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Old 11-06-2002, 05:46 PM   #1
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Bitter Tomato Sauce

If my memory serves me right I got that tidbit of information out of my 1973 edition of The Joy of Cooking.

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Old 02-27-2007, 03:58 PM   #2
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I recently picked the last of my cherry tomatos (vines and all) and let them ripen before washing them thoroughly and cooking them to remove skins, etc., then put them through the colinder to remove seeds. The sauce and liquid was cooked down adding the spices toward the end of the cooking process!
Ugh! The bitterness of this exceeded quinine! Tried everything, to no avail.. tossed it all out, hoping only all would not be lost, and that at least it would be a good drain cleaner! ( all during the season, while ripening on the vine, the sauce was excellent.)
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Old 02-27-2007, 05:02 PM   #3
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The last little tomatoes on the vine are used for pickling here!
Once you've picked them, they may turn red but they're never as sweet as vine-ripened fruit. I use them in sauces - whole, seeds, skin and all, blended with maybe a tin of commercial tomatoes. That way you won't waste them but the bitterness will be negligible!
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Old 02-27-2007, 06:11 PM   #4
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Did you try adding some sugar to the sauce ?
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Old 02-28-2007, 12:25 AM   #5
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Fossil, the "bitterness" is from the acid in the tomatoes ... has nothing to do with when you added spices or herbs to the "sauce". The solution, however, does depend on your "recipe" - specifically, how long do you cook your sauce?

If you are trying to make a "quick" sauce - add some brown sugar (brown sugar actually has some complimentary flavors that go with the flavor components of tomatoes). If this is a sauce that will simmer for 3-4 hours add some finely grated carrot. How much to add depends on the volume of sauce you are trying to produce- and if you are looking for a sweet sauce or just a neutral flavor.
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain
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Old 03-02-2007, 11:26 AM   #6
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bitter tomato sauce

The question was raised on how long I cooked the sauce. So here is the skinny... First of all, most of the tomatos were not ripened on the vine, but rather under paper where the methane gas produced by the ripest ones assists in the process of getting the others ripe quickly. These were the last of the garden, all of the others ripened on the vine or some of which were ripened in the same manner, added together, turned out excellent.
I always clean and boil them with just enough water to cover them prior to using the colinder to remove the seeds and skins.
I always cook the tomato product after the skins and seeds are removed for several hours. Low heat stirring freq. so it wont stick and then adding the spices as follows: After an hour, some black pepper.. no salt or sugar, the rosemary and italian seasoning after hour 2, last of all the chopped onion, garlic, some bay leaves and basil during the final hour.
I migtht have mentioned the attempt to salvage the bitter sauce by adding a small amount of baking soda to neutralize acid, but this did not work. Then tried to add sugar, a little at a time, but even after that, not helping.
Someone mentioned salt, so at the end, even tried that to no avail.
When I realized not much could be done, it all went down the drain and to Long Beach! Hope the fish weren't affected! Fossil
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Old 03-02-2007, 12:31 PM   #7
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Next time try using Roma tomatoes for your sauce, and roast them in the oven instead of boiling them.
Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise, remove excess seeds and pulp with your fingers, and lay out on a baking sheet. drizzle with olive all, sprinkle with minced garlic, salt, pepper and oregano, and put in 200 degree oven for 3-4 hours. Run everything from the pan, oil and all, through a food mill, grinding as much as possible out of the skins.

Now you have a basic tomato sauce that you can season any way you like. The roasting and resulting caramelization brings out the natural sweetness of the tomatoes, and you probably won't need any sugar.

Something else I've done, is cut whole, un-peeled heads of garlic in half and roast them along with the tomatoes.
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