10

Why aren't frozen tomatoes available like frozen broccoli, peas, peaches, or strawberries? Why are tomatoes only canned or fresh?

Example: http://www.peapod.com/search_results.jhtml?searchText=frozen+tomatoes

  • 2
    They're also available dried. ('sun dried tomatoes') – Joe Jan 3 '15 at 11:17
  • Canned just works so well..... – Ian Jan 3 '15 at 18:38
19

Freeze one, thaw it and see. The liquid separates out and leaves a pulpy structure behind. Tomato sauce (no chunks) thaws much better and separated liquid can be stirred back in well enough.

Canned works as we all know so no one is bothering trying to grow a freezer-friendly tomato, yet.

  • Could they be freeze-dried, then reconstituted? Why can melons be frozen (honeydew, cantaloupe), but not tomatoes? I try to use canned tomatoes in my guacamole, but they are always mushy. Even though the can says diced, it's more like crushed. – Chloe Jan 3 '15 at 5:59
  • 1
    @chloe if they were frozen and thawed, they would be much worse than simply mushy. Ergo for freeze dried and reconstituted. You can experiment with sundried, they are widely available, but don't expect much. Nothing tastes like a fresh ripe tomato. – rumtscho Jan 3 '15 at 9:51
  • @rumtscho I actually love sun-dried tomatoes! That's a great idea! I will use those in my guac from now on. – Chloe Jan 3 '15 at 20:48
  • 1
    @Chloe have you tried canned whole tomatoes? – Random832 Jan 5 '15 at 16:19
5

They are :) (site in French).

However, if you look at the reviews, the average customer isn't too pleased with the product, essentially for the reasons mentioned by @PatSommer (watery, poor texture, etc.). Don't forget that canning transforms tomatoes in a way which makes them particularly useful for sauces and the like, which is another reason why it is such a popular method of conservation.

4

There is no advantage to freezing over canning, and from many perspective there are disadvantages (discolouration, mushiness, overall general cellular destruction)

The embodied energy required to can is also much less than to keep them frozen, so this combined with disadvantages of freezing tomatoes, manufacturers choose to use canning

Yes, you can freeze dry tomatoes into a powder, it's not that great compared to freeze dried fruit powders though

Dried tomatoes (think sun dried tomatoes) are excellent, but are generally not a useful substitute for fresh tomatoes

  • I've found that with good, tasty garden tomatoes, freezing preserves the original flavor better than high temperature canning. Likely it makes no difference for the major mega-farm grown cultivars. – Wayfaring Stranger Jan 3 '15 at 16:16
  • One is cooked, the other is not. One still looks like a tomato, the other is total mush. Not comparing equals here! – TFD Jan 3 '15 at 20:51
2

Beside the reasons in the other answers, tomatoes really don't like low temperatures. They change their aroma and texture already at fridge temperature. They will go through the same temperature region when freezing and thawing, so they will get that bad taste of a cooled tomato. They won't have the texture of a fridge tomato though, because the freezer will do a larger change - instead of getting unpleasantly hard, they'll get limp and their juices will separate.

To sum it up, canned tomatoes don't taste like fresh tomatoes, but at least they taste like cooked tomatoes. Frozen then thawed tomatoes don't taste neither like fresh, nor like cooked. They are just not that good to eat.

2

Frozen tomatoes will lose all their structure, so are only of use for cooking. Canned tomatoes works very well for cooking and are cheap. The taste is also improved by the canning process, but not by freezing.

So I can’t see how anyone can charge enough for frozen tomatoes to as to make a profit.

But I have frozen my own tomatoes. To do so, blanch them in boiling water, or cook them down into a source before freezing.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.