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Why You Should Put Tape on Your Tomatoes

Fresh tomatoes in a bowl with a dark background.

Figuring out reliable methods that keep your produce from spoiling helps in every type of kitchen. When it comes to tomatoes, a certain humble adhesive can work wonders. While we tend to keep office supplies and kitchen ingredients separate, it’s time to think again.

It turns out that a little bit of tape can help keep your tomatoes fresh and delicious for a long time. 

We all know that tomatoes are at their prime when they’re juicy and bursting with flavor. But once you set a tomato on your counter, it’s like opening Pandora’s box–the clock starts ticking on its freshness. 

Applying a piece of tape (any type of tape) over the stem mark of your tomato will help it maintain its freshness. This helps reduce the amount of airflow to the stem, which reduces bacteria and mold growth. Leave the tape over the top stem of your tomato until you are ready to use that tomato. 

K-Brands Tomato Cage

Always have fresh tomatoes when you grow them yourself!

When using this method, your tomato is capable of staying fresh for up to two weeks. It will keep its tight, bright skin and you shouldn’t find any signs that moisture has been lost. That tomato will be perfect for sandwiches, salads, or any other tomato recipe.

Keep in mind that a little tape over the top of your tomato isn’t the only thing you can do to keep your tomatoes tasting great. Tomatoes thrive under specific storage needs so if you’re looking for a few more ways to keep them delicious, stick around.

Firstly, it’s important to guard your tomatoes against too much chill. Cold storage can be harsh on tomatoes and they can develop undesirable flavor and texture when exposed to harsh refrigerator temperatures. For the best tomato flavor, store your tomatoes at room temperature and keep them protected from the cold until they’re ripe.

If you must store your tomatoes in the refrigerator, place them in the warmest area of the fridge such as the door. Tomatoes that are fully ripe and leaning towards overripe should be used as soon as possible or placed in the fridge as a last resort.

H&GT Garden Kneeler and Seat

If you're growing tomatoes in your garden, this kneeler and seat will make it more enjoyable.

If you want to help your tomatoes ripen slower but don’t want to utilize the tape-over-the-stem method, you can store your tomatoes stem-side-down. This is the second best way to slow down the air, mold, and bacteria trying to get into your tomato. 

It’s also worth noting that tomatoes tend to ripen from bottom to top. This means that if you continually store your tomatoes right side up (meaning, they’re resting on their bottom with the stem side up), you’re adding pressure to an already ripe surface.

This tends to increase the ripening process and can lead to a bruised, squishy tomato much faster.

Always remember that a bit of tape can help keep your tomatoes fresh longer, and while the refrigerator will slow the ripening process, too much chill will steal your tomatoes’ delicious flavor.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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