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Juicy, ripe tomatoes are one of the best parts of summer. For a few precious months each year, tomatoes ripen naturally in the heat and star front and center in a vast range of colors, shapes and sizes at farmers markets. It's a beautiful thing. Cutting them properly is another.

Juicy, ripe tomatoes are one of the best parts of summer. For a few precious months each year, tomatoes ripen naturally in the heat and star front and center in a vast range of colors, shapes and sizes at farmers markets. It's a beautiful thing. 

A serrated knife, small or large, even not at its sharpest, will pierce the tomato's skin before the flesh, rather than both at the same time. Perforating the skin first prevents the mashing of the flesh and subsequent deluge of juices that make people without serrated knives hate slicing tomatoes. We like ceramic knives like this one — they tend to stay sharper for longer and are lightweight, again, to prevent the mangling of delicious tomato flesh.

To core the tomato — remove the fibrous, un-tasty cone of flesh right below the stem — before slicing you'll still need a small, sharp paring knife. Stick the tip of the knife in at an angle and saw around the stem, then pop out the core and discard. Once the core's out, slice, dice, remove the seeds, keep them in, whatever you need to do to get that fresh tomato off the cutting board and into a dish.   

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