There they sit, on lunch plates all across America. Uneaten, unloved and even perhaps unsightly! Know by most people as hot house tomatoes, these ubiquitous slabs of vegetable matter inspire a deep and profound sense of disgust in folks like myself. Comparing a hot house tomato to the real McCoy grown in the summertime in a backyard garden is like comparing a can of Spam to a Porterhouse steak! But, what makes a hot house tomato taste so bad?
To answer that, most commercially grown tomatoes taste as bad as they do because they are picked green and then forced to turn red by the introduction of Etheline gas, produced by ripe apples and other fruits that stimulates the simulation of ripening. It changes the color from yellow or green to red but doesn’t really cause true “Ripening”. It LOOKS ripe but has the taste and texture of unripe fruit.
So, the bottom line is that while there is really no difference between a hot house tomato and one grown outdoors over the summer, it’s really all about the ripening process!