Author Topic: A tomato question... refrigerating sauce?  (Read 3604 times)

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Offline youonlylivetwice

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A tomato question... refrigerating sauce?
« on: September 16, 2005, 02:42:26 PM »
about sauce, I know I have read that refrigerating tomatoes causes them to change somehow that really destroys a lot of the flavor.  I think it was on Good Eats/Alton Brown, but I would say my personal experience is that it is true, a fresh tomato tastes much different than the "other half" that gets thrown in the fridge.  So, what then of sauce?  Do you try to use them immediately from fresh or canned and not refrigerate any? It occurred to me I have always mixed the sauce at least a day ahead to give the flavors time to blend, but maybe I am killing the very flavor I am after by refrigerating?? I plan to test it this weekend, but wondered what everyone else does??

thanks!


Online Pete-zza

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Re: A tomato question... refrigerating sauce?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2005, 03:28:08 PM »
youonlylivetwice,

A fresh tomato, such as one you might take off of a tomato plant, has a flavor enzyme that stops working when the temperature of the tomato gets below 50 degrees F, as might happen, for example, by putting the tomato in the refrigerator. The loss of flavor at this point is permanent, and bringing the tomato back to a temperature above 50 degrees will not restore the loss of flavor.

Canned tomatoes, including the so-called "fresh pack" tomatoes such as sold by Escalon and Stanislaus, are processed (including cooking). Once the can is opened, the tomatoes can be safely refrigerated, either as is, or as a sauce, heated or unheated. However, once opened, the typical advice is to use the canned tomatoes within a week, stored in a non-metal container. I will often prepare a pizza sauce the night before I intend to use it and refrigerate it. I think the flavors harmonize better that way. It's not really much different from the way that the flavor of a good tomato-based pasta sauce improves with a few days of refrigeration. I will also use tomatoes like the Escalon 6-in-1s right out of the can, with maybe some fresh garlic and a pizza seasoning or herbs. I'm sure you will find many other variations of the same themes.

Peter

Offline youonlylivetwice

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Re: A tomato question... refrigerating sauce?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2005, 04:48:18 PM »
Thanks Peter!
So, our tomato plants are kicking out a large # of tomatoes right now, and I fresh-froze them (just the flesh).  I guess I killed them in a way, I should have canned them instead....

oh well!

thanks again!

Online Pete-zza

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Re: A tomato question... refrigerating sauce?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2005, 06:45:09 PM »
youonlylivetwice,

Your frozen tomatoes should be fine. It they were sweet when you processed and froze them, that will essentially be the level of sweetness they will retain. They just won't get any sweeter naturally. There may be some slight deterioration in overall quality with time in the freezer, which is normal, but you will be able to use them for most cooking applications, such as for sauces, once you decide to use them.

I don't think that canning is necessarily better than freezing. If you have great tasting tomatoes, going from your garden right to the freezer inherently seems better than putting cooked tomatoes in a can and then shipping them across the country to your house. Of course, it depends on the tomatoes. What Escalon and Stanislaus have going for them and what separates them from the majority of canners of tomatoes is that they contract for the highest quality tomatoes they can get, get them while they are fresh and sweet, and process them as quickly as they can. Their canned tomatoes are among the best, and they command a premium price--one well worth paying in my opinion.

Peter

Offline Snowman

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Re: A tomato question... refrigerating sauce?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2005, 08:29:33 PM »
I can tell you for a fact that my sauce is much better tasting after sitting in the fridge overnight.  Fresh, right out of the can, with stuff added, the flavors just do not meld together.  Lasagna is the best example I can think of when arguing that leftovers are better than fresh. 

Offline Lydia

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Re: A tomato question... refrigerating sauce?
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2005, 03:26:32 AM »
I use concentrated crushed tomatoes and I experience massive moisture loss in my refrigerated sauces. I will just thin it down with water to desired consistency. Other affects I experience are a noticably deeper red color and a slight flavor change that is less notable on the baked pizzas.

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