70 votes
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Fry onions and garlic before adding to the sauce?

Sauteing onions: Softens them, most people prefer not to run into raw onions in their sauce. Onions will cook in a sauce, but very slowly, so frying them before makes sure they will be soft even if ...
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  • 68.2k
49 votes

If one tomato had molded, is the rest of the pack safe to eat?

Yes - the mold is an indication that the spores have entered that tomato, but do not indicate any problems with others. Mold usually enters fruits like tomato through the stem site or damage to the ...
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  • 11.3k
41 votes

How do I make my blended soup a more appealing colour?

Of course “appealing” is quite opinion-based, so let’s look at the problem in a slightly more neutral “how can I avoid the colors mixing when I blend the soup”. In short, you can’t. If you have a ...
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40 votes
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What methods make tomato chopping less messy?

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 ...
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  • 57.4k
37 votes

Fry onions and garlic before adding to the sauce?

You can find out. Split your sauce into 2 batches. Add onions and garlic raw to one and sautéed to another. Some people like the sharp strong taste of those things raw. In the US that is not ...
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  • 6,021
35 votes

How to get best taste out of tomatoes?

Most tomatoes from the produce aisle will be relatively flavourless— this is because they are frequently picked when they are unripe so that they can ripen en route to the store and extend their shelf ...
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  • 1,139
31 votes
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Are these tomatoes San Marzano knockoffs?

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 ...
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  • 434
28 votes

How do I make my blended soup a more appealing colour?

The Turquoise Room (at the La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Arizona) has a "signature soup", which is actually two soups ladled into a single bowl: a bright yellow corn soup, and a darker brown ...
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26 votes

Why is tomato paste so cheap?

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 ...
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24 votes

Canning tomato sauce for the refrigerator

As you state, you have not followed any canning procedures, so you don't get any more storage time than the standard recommendation. Glass vs plastic doesn't matter. So, I would just recommend ...
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  • 66.4k
23 votes

Where did my fennel go?

Fennel is a fairly delicate flavor. I can see how caramelized onion and tomato would easily over power it. The bulb actually provide the most delicate flavor of fennel. If you want a more ...
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21 votes
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'Caramelization' of tomato sauce in slow cooker

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 ...
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  • 4,609
21 votes

If one tomato had molded, is the rest of the pack safe to eat?

I once worked in grocery produce. The skin offers a remarkably effective protective layer. I have opened crates of tomatoes where one has completely turned to mush, while every other tomato in the ...
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21 votes

How to know what variety of tomatoes will be good as a spaghetti sauce?

I have never succeeded from making great tomato sauce using our native tomatos and the final product always tastes flat. When I eat the tomato, there is always 0 hints of sweetness in them and not ...
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20 votes
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How much vinegar should I use when making Salsa?

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 ...
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  • 68.2k
19 votes

Fry onions and garlic before adding to the sauce?

You can also use ‘layering’, particularly with the garlic. Garlic fried in oil at the beginning of the process contributes rich, mellow, savory flavors, but a little finely minced or shaved garlic ...
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18 votes
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Would sous vide-ing tomatoes result in a deeply caramelised tomato sauce?

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 ...
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  • 5,458
17 votes
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How to peel tomatoes easily?

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 ...
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  • 10.5k
16 votes

What methods make tomato chopping less messy?

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 ...
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  • 75.6k
16 votes
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Do tomato-based sauces change/enhance flavour when left in the fridge?

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' ...
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16 votes

Do onions help to sweeten tomato sauce?

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 ...
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  • 19.4k
15 votes

Is it advisable to freeze tomatoes?

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 ...
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  • 13.2k
15 votes
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Do you need to cook tomato puree?

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 ...
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  • 2,404
15 votes
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"tomato sauce" vs. "tomato paste"

Tomato sauce and paste are not the same thing. Tomato paste is essentially a concentrated tomato with some water removed that is then preserved. It is generally only used as an ingredient. Tomato ...
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  • 1,180
14 votes
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Why specifically use Passata, rather than tomatoes, in Ragu?

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 ...
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  • 57.4k
14 votes

How to know what variety of tomatoes will be good as a spaghetti sauce?

It might just be the variety of tomatoes, but the in example you posted these look a little unripe to me. Perhaps try leaving them in a sunny place such as by a window, and wait a few days until they ...
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  • 1,407
13 votes
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Why do sun-dried tomatoes taste different than fresh tomatoes?

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 ...
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13 votes

Using Canned San Marzano Tomatoes Vs. Regular Canned Tomatoes

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 ...
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  • 47.4k
13 votes

Are these tomatoes San Marzano knockoffs?

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 ...
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  • 58.1k
12 votes
Accepted

Why remove the skin and seeds of a tomato?

Texture is the main reason, but if you're going to be blending the sauce, there can be off-flavors from cracking open the seeds. Even if you don't blend it, they can be these slippery little things ...
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  • 75.6k

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