When selecting tomatoes look for tomatoes that are heavy for their size, size of tomato has no affect on taste just a matter of preference. Tomatoes should be firm but yield to the touch. Color and smell are also great indicators of ripeness; unripe tomatoes will have no smell and be pink or lighter in color.


Most tomatoes today are picked before fully ripe. They are bred to continue ripening, but the enzyme that ripens tomatoes stops working when it reaches temperatures below 12.5°C (54.5°F). Once an unripe tomato drops below that temperature, it will not continue to ripen. Once fully ripe, tomatoes can be stored in the refrigerator but are best kept and eaten at room temperature. Tomatoes stored in the refrigerator tend to lose flavor, but will still be edible. To speed up the ripening process of  a tomato, store it with a apple or banana in a closed brown paper bag at room temperature.


Small tomatoes are good for sauces and casseroles, while medium to large tomatoes are usually used for slicing. Jumbo size tomatoes are commonly used for stuffing. Fresh tomatoes are ideal in salads and sandwiches; but can be used in soups, stews, sauces and dressings. Can be fine snack eaten right out of the hand, but can be cooked in many forms including stewed, fried and baked.

Nutrition Information

Red tomatoes, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)

Energy 20 kcal   80 kJ


4 g

- Sugars  2.6 g

- Dietary fiber  1 g  


0.2 g


1 g


95 g

Vitamin C  13 mg


Percentages are relative to US
recommendations for adults