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Old 08-09-2005, 12:07 PM   #31
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Hope this isn't too late to help.

I always make fresh tomato sauce with my garden grown tomatoes and it is never bitter. First, cut your tomatoes in half through the equator then squeeze out all the seeds! Tomato seeds and the surrounding pulp ARE both bitter and have to be removed. Lindatoo is also correct. There are certain flavinoids (flavor compounds) in tomatoes that are only soluble in alcohol. Wine, cognac, even vodka can be used to extract these components and they give a roundness to the sauce that you will miss if it isn't there.
Additionally, I ROAST my tomatoes before I make them into sauce. Removes some unnecessary moisture and really brings out the flavor.

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Old 08-09-2005, 12:22 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by ewokroub
I wish I would have thought about the fact that my when testing the water in my aquarium for PH balance there is a solution for PH Up and PH Down! Like Leigh said about counteracting the acid with soda that possibly adding more acid would count- eract the soda! :confused: BUT (there always seems to be a but) I wonder if that might have enhanced some of the chemical-like taste that too much soda seems to give!

I do know that after all the work to making the fresh tomato spag sauce, in this case, was definitely NOT worth it! I think if I have a bumper crop of tomatoes again, I might do well to learn to can them and that might take care of the acid problem, otherwise....Hunt's Whole Tomatoes in the vegetable aisle are looking pretty darn good and as close to "Fresh Homemade" sauce that I will ever need to be!!!!:D
I think the key might be that you used all your ingredients from the beginning. It might work better to cook the tomatoes first until they are all soft and mushy. When I make sauce I cook my onions and celery until just softening, add garlic and cook until all soft, then add the (cooked or canned) tomatoes and cook for a while longer. This gives the veggies a chance to meld together, and the sweetness to come out of the caramelizedonions and celery. Then you check to see how acidic it is and add your seasonings. Cooking oregano for a long time will definitely make it bitter, as it will with green peppers--these are best left for the end. The baking soda can be added just at the end after you have cooked the sauce to the desired doneness. I never cook mine for more than three or four hours, and then add a pinch of soda only if it's too sharp tasting. A little sugar or corn syrup can adjust for the sweetness level. That's it for me.
If I'm making Spaghetti sauce, I add the ground beef at the beginning with the onions and drain off the extra fat before adding anything else. If I use sausage, (I like the sweet) I cook it separately, browning it then heating it done in a little sauce, and put it on the pasta then add more sauce for serving.

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Old 08-09-2005, 02:04 PM   #33
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use grated carrots as a sweetener
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Old 08-09-2005, 05:48 PM   #34
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ground fennel seed is a natural sweetener...the spice in sweet Italian sausage. However, the bitter taste is from the acidic tomatoes. Roasting them first is a great technique and can help a lot.
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Old 11-09-2007, 02:28 AM   #35
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Bitter Tomato Sauce

I was just having the same problem -- I had peeled all my ripe "last of the season ripened-under-newspaper" tomatoes and simmered them for a few hours, seasoning and tasting frequently. The sauce kept getting more bitter. I knew that I should have removed the seeds before cooking. But, I was able to strain them out at the end and rescue the sauce. Hating to waste any of my hard-earned produce, next year I'll dedicate a much larger portion of my garden to Roma tomatoes which don't need to be seeded and are much better for sauce.
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Old 09-17-2009, 12:19 PM   #36
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bitter tmatoes sauce

hi ..just done the same as you..had loads of tomatoes this year and thought id make a sauce added some herbs etc...sugar also ..thinking it would be bitter ..but even after the sugar it still tastes bitter ...so checked on line and found this..lol...and saw that really u need to take the seeds out first!!!..well at least i know for next time...thankyou ..you learn something every day dont you ..
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Old 09-18-2009, 11:12 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by mudbug View Post
use grated carrots as a sweetener
I totally agree, mudbug. We learned in school that carrot cuts the acidity of the tomatoes and if you puree your soup (with an immersion blender or food mill, never a food processor or the tomatoes are over processed and change colour), no one even knows the carrot is there. The carrots work for spaghetti sauce as well.

In reverse, if you are making carrot soup you would add acidity with something like a bit of fresh squeezed orange juice. It really heightens the flavour.

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