It can be frustrating to try a new recipe and not understand how much of an ingredient to purchase at the store. Sometimes they give you a quantity of tomatoes in volume (2 cups), sometimes as a weight (8 ounces) and still others the tomato is given as a produce description (2 medium tomatoes). But what are they really talking about? So how much is in a tomato? In order to help make cooking easier we did some experiments to help tell you exactly how many tomatoes you need to buy.
To answer How many tomatoes in a cup we went to the grocery store to check out the different common types of tomatoes in the produce section. After surveying the selection we discovered that 1 pound is equal to 25 to 30 cherry tomatoes, 8 plum tomatoes or 3 medium round tomatoes.
The cherry tomato weighs about 1 ounce, the plum tomato about 3 ounces, and the regular garden tomato weighs about 6 ounces. We then started chopping and found it took 27 to 28 cherry tomatoes, about 3 plum tomatoes, or 1.25 medium round garden tomatoes to reach the 1 cup mark.
Did you know that a fruit is the edible part of the plant containing seeds; a vegetable is a stem, leaf or root. Botanically speaking a tomato is a fruit. The confusion arose after the 1890s when the US Supreme Court named them a vegetable for taxation purposes. Tomatoes are thought to have originated in South America near modern-day Peru. The name "tomato" comes from the Aztec word "xitomatl," which means "plump thing with a navel". The biggest tomato fight in the world happens each year in the small Spanish town of Buñol. The La Tomatina Festival involves some 40,000 people throwing 150,000 overly ripe tomatoes at each other. Now there's a laundry nightmare!
Next time your recipe calls for a cup of chopped tomatoes you'll feel confident knowing how many of which kind of tomato you need. You can also use our conversion tool below for any custom how many tomatoes in a... measurements you need. Having trouble slicing tomatoes into clean looking pieces? Then we highly recommended buying a serrated tomato knife, they aren't expensive and really make cutting tomatoes so much easier. For 2 options under $10, the Rada Cutlery Tomato Slicer Knife is super sharp but feels light weight. For a heftier feel in the hand, the Pure Komachi 2 Series Tomato/Cheese Knife is another option in the same price point. If a longer blade is a mandatory feature, then the 5.5 inch Wusthof Gourmet Tomato Knife, although a bit more expensive, may be just the kitchen tool you need for a more pleasant cooking experience.
Place not fully ripened tomatoes in a large plastic covered bowl with holes drilled in the top. The cover traps the tomatoes' natural ethylene gas and speeds up the ripening process; the air holes allow proper air and moisture circulation.
Green tomatoes will ripen when stored in a warmer spot with temperatures between 65 and 70°F (18.3 and 21.1°C). The tomatoes can be stored in a cooler location, but will take longer to ripen. In this state, you can hold tomatoes 4 to 6 weeks.
Tomatoes are sensitive to chill-injury, store on your counter at room temperature between 65 and 70°F (18.3 and 21.1°C). Do not refrigerate unless necessary, such as extra-ripe tomatoes which helps to slow down the ripening process. Refrigeration causes tomatoes to lose flavor and nutrients.
Peeled, seeded pulp will hold in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days if covered well.
Set tomatoes on a rack without touching each other. Tomatoes that have started to turn red can be held in a dark area with temperature of 55 to 60°F (12.8 and 15.6°C)s. The storage spot must be humid but not damp, or the tomatoes will rot. And if possible, a temperature of 85°F (29.4°C) is actually ideal.
Tomato sauce freezes great.
Whole or peeled tomatoes can be frozen in plastic bags for use in cooked meals later. However, this process does alter the taste and texture of the tomatoes.
Standard and plum tomatoes are excellent for canning.
There may be several thousand varieties of tomatoes, but the following 4 classifications are most commonly used:
One of the biggest hassles when cooking and working in the kitchen is when a recipe calls for "the juice of 1 lime" or a similar measurement. Often times when cooking people use bottled juices, pre-sliced vegetables and other convenient cooking time savers. Produce Converter will help you convert the "juice of 1 lime" and other similar recipe instructions into tablespoons, cups and other concrete measurements.
Produce Converter can also be used to figure out how many vegetables to buy when you need, for instance, "A cup of diced onion." You can use our easy conversion tool to figure out exactly how many onions you need to buy at the store in order to end up with the amount you need for your cooking.
We hope you enjoy Produce Converter and if you have any suggestions for how we can improve it and make your cooking easier please let us know.