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Old 05-21-2012, 06:03 PM   #21
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welcome, cindy.

in the future, besides "diluting" - for lack of a better term - the sauce with another sugarless one, cerise had good ideas. turn it into a sauce that welcomes sweetness, including meat, or maybe a pizza sauce.
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:11 AM   #22
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I never put sugar in my sauce. I usually add about 1/2 - 1 tsp. cinnamon depending on how much sauce I am making.
Sometimes I add it, sometimes I don't. If I use a ready passata di pomodoro (tomato sauce) I taste it and decide what to do. Some of them are too sour for me, and in this case I add no more then half a teaspoon of sugar in 400 g (0.9 lbs) of tomato sauce.
But I admit I do it because I saw chefs doing it. I have to do some test, to see if my ability to detect food flavours let me REALLY tell the "sugared" tomato sauce from the "sugarless".
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:24 PM   #23
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When I make "red gravy" I add 1 Tbsp sugar to ajust the acid but also add 1 Tbsp cider vinegar to nutralize the sweetness.
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:56 PM   #24
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When I make "red gravy" I add 1 Tbsp sugar to ajust the acid but also add 1 Tbsp cider vinegar to nutralize the sweetness.
Interesting. You add sugar because there is too much acid then add more acid to kill the sweetness...

Why not just neutralize the acid directly. Add a tiny amount of baking soda and stir it in. It will act immediately. Mix thoroughly and taste. Repeat as needed.
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Old 05-23-2012, 01:01 PM   #25
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Interesting. You add sugar because there is too much acid then add more acid to kill the sweetness...

Why not just neutralize the acid directly. Add a tiny amount of baking soda and stir it in. It will act immediately. Mix thoroughly and taste. Repeat as needed.
I was wondering the same thing.
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:16 PM   #26
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I have often wondered that too. . .I just don't get it. A lot of the acid has been breed out of tomatoes. and if you have say, onion in there, sweat the onion down more, or lightly caramelize it for better depth, or sweetness. Even a little fine grated carrot, not enough to taste, but helps the edge if by chance the sauce is acidic.
I read an article a few years ago on the decreased acidity in tomatoes and the increase in sodium. This is, if I recall, a result of the hybridization and effort to produce tomatoes that have thicker skins and are more stable for shipping. If I recall, the sodium increase was as high as 200% and the acidity has been reduced so that when canning tomatoes one has to add lemon juice. I don't know if I can find the article, it might still be here at the farm.
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:31 PM   #27
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I read an article a few years ago on the decreased acidity in tomatoes and the increase in sodium. This is, if I recall, a result of the hybridization and effort to produce tomatoes that have thicker skins and are more stable for shipping. If I recall, the sodium increase was as high as 200% and the acidity has been reduced so that when canning tomatoes one has to add lemon juice. I don't know if I can find the article, it might still be here at the farm.
This isn't really anything new. My 1975 edition of Joy of Cooking talks about reduced acidity in tomatoes and the need for lemon juice or citric acid when hot water bath canning tomatoes. Increase in sodium is a bummer.
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:52 PM   #28
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This isn't really anything new. My 1975 edition of Joy of Cooking talks about reduced acidity in tomatoes and the need for lemon juice or citric acid when hot water bath canning tomatoes. Increase in sodium is a bummer.
The article was about heirloom tomatoes and the hybrids one sees at nurseries, how to pick the tomato for your purposes, the pros and cons of each. And, mentioned the sodium/acid issue. Heirloom tomatoes supposedly have lower sodium and higher acid than hybrids.
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Old 05-23-2012, 03:29 PM   #29
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The article was about heirloom tomatoes and the hybrids one sees at nurseries, how to pick the tomato for your purposes, the pros and cons of each. And, mentioned the sodium/acid issue. Heirloom tomatoes supposedly have lower sodium and higher acid than hybrids.
Makes sense that the heirlooms would be lower sodium and higher acid than the new-fangled tomatoes.
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Old 05-24-2012, 04:47 AM   #30
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I don't can, I roast then freeze to make my sauce. I've really never thought tomato sauce needs sugar, and don't like jars of sauce for that reason. I think I've read all the posts (sometimes I don't catch up to a site early enough and miss a page!), so am probably being repetitive and I know your problem is taken care of. But a dry red wine or inexpensive balsamic vinegar (the more expensive, highly aged ones are sweet) would help.
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Old 05-24-2012, 12:55 PM   #31
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Interesting. You add sugar because there is too much acid then add more acid to kill the sweetness...

Why not just neutralize the acid directly. Add a tiny amount of baking soda and stir it in. It will act immediately. Mix thoroughly and taste. Repeat as needed.

Interesting, I've never used soda. Note to self: try it next time.

But I think as far as adding vinegar, that means that too much sugar was added. I use sugar to kill acidity, but you have to add a little bit at the time so not to make it sweet.
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:38 PM   #32
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Interesting. You add sugar because there is too much acid then add more acid to kill the sweetness...

Why not just neutralize the acid directly. Add a tiny amount of baking soda and stir it in. It will act immediately. Mix thoroughly and taste. Repeat as needed.
How about adding lye? Yeah, sodium hydroxide, NaOH, the same stuff they use in some common drain cleaners.

Before you think I'm absolutely crazy, note that lye is used in the manufacture of pretzels.

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A bread pretzel popular in southern Germany and adjoining German-speaking areas, as well as in some areas of the United States, is made from wheat flour, water and yeast, usually sprinkled with coarse salt, hand-sized and made for consumption on the same day. It is relatively soft, rather than brittle. To avoid confusion with any other kind of pretzel, German speakers call this variety "Laugenbrezel" (lye pretzel) because it is dipped in lye solution (NaOH) before baking.

Wikipedia: Pretzel
And no I'm not suggesting mixing your pasta sauce with drain cleaner. Food grade NaOH is available online, for example from AAA Chemicals.

This is a serious question. Acidic tomato sauces are often discussed regarding how to cure the acidity. It is common practice in chemistry to neutralize an acid with a base (an alkaline). It may take literally a pinch of lye to neutralize all the acidity right out of your acidic tomato sauce.

Now all we need is anti-sugar and anti-capsaicin.
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:55 PM   #33
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How about adding lye? Yeah, sodium hydroxide, NaOH, the same stuff they use in some common drain cleaners.

Before you think I'm absolutely crazy, note that lye is used in the manufacture of pretzels.



And no I'm not suggesting mixing your pasta sauce with drain cleaner. Food grade NaOH is available online, for example from AAA Chemicals.

This is a serious question. Acidic tomato sauces are often discussed regarding how to cure the acidity. It is common practice in chemistry to neutralize an acid with a base (an alkaline). It may take literally a pinch of lye to neutralize all the acidity right out of your acidic tomato sauce.

Now all we need is anti-sugar and anti-capsaicin.
You can't put a "pinch" of lye in anything. It will burn your fingers...I've watched the exothermic reaction of lye with water and I wouldn't even "play" with putting it in my food. Carefully using to make lye water for bagels and making soap...sure. But not in my pot of tomatoes, unless I knew EXACTLY how much to use. And I wouldn't pick up a pinch.
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:58 AM   #34
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I meant "pinch" in terms of a quantity, not the means to measure such quantity.

Anyway my comments were meant merely to encourage discussion. I don't think anybody is going to try it except those food scientist types who are pushing the limits of cooking by applying chemistry and other exotic techniques.

So, got any anti-sugar?
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:24 AM   #35
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I followed a recipe for pasta sauce that I found online but I followed the advice of several reviewers who said to add 1/2 cup sugar to the sauce to cut the acidic taste. Well, as you probably know, this was way too much sugar even for a huge recipe like this.

Does anyone have suggestions for how to make this sauce edible? The over all flavor is great just too sweet. I hate to throw it out.

Thanks

Hello cindylovesitaly,
When we make a soup that is too salty or a sauce that is too sweet, many times the corrective measure is to add more to correct the issue. The problem with adding more is that a small amount of sauce turns into a huge amount that will end up getting frozen. In this case that may not be a problem. I would recommend adding more tomatoes, spices and salt to balance the sweetness; you could also reduce some red wine on the side and add this to your sauce, the acidity will help to balance your sauce as well. The amount of your sauce will grow, but you can place it in small containers and freeze them for later use. I recommend smaller containers as you can pull out a small amount when needed. Otherwise you will end up reheating and freezing which is never a good idea.

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:19 PM   #36
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If I remember right, hominy is corn cured in lye. If you look at ingredients for some white corn chips, they are often not really made with white corn but with hominy, yes, lye. Didn't soap used to be made with lye? Because believe me, in my family getting your mouth washed out with soap was a common punishment for spoken transgressions (lying, appropriately, but also swearing and talking back disrespectfully to parents). But no, that doesn't mean you can put drano in your food! I wouldn't mess with, but as I've said on other lines, chemestry and math are not my strong suits so I avoid cooking that requires such knowledge.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:48 PM   #37
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If I remember right, hominy is corn cured in lye. If you look at ingredients for some white corn chips, they are often not really made with white corn but with hominy, yes, lye. Didn't soap used to be made with lye? Because believe me, in my family getting your mouth washed out with soap was a common punishment for spoken transgressions (lying, appropriately, but also swearing and talking back disrespectfully to parents). But no, that doesn't mean you can put drano in your food! I wouldn't mess with, but as I've said on other lines, chemestry and math are not my strong suits so I avoid cooking that requires such knowledge.
Hominy is maize soaked in a weak alkaline solution originally made from leaching wood ashes. (Leaching = soak the ashes in water, throw away the ashes, use the water.) Maize is a type of corn but is not anything like ordinary sweet corn.

Soap used to be and still is made with lye (sodium hydroxide). Soap bars are also made with detergents (stuff from chemical factories) instead of oils, fats and lye. Boutique and hand made soaps are often made by what is called "cold process" (i.e. does not require cooking, ingredients are warm or sometimes even hot -- 80 to 140 degrees F -- where oils, fats and lye (and often colorants and fragrances) are combined and poured into molds, then cut up into bars. Oddly, cold process soap does not taste bad like the soap I recall tasting once or twice as a kid. (I learned my lesson early on.)

(Lye gets very hot when mixed with water, and a steam explosion is a very real possibility if proper precautions are not taken. The heat generated thus is often used to melt any solid fats used in soapmaking.)

No, you can't put Drano in your food, although AFAIK most drain cleaning products have been reformulated without lye because the sodium hydroxide is an important precursor used in making illegal drugs. (Drain cleaners contain very nasty ingredients, sometimes heavy metals, and are the most hazardous substances I have personally used, second only to paint strippers containing methylene chloride.)

Food grade lye is available and is used for making some types of pretzels, and possibly in making hominy, and quite likely finds its way into other food products. Lye is dangerous only in high concentrations. When used in food manufacture it is used only in mild concentrations controlled by experts who are knowledgeable in the process.

There's no reason to be scared of lye, although if you're using it to clean drains you should follow all package precautions, and might be a good idea to wear safety glasses and gloves.
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:04 PM   #38
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Hey. Late to the party, as usual. I would find the person who told you to put half a cup of sugar in your pasta sauce and give them a cyber poke in the eye. That is way too much. It won't fix your sauce, but it will make you feel better.
As far as the sauce goes, I think you should file this one under "oops". Make a mental note and move on.
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:09 PM   #39
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Hey. Late to the party, as usual. I would find the person who told you to put half a cup of sugar in your pasta sauce and give them a cyber poke in the eye. That is way too much. It won't fix your sauce, but it will make you feel better.
As far as the sauce goes, I think you should file this one under "oops". Make a mental note and move on.
Rock! Welcome back!!!
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:20 PM   #40
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Rock! Welcome back!!!
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