39

You need a sharper knife. With a dull knife, you'll have trouble getting through the skin, and end up tearing and smashing, releasing a lot of juice. With a sharp knife, you'll get through the skin cleanly and leave the tomatoes much more intact. Serrated knives are another common option: they get through the skin very easily. A dull serrated knife will ...


36

Tomatoes grow on a vine. But it is possible to pick them unripe, ship them unripe (which is much easier than shipping ripe tomatoes), then gas them with ethylene at the destination. Ethylene acts as a plant hormone and causes ripening. But tomatoes ripened in storage don't taste the same as vine ripened ones. The compounds a tomato builds are dependent on ...


30

It's not a knock-off, per se—but this particular brand has never been imported from Italy. "San Marzano" is a variety of plum tomato, as well as a protected designation of origin for those tomatoes grown in a specific region and in a traditional way. There is no single "San Marzano" brand or trademark owned by a particular company, and the name is not ...


26

What you are observing is that the bulk of the price of tomato products is not the tomatoes. The price of the can and shipping far outweigh the few cents of tomatoes the can contains. With fresh tomatoes you are still mostly not paying for tomatoes. You are paying for the gas and people to ship and stock your tomato and all the other tomatoes that were ...


25

Yes there is. It's called a knife. I use a Shun 10" chef's knife, but you could certainly make do with a much cheaper one.


24

Short answer: tomato sauce is a non-Newtonian fluid. Another interesting link can be found here. Tomato sauce is an interesting creature. Think about ketchup. You try to shake some out and nothing happens. So you tap the bottle a little bit, still nothing. Tap it a little harder, and a little harder, and suddenly boom: a flood of ketchup. The "jumpiness" of ...


21

A few things can cause tomato sauces to become bitter: Overcooked spices. Both basil and oregano can become bitter with long simmers. Add them near the end of the process. Under-ripe tomatos. Store bought tomatoes are often picked green and ripened in the store. These tomatoes make less sweet sauces (which may be contributing). Cooking in an aluminium ...


20

The guideline for the safe canning of tomatoes is for 2 tbsp of 5% vinegar per pint of tomatoes. If you made 16 pints then you'd need 32 tbsp of vinegar, and that is almost 2.5 cups. This isn't to prevent spoiling, the processing will do that, it's to prevent the growth of botulism, which boiling does not do. However, the recipe above calls for 16 cups of ...


20

Short answer: if it doesn't get heated to the caramelization temperature then it does not caramelize. The science is here, and it says you need at least 110 °C for fructose. Browning in your case is probably not caramelization, but a Maillard reaction, which is a chemical reaction between an amino acid and a reducing sugar, usually requiring the ...


18

It would not caramelize for sure, as caramelization occurs between 110 and 180 degrees celsius depending on the particular sugar - well over the boiling point of water, which is your maximum sous-vide temperature. However, it would serve a few purposes that might well work. For one, it would allow the slow breakdown of starches into sugars, just as other ...


17

You don't want to boil them, you want to blanch them. This means you bring the water to a boil, cut a shallow cross into each tomato (scoring the peel), add the tomatoes (few enough compared to the amount of water that the water doesn't stop boiling) and let them boil for ~1 minute. Remove the tomatoes and dump them straight into ice water. Once cooled the ...


16

Yes, cooking it more to evaporate off some of the liquid will definitely help. This is called reducing a sauce. A moderate simmer would be the appropriate temperature. You want to see occasional bubbles but definitely not a rolling boil. Stir it occasionally, making sure to get the bottom of the pot to avoid any scorching. It is possible to have it be quite ...


16

Although a sharp or serrated knife are the best solution, there's also a trick that you can use when you're working with less than ideal knives (ie, in someone else's kitchen). Use the tip of the knife to stab the tomato at the spacing that you'll be cutting it. Slice at each of the stab marks If dicing, place a couple of slices on the board, and then slice ...


16

Most sauces, tomato based or not, will improve in flavour after being left overnight. This is also true of stews and casseroles. The received wisdom is that it gives the flavours a chance to 'marry' and blend, though I'm not sure of the science behind it.


16

Onions contain a good amount of sugar; that is why they brown and burn easily. The sweetness is more than often hidden behind the sharp onion smell and taste. Some onions like the vidalia onion varieties are really sweet. One way to test if an onion will sweeten the tomato sauce would be to prepare two similar batches, one with onion, and one without. ...


15

In the US at least, common canned tomato products include: Paste, cooked down tomatoes, to the point where they are scoopable with a spoon but will not flow. Very thick, like peanut butter. Often sold in six or twelve ounce cans. Pureee - cooked tomatoes that have been--well--pureeed, but are mostly at their natural density; also called crushed tomatoes. ...


15

Tomatoes freeze well in terms of taste, but not in terms of texture. After thawing them, you should use them in soup, stews, etc. rather than eating them raw. It could be useful to remove their skins and dicing them up prior to freezing.


15

While it is perfectly safe to eat tomato puree without cooking it, it is not generally recommended. Uncooked tomato puree in a sauce can be undesirably sour and have a rather raw, rough flavour. If you don't mind this then go ahead, but I would recommend simmering the sauce for at least another 10 minutes after adding the puree.


14

No, it isn't safe, water bath canning is only safe for high-acid foods as the acid kills botulism. Low-acid food must be processed at 240F, 116C, and that can only be achieved in a pressure canner. When you pressure cook the soup it kills the bacteria, however when you then transfer it to the sterilized jars it could be contaminated on the way, and then ...


13

When attempting to slice a lot of regular sized items, if you're not all that picky about the orientation of the cut (eg, if it's through or perpendicular the line between the blossom and stem), you can do the following, if you have a well sharpened knife that isn't going to slide on the skin of the tomatoes: place a few together on your cutting board. ...


13

This is generally true of thick sauces, particularly ones with low surface tension. When thick sauces boil, there's plenty of resistance to the bubbles rising, so they get bigger before they leave the bottom of the pot. When the bubbles do reach the surface and burst, they're big enough to throw sauce everywhere. Since there's basically no surface tension (...


13

There are a number of reasons why the flavor of tomatoes changes during both the cooking and drying processes. The first is that when drying the tomatoes, farmers and processors will dust the tomatoes in fairly high levels of salt, which helps to keep harmful microbes and insects from eating into the fruit and causing rot and infections. The second is that ...


13

In a sense, yes, those are knock-offs. They are grown in the US from San Marzano seeds. Here is the old label from the same company: From Cooks Illustrated: Until I wrote this answer, I was under the impression that the San Marzano brand in my picture were actual Denominazione d’Origine Protetta San Marzano tomatoes. I don't like feeling tricked. Cook'...


13

The primary reason is definitely convenience. If you don't want skin and seeds in your sauce, then you have to do some work to avoid it. Yes, it's possible, e.g. passing through a food mill, or blanching and peeling plus retaining only the flesh, but having it already done is a whole lot easier. Passata is usually much thicker too, so it won't need as long ...


12

Picking a tomato which is individually ugly isn't going to help you. It's still the same variety and grown, stored and shipped under the same conditions as the other tomatoes in the pile. Try looking for a store (farmers' and ethnic markets are good for this) which has a whole bin of ugly tomatoes; those are a different variety and/or handled differently. ...


12

Ditch the cream and onions, and don't use tomato paste. Take a whole bulb of garlic, peel the cloves and leave them whole. Heat a cup of good olive oil over medium heat and add the garlic, stirring occasionally until very lightly brown and blistered: be careful not to burn it! Then add 4 28oz cans of chopped/crushed Italian tomatoes and some chilli, being ...


12

White wine in tomato sauces adds: Some acidity, but tomatoes are quite acidic as well A touch of fruitiness and flavor Alcohol, which does not all cook off, which can enhance the perception of the dish due to some flavor molecules being alcohol soluble, especially in tomatoes Since you are avoiding alcohol itself, some of the options you might use are: ...


12

San Marzano tomatoes are generally preferred for Italian tomato sauces because they are denser, fruitier, have a slightly lower acidity, and break down well when cooked. I've made both fresh and fresh-cooked tomato sauces from the San Marzanos my mother-in-law grows, and would prefer these over just about any other tomato variety for sauce-making (dry-...


12

If you sautée the onions first, the bitterness will disappear, so: if you add the tomatoes to sautéed onions: Yes if you add the raw onions to the tomatoes: Not so much


11

If you have to choose between throwing them out or freezing, go for freezing: The texture will be way different as the tomatoes will get mushy. So when you ponder uses for them, think of what you would use canned / chopped tomatoes for. This also means preparing them a bit now is advisable: removing the peels (but could still "fish" them out later), perhaps ...


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