Go behind the joint and take a peek in their dumpster. You should see some tomato cans in there.
Oh I really want to (Never though I'd say I want to go dumpster diving). The dumpster is just off one of the main roads in town so it would be very sketchy, unfortunately. Or is it not illegal to do that?
Hey Chef, Been lurking your post from the beginning. I would bet that those white chunks are from garlic and any translucent bits probably come from onion. I have always wanted to try fresh onion and garlic as I have been using the powder variety for quite some time. I will attempt a sauce this weekend using fresh onion are garlic mildly sautéed for a min or so. Interested to hear how your 4 sauces turn out. I read somewhere yesterday where someone added a small amount of MSG to their sauce and it made a substantial difference. I will try that out with and without and see if I can detect an improvement. I really can't recall any recipe that I have seen that calls up MSG as an ingredient.
I have been using fresh onions and garlic for my sauces for awhile now, I love the difference they make when using them fresh. Also I haven't thought about using MSG directly yet, but my main focus right now is definitely focusing on that Umami flavor in this sauce. I tried fish sauce in 2 sauces I made this weekend and it definitely made a noticeable positive impact. (I wanted to use Anchovies but I accidentally grabbed Sardines at the store
This weekend I learned that the tomato base is extremely important for creating a good sauce - not even just for this sauce in particular. The 3 sauces I made this weekend were all actually pretty good, but the tomato flavor was a lot different. I'm not trying to clone this sauce again until I get my hands on some real SMs, 6 in 1s or 7/11s. (Hoping a local supermarket will have some, otherwise it's a bit of a trip to a food supplier)
A couple thoughts going through your post:
- Why do you think there is a "good amount" of pepper? I don't see it. Could the heat be from cayenne? I think you'd see if it was crushed red pepper.
- It may be slightly cooked or not. Don't think it's cooked much if it is.
- Picture 3 is tomato skin. If there is a lot of that, it's probably from crushed. If only a bit, probably from a peeled product. Look in their dumpster to see what they are using.
- If it turns out to be a whole peeled tomato, I'll be a bit surprised if it one that doesn't have basil leaf in the can.
- The orange color on the surface is lycopene from the tomato. It's not soluble in water but it is soluble in oil. It dissolves in oil which floats up to the top.
- It kind of looks like it has garlic powder in it.
1. I only thought there was a good amount because of the heat. There's little black bits in the sauce, which I could only imagine was black pepper. There was obvious dried/fresh herbs in the sauce as well, which to me would mean that the herbs in the sauce would be darker if that black stuff isn't pepper. What do you think it would be if not pepper? (Also, I'm definitely not ruling out any other pepper for the heat.)
2. Actually, when I made 3 tests sauces this weekend, they ended up being brighter
than the Romas sauce. One of my next ideas is to cook half of the tomatoes, then mix at the end. Because you're right, it doesn't look like it's cooked much if it is. But another thing that could change the color would be like a dark vinegar or something, which is another thing to add to the list of stuff to try.
3. Yup, this was my conclusion after making my own sauce with tomatoes I had crushed.
4. It really surprised me that I didn't find any basil leaves, I don't even recall it having a basil taste either. Just a nice, smooth, "savory", tomato-y tasting sauce. I don't think their sauce is made with canned whole peeled w/basil because I used that for a couple of my sauces and the basil was very apparent. I'm not ruling out them tossing in some fresh basil towards the end of cooking, then removing it though.
5. Does that effect happen when the oil isn't heated? Or does there have to be heat for Lycopene to develop?EDIT:
Forgot Google was my best friend. I guess heat is needed, and apparently the hotter the better. http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/lycoproc.htm
(Interesting article on Lycopene)
6. What makes you think that? There are a lot of small, crushed, white/yellow pieces in the sauce that I could only imagine was fresh garlic. I'm open for ideas though.
This is just a wild guess, but sometimes I puree a little bit of roasted red pepper into my sauce which gives it a peppery, yet smoky flavor. If I use steamed unroasted red peppers, the flavor is quite different, but adds this round fullness of a mild umami, depending on how much I use. Yesterday I made a puree out of some homemade giardiniera and added that to my tomato puree for another type sauce.
Good luck with figuring it out!
Actually, this might explain the small bits of black stuff in the sauce if it's not black pepper. I'll try to remember to grab a red pepper to try in a sauce. Do you just toss a bit of oil in a pan and cook the pepper until it has a bit of char to it?
Also, thanks for the replies guys! I'm already getting excited for my next test batch(es).