Be very careful if you want to refrigerate tomatoes! They will only ripen correctly at room temperature. Once they are ripe, use within 3 days. If you are concerned that you will not be able to use your tomatoes soon after ripening, you MAY refrigerate th
This "vegetable" is actually a berry, and is thought to have come first from the Andes mountains, and the present name is close to the Indian name. It belongs to the nightshade family, along with potatoes, eggplants, peppers and tobacco.
In Europe, where it was taken by the Spanish, the tomato was grown only as a ornamental for many years. Eating tomatoes was considered certain to prove fatal. Even in North America, it has been only since the early to mid 1800s that people mustered enough courage to try eating them. That all changed starting on the courthouse steps in Salem, New Jersey, at twelve o'clock noon on September 26, 1820, when Colonel Robert G. Johnson ate not one, but a basketful of tomatoes. He not only lived, he wasn't a bit ill following his demonstration.
In 1893, the Supreme Court ruled that the tomato must be considered a vegetable, even though, botanically, it is a fruit. Because vegetables and fruits were subject to different import duties, it was necessary to define it as one or the other. So, tomatoes were declared to be a vegetable given that it was commonly eaten as one. (Source: The Packer, 6/9/90)