Tomatoes taste best when are allowed to naturally ripened in the sun- ideally they ripen slowly on the plant so that their flavor can fully develop. You can speed ripening by placing under-ripe tomatoes in a brown paper bag and closing for a day or two.
When purchasing, they should have a wonderful, sweet aroma. Also look at the leafy, green tops: the fresher they look, the better.
Store at room temperature, not in the refrigerator. Once temperatures go below 50ºF, the quality of tomatoes deteriorates - the pulp gets mushy and flavor is lost.
To peel tomatoes, heat a large saucepan of water to boiling. Carefully place the tomatoes in the boiling water for 15 to 20 seconds. Transfer with a slotted spoon or tongs to cold water, then peel skins from the tomatoes.
To remove the core, cut a small circle around the stem end with a small knife and remove.
To remove seeds, cut the tomato crosswise in half and gently squeeze or spoon seeds into a bowl. Although seeding a tomato may be beneficial to a recipe, remember that the seeds are the highest concentration of vitamin C and much of the flavor.
To freeze fresh tomatoes, peel, seed and chop; do not drain. Place tomatoes in plastic containers or plastic freezer bags, and freeze up to three months. Use in recipes as you would canned tomatoes.
To roast a tomato, insert a long-handled fork into the tomato. Hold it over a gas or charcoal grill, turning the tomato until it is charred on all sides. Let the tomato cool enough to handle, then remove the skin.
Adding Tomatoes to Your Table