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Old 07-09-2011, 04:04 PM   #11
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No problem here. I buy my tomatoes from the same farmers that companies like Red Pack and Hunt's buy theirs.
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Old 07-09-2011, 04:48 PM   #12
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My best friend used to use a blender instead of peeling her tomatoes. When we were roommates we had a big garden and she made lots of sauce. If you have a powerful blender with sharp blades it will take the peel down to nothing.

With that said, even though we vine ripened the tomatoes, I still prefer making sauce from canned, the flavor just seems better than what I have had from fresh. Maybe if we had just the right variety of plum tomatoes, it would have been better, but canned just seems to take less tweaking and is consistent from batch to batch.
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:49 PM   #13
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Hmmm...I haven't made sauce using canned tomatoes for more than 20 years. My spaghetti sauce is thick, tasty, and works. But, it is a lot of work. Because we grow a variety of tomatoes, I tend to use mostly the roma-type tomatoes for sauce. The Brandywines and other beefsteak varieties are too watery. To start the sauce, I skin and peel the tomatoes. Then I cook them down with garlic, lots of fresh basil, marjoram, greek oregano. I'd say I simmer them for 2 hours--spooning off the "juice". Then I puree the sauce--or not. I drain off any juice, I put everything back in the pot, with more herbs, and some frozen homemade tomato paste. I add the mushrooms, green pepper, etc., about 40 minutes before I consider the sauce done. I use fresh bay leaves. I think it is the quality of the ingredients and the slow cooking that is key. A friend makes hers in a roaster oven. Another makes hers in a crockpot. I'd say that all three of our sauces are pretty darned good if you like a thick spaghetti sauce. If you like one that is thinner--then my mom's way of doing spaghetti sauce using canned tomatoes probably would be the way to go.
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Old 07-09-2011, 06:06 PM   #14
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Our gravy is my M-I-L's it's rich and brown not red and smooth to the taste. We us a lot of dry wild mushrooms and the broth from them, herbs, garlic. onions; and about 2-4 pbs of beef cube,s stew meat, a chuck roast works as well. Some of the meat is then used in the gravy to thicken it we put the meat in the F/P blend then mix into the gravy. If any one is interested I'll post. Just ask.
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Old 07-09-2011, 06:47 PM   #15
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>>Canned tomatoes come from a specific variety grown to become canned, and are picked at the height of their flavor from their own farmers, rather than whenever the average grower has time to pick them. It doesn't take much forethought to realize that specialty farms grow a different product than an independent farmer.

interesting marketing spin, and it is true contract growers raise very the specified variety - but

commerical size tomato operations use tomatoes that
(1) ripen all at the same time
and
(2) can withstand mechanical harvesting
and
(3) can be on the bottom of a tractor-dump-trailer with 6-8 feet of tomatoes on top of them without turning into mush.

those are the commercial considerations, taste is entirely secondary, or thirdiary, or fiftythiary.

I have a can right here on my desk. big blue letters "NO SALT ADDED"

label sez:
Ingredients: Tomatoes, tomato juice, sugar, citric acid, calcium chloride, natural flavors.

well now.... calcium chloride is aka fake salt; no sodium, just tastes salty....
and why does a can of tomato need tomato juice and natural flavors?
and what's up with the tomato juice? if they have to cook it down to reduce the water content, why add back juice?

tomatoes from my garden and those I buy to put up my tomato stuff would never take the handling in a commerical plant. I've seen the double trailer loads lined up at the Modesto processing plant, dumping loads into a hopper - the tomatoes go bouncing up a cleated converyor belt.... they may be picked at the peak of their flavor - note there is no claim that the flavor is any good - it's just the peak of that particular rubber tomato variety.

>>which are seldom found in the average supermarket or even farmer's produce stand, because they are often picked too early and haven't developed their full flavor, even so-called vine-ripened.

indeed we have produce stands that drive to the big city wholesale market an bring back produce by the crate. that's not local produce - that's the same wooden stuff as in the stores - I don't shop there - if you can't get good local fresh tomatoes, buy canned ones.
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Old 07-09-2011, 06:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcSaute View Post
- if you can't get good local fresh tomatoes, buy canned ones.
or grow your own .
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Old 07-10-2011, 08:40 AM   #17
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>>grow you own
absolutely (g)! I've got about 1000 sq ft in garden - some 12 tomato - in fact picked the first ripe tomato Friday. it's a trick to get ripe tomatoes here by July 1....

but I don't want to grow nothing but tomatoes so when they are plentiful I buy them in half bushel baskets from the locals - sometimes I can get "seconds" for $1-2 / basket to supplement my freezer stock.
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:58 PM   #18
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Some good advice here already. Personally, I love fresh food but I think fresh tomatoes should be eaten as is, not cooked down for sauce.

I prefer good quality tinned tomatoes. I gently fry/sweat finely chopped onions or garlic (I tend not to use both as I find you cant differentiate between the garlic and onion). Once sweated, add a can or two of tomatoes and cook down gently for a while. Towards the end, season with sea salt and add fresh basil if you have it.

For a meat sauce, olive oil up to a decent heat, add meat, fry meat till bone dry, just before its bone dry add garlic, two mins later a glass or two of red wine and let that reduce for a min or two, once the wine has reduced by 1/3 or 1/2 just throw a can or so of tomatoes, reduce for a few mins. Add basil at end.

Always add the cooked pasta to the pan the sauce is in, not the other way around. When the pasta is cooked, drain well and add either a knob of butter or a few lugs of good olive oil (Or both) and season it with sea salt and white or black pepper.
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:26 PM   #19
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Being that we have over 300 tomato plants, and harvest them by the wheelbarrowful when we have a good season (the jury is still out on what the season will be like this year...I picked two cherry tomatoes yesterday and the orange variety--Carolinas? should be ready in 10 days or so), I'm all for making salsa, making tomato paste, dehydrating tomatoes, freezing tomatoes, and making the base for sauce (I add the meat when I am ready to use it, if I'm going to add meat). I use the same sauce for eggplant parmesean, lasagne, etc. And, to be honest, I prefer other things over spaghetti...if it was Monday, it was spaghetti night when I was growing up. I figure I ate my life-time quota of spaghetti before I hit puberty.
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