripening banana and amount of tomatoes as will fit into a paper bag (thus, the name!)

2. Store in a warm, semi-humid area away from sunlight.

3. This method is useful when you don't have a lot of room and you only have a few tomatoes


• The bananas must be "ripening" - they are at their most useful when they are yellow with green on the ends. (#4 or #5 )
All ripening fruit produce ethylene, a gas that helps ripen the fruit. Bananas are not the only fruit you can use but they generally produce so much ripening gas in comparison to other fruits that they provide the best "booster" source of ethylene. And, unlike tomatoes, bananas ripen very well after they have been picked.

• Humidity is also an important factor for indoor ripening. Too much humidity can encourage rotting (and the dreaded fruit flies); too little humidity and you might end up with dehydrated tomatoes. Keep a close eye on their progress and adjust things as you see fit.

• For the best flavor, eat the tomatoes as soon as they have ripened. They will gradually lose their flavor after about one week of storage in the refrigerator.

•This makes a great science experiment for kids as well. It is another way to enthuse them with the joys of harvesting from one's own garden.

H/T Keeper of the Keys

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