Michelin-star chef says ‘get tomatoes out of the fridge’ for ‘better flavour’

Marcus Wareing shares how to store tomatoes for best flavour

Masterchef judge Marcus Wareing has revealed exactly how to store tomatoes at home to get the best flavour.

The presenter of the BBC show, “Tales from a Kitchen Garden”, may be known for growing his own fruits and vegetables in his East Sussex small-holding, but he claimed that storage is essential for every kind of fresh ingredient – whether it’s shop bought or not.

Speaking on BBC This Morning Live, the Michelin-starred chef suggested buying under-ripe fruits in-store and improving them at home.

He said: “I always think that the best thing to do is buy irregular tomatoes.

“We see so many perfect tomatoes in supermarkets and they’re not the best, they’re ripened in fridges.”

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Marcus continued: “I think the best way to get the flavour is to get them out of the fridge, get them out of the packets, into a bowl, onto a window ledge and let the sunshine on to them wherever possible.”

The chef claimed that swapping a cold environment for room temperature also “brings out their natural flavour” and “enhances the sweetness of the tomato” – which is, after all, what they’re most loved for.

He said: “So, don’t put them in the fridge, leave them out and eat them when they’re at room temperature because you get a much better flavour.”

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It’s not just how they’re stored that impacts the flavour of fresh tomatoes either. Marcus suggested that plenty of seasoning, specifically salt and pepper, is a non-negotiable when serving the juicy red fruits.

He explained: “The key with cookery and eating is, you’ve got a basic ingredient that’s grown for us to consume, pretty much like a chef, our job is to enhance the natural flavour of that ingredient.

“And salt, pepper, vinegar, spices, they bring out the flavour and enhance them, so you can always do a little bit more than leave them out in a bowl.”

The chef noted that basil is “always a winner with tomatoes”, and “lots of” salt and pepper is always a good addition.

After doing a taste test comparing refrigerated fruits to the room temperature tomatoes, BBC Morning Live presenter Gethin Jones claimed that “there was a clear difference” in how they tasted.

According to Marcus, one of the best ways to enjoy the red ingredient is in a simple sandwich made with lightly toasted bread, sliced tomatoes, a bit of chutney, mayonnaise and some salad leaves to stop the bread from going soggy.

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