Questions around preparing or cooking with tomatoes, along with selecting appropriate varieties

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48
votes
25answers
115k views

In a tomato sauce recipe, how can I cut the acidity?

It seems that every time I make a tomato sauce for pasta, the sauce is a little bit too acid for my taste. I've tried using sugar or sodium bicarbonate, but I'm not satisfied with the results.
35
votes
3answers
5k views

Why do tomatoes get so hot?

Ever noticed how certain foods seem to get a lot hotter than others? I almost never burn my tongue or mouth... except on tomatoes; Pizza sauce, tomatoes in panini sandwiches or spaghetti sauce. ...
20
votes
12answers
28k views

Should tomatoes be stored in the fridge?

Storing tomatoes in the fridge tends to make them last a bit longer, but I've heard that the flavor is negatively affected. What is the best way to store them?
18
votes
12answers
31k views

How do I make homemade Salsa thicker?

I have been playing with homemade salsa for a few weeks now and I can't seem to figure out how to get that thicker tomato texture that a lot of southern Mexican restaurants have. Right now I play ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the alternative to a vine ripened tomato?

Having just had a lovely sandwich of Aberdeen Angus beef, vine ripened tomato and horseradish I was wondering if anyone could explain to me exactly what a vine ripened tomato is? Since all tomatoes ...
17
votes
11answers
898 views

How to use tomatoes from your garden? [on hold]

Our garden is starting to yield the first of our tomatoes for the year. We are always looking for new ways to use them. Generally we have made salsa and pasta sauces (some for eating right away, and ...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

How do you make tomato paste?

I have a garden every year and would prefer to use my own tomatoes for all my cooking. I can them and make sauces, but haven't found a good recipe that describes the technique for tomato paste. I ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Why peel tomatoes?

Everyone seems to think it is necessary to peel tomatoes before canning or freezing them. Since I do not peel tomatoes when I'm cooking with them (soups, salsa, etc.), I'm wondering if I can freeze ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does tomato sauce spatter more than other sauces?

Of all the (thick) sauces and creams I prepare in a hot pot, tomato sauce is the most jumpy. When it's hot, it's impossible to cook properly without having it jump everywhere and repaint the walls, ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

How to dice tomatoes?

I like to make pico de gallo which calls for a lot of diced tomato. This is always the most time-consuming part of this recipe. What are some tips to make dicing a tomato a little easier? I finally ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

What do you do with left over tomato paste?

I sometimes make sauces that use tomato paste. The problem is that usually I need only one or two tablespoons and I don't know what to do with the rest of the can. The smallest can I could find is 6 ...
12
votes
1answer
13k views

Does ketchup belong in the fridge, or the cupboard?

I'm hoping this will solve a biiig long-running debate I have with my friends. Heinz Tomato Ketchup (The UK version contains sugar from beets, rather than HFCS like the US version) I tend to think ...
11
votes
3answers
327 views

How can I use these new findings on tomatoes to my advantage?

A new study appears to suggest that the characteristics that make a tomato most appealing when choosing one at the store also make it the least appealing when biting into it. Apparently, it is the ...
11
votes
3answers
244 views

Sun Drying Tomatoes

Sorry if this seems obvious, but is there a method to making your own sun-dried tomatoes or is it really as simple as leaving them out in the sun? How long should it take to reach the proper ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

How to make - succulent - Bruschetta?

What ingredients do you need, and what steps to perform to make Bruschetta? While on honeymoon in Tuscany we got bruschetta with chopped tomato and herb topping, on crusty bread (I think there was ...
10
votes
6answers
33k views

What causes a tomato sauce to have a bitterness and getting rid of it?

My tomato sauce is coming out great, lots of flavor, especially after I was able to reduce it following the tips here However, it is still slightly bitter. What causes a tomato sauce to have a (in ...
8
votes
6answers
221 views

Peeling tomatoes

I have a recipe that calls for peeling tomatoes. I've found elsewhere that this is often done by boiling them and letting the skin lift away during that process. Is there anything else that can make ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Non-alcoholic substitution for dry white wine in bolognese sauce and other tomato sauces?

What is the purpose of dry white wine in a recipe like bolognese sauce? I need to substitute something non-alcoholic for the wine and while I've found many great lists of possible substitutions, the ...
8
votes
3answers
296 views

Fresh tomatoes for home-made pizzas, is it worth it?

I figured fresh tomatoes would be the best choice for making a tasty pizza sauce, so I bought like 8 kg of fresh Roma tomatoes as I found a good price opportunity, to make jars. I already made a try ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

What kind of knife should I use to slice tomatoes?

Is it better to use a serrated knife, or a regular chef's knife that is really sharp?
8
votes
2answers
19k views

What is the difference between tomato puree, paste and sauce?

I was looking for a recipe for an Italian tomato sauce when I came across an old cookbook from an American Creole Chef I like, but I'm really confused about the terminology he uses for some of the ...
7
votes
12answers
38k views

Making Tomato Sauce from Tomato Paste

I've been trying, on-and-off when I have time, to make tomato sauce from a 5 1/2 oz can of tomato paste, but haven't figured out the right proportions of ingredients. I've been combining a can of ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

How does one soften sun dried tomatoes?

Some packs of sun dried tomatoes come a bit too hard to chew. How do I soften them for use in a salad? Should I toss them?
7
votes
4answers
474 views

I would like to make homemade Ketchup, how do I prepare the tomato?

I've got the rest of the recipe, sugar, vinegar and a few other spices that I was going to experiment with,but I wanted to know what do you need to do to the tomato in order to get it to look like ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the correct onion to tomato ratio for North Indian masala sauce?

What's the optimum — or, at least, the most widely used — tomato to onion ratio for making the tomato masala (sauce)? Masala is used as the base for a number of north Indian dishes. Onions are fried ...
7
votes
2answers
8k views

What is the “standard” salsa tomato?

I make a lot of fresh salsa (pico de gallo style) in the summer, but I don't usually think much about the type of tomatoes I'm usuing. Usually I just buy whatever looks best (fresh & ripe) at the ...
6
votes
7answers
5k views

How to get a thicker soup from watery tomatoes?

I want to make a tomato soup, but my girlfriend tells me that, from the tomato we have, the soup will be too watery. Now I've read that one could use tomato paste/puree as a thickener, and still keep ...
6
votes
3answers
17k views

My tomato sauce is very watery

It has flavor, but its consistency is too thin. Will letting sit over medium low heat evaporate enough to increase its density or is this useless? Would bringing it to a boil help more. I don't want ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Why did my tomato soup turn thick and brownish?

I tried to improvise a tomato soup following these steps: Slice tomatoes, briefly stir-fry for aroma, together with some onions, garlic pepper, salt, and a bit of sugar. While still hot, purée all ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

Why use chopped tomatoes and tomato paste/puree?

I have seen a number of recipes that call for a tin of chopped tomatoes and some quantity (usually a tablespoon or two) of tomato puree (USA: tomato paste). What is the reasoning behind using tomato ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

How can I add meat into a completed tomato sauce?

Yesterday I was cooking for someone and was planning on making a bolognese sauce, but when it came to start cooking (ie. after doing my mise en place), she asked if I could leave the meat out of it, ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

what makes red tomato sauce turn orange in colour?

I have noticed that tomato sauce (having started with deep red tomatoes) can turn orange. The colour change isn't from mixing in an ingredient of different colour such as cream. It seems to occur in ...
6
votes
4answers
43k views

What is the difference between grape and cherry tomatoes?

What is the flavor difference between grape and cherry tomatoes? The store had both and they looked rather similar.
5
votes
5answers
1k views

How can I cut lots of cherry tomatoes in half quickly and evenly?

Is there a tool to cut cherry tomatoes in half? Since they are so regular it should be possible to build such a machine. Alternately, what can I do to improve my speed and accuracy when halving them ...
5
votes
10answers
18k views

What alternatives are there to tomato based pizza sauces?

I know someone that can't eat citrus foods or foods with high acidity so when it comes to pizza this means having it with no tomato based sauces. So far this means having ranch or an Alfredo-type ...
5
votes
5answers
962 views

What is the name of the middle eastern salad containing Tomato and Cucumber?

Not sure if there is an proper name, had it in Israel but have seen it (or similar variations) in Moroccan restaurants (in the US). Comprised of primarily diced cucumbers and tomatoes, that have been ...
5
votes
3answers
21k views

How can I replace canned tomatoes with fresh?

I have a tomato sauce recipe that calls for 1 can (28oz) of diced tomatoes (including the liquid). How can I replace the can with fresh tomatoes? I'm not sure if there is a particular type of tomato I ...
5
votes
6answers
428 views

Keeping scrambled eggs with tomatoes from being too watery

When cooking scrambled eggs with tomatoes, I find that the longer the tomatoes cook with the eggs, the a. more they decompose, b. the more water the put into the pan. My ideal would be scrambled eggs ...
5
votes
6answers
6k views

Keeping pizza crust from getting soggy from fresh tomatoes

Whenever I make a pizza with fresh tomatoes on it, the juice from the tomatoes turns the crust to mush. I think I must be doing something wrong - do I need to pre-cook the tomatoes to get rid of ...
5
votes
2answers
149 views

pressure cooking THEN water bath canning

I wanted to make and can my grandma's tomato soup but it calls for carrots and I don't have a pressure canner. I made the soup in a 15 PSI pressure cooker and then poured it into sterilized jars and ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

How do I prevent tomato making quiche soggy

I have made a simple quiche using a Martha Stewart recipe (http://www.marthastewart.com/336904/spinach-and-gruyere-quiches) several times, sometimes altering the filling to include variously bacon, ...
5
votes
3answers
144 views

Heirloom tomatoes

What makes a tomato "heirloom" and what is the difference to conventional tomatoes? Edited: heritage -> heirloom, makes more sense that way.
5
votes
2answers
871 views

Is it necessary to skim the scum off of fermenting pickles?

The sour (fermented) pickle recipe that I am following states: Check the crock every day. Skim any mold from the surface, but don’t worry if you can’t get it all. If there’s mold, be sure to ...
4
votes
4answers
289 views

How do I prevent tomatoes from falling in a green salad?

When making a green salad, I have taken to grating carrots instead of dicing them so they will mix better with the leaves. I can't grate tomatoes. No matter how small I dice them (short of pureeing) ...
4
votes
4answers
18k views

Crushed tomatoes - sub with diced or whole?

I have a barbecue sauce recipe that calls for 1 can of crushed tomatoes. I have cans of whole & cans of diced. Could I just run one of those through the food processor and deem it "crushed"? ...
4
votes
3answers
942 views

What can I use to replace the tomato juice in gazpacho?

I'm trying to find cold alternatives to hot soup. A friend pointed me to gazpacho. I tried that, and we really liked it. However, I will be cooking for someone who does not eat cooked tomatoes ...
4
votes
4answers
254 views

How do I sautee tomatoes without them being juicy?

I sautee them in olive oil and salt and they turn out great except for the fact that they are too juicy. If I could just get the juice out, they would be perfect. I had some tomato basil pasta the ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Differences between canned and fresh tomatoes

I read on the web (including here) that canned tomatoes are usually more suitable for tomato sauces (in particular pizza sauce) than fresh tomatoes. It is unquestionable that both are really ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Did tomato paste come in only one size of can in the 1950s?

I found an old cookery book while on holiday at the german coast, it was published by Peter Pauper press, Mt. Vernon, New York in 1959. All recipes that use tomato paste just say "1/2 can tomato ...
4
votes
2answers
742 views

Thicker tomato sauce on the pizza makes the cheese more slippery

After reading the advice about tomato sauce in this answer, I decided to try straining the sauce to remove water and see what it did to the crust. I let the water drain out of a jar of tomato sauce ...