What is the best way to pick tomatoes? Removing the stem+tomato from the plant or simply removing the tomato only, leaving the stem on the plant? Does it matter?
There is a "knuckle" on the short stem (the pedicel) between the tomato and the larger stem that holds all the flowers (the peduncle). When a tomato is ripe, it will break off easily by lifting the tomato, so that the knuckle bends backwards from its normal position, and pulling gently on the tomato. This leaves a short section of stem and the calyx attached to the tomato.
The alternative is to try to pick just the tomato, separating it from the calyx. This requires a tighter grip on the tomato, potentially squeezing it to the point of bursting it. Pulling on the fruit to get it to break away can also cause more trauma to the overall plant.