Ripe and unripe tomatoes hanging from a vine
How To Bring Out The Flavor In Out-Of-Season Tomatoes
By Julia Mullaney
Tomato season in the United States runs somewhere between May and October, though the exact months might vary depending on the location and climate. Tomatoes that are not in season can taste bitter, but thankfully, there is a quick fix to help bring out their natural flavor and combat the bitterness.
To enhance a tomato's flavor during those out-of-season months, Chef Andrew Jones, the executive chef at St. Lucia's Sugar Beach, says that it just takes a little sugar and vinegar. "If you're making a tomato sauce or soup and the tomatoes aren't ripe enough, add a pinch of sugar and a splash of red wine vinegar.”
When tomatoes already taste bitter, sugar is an easy way to balance out that sweetness, but it also helps reduce the acidity — an element that isn't necessary when a tomato's flavor isn't so sweet. As for red wine vinegar, it adds a tang that helps balance the sugar with the tomato's natural flavor.