When tomatoes start to ripen, they produce a gaseous hormone called ethylene.
Commercially grown tomatoes are harvested and transported while still green and immature. To make them red before selling, food companies spray them with artificial ethylene gas.
This process inhibits the development of natural flavor and may result in tasteless tomatoes.
Therefore, locally grown tomatoes may taste better because they’re allowed to ripen naturally.
If you buy unripened tomatoes, you can speed up the ripening process by wrapping them in a sheet of newspaper and keeping them on the kitchen counter for a few days. Just make sure to check them daily for ripeness.
SUMMARY: Tomatoes are often harvested while still green and immature, then ripened artificially with ethylene gas. This may lead to less flavor development, resulting in bland tomatoes.