Everything you need to know about canned tomatoes

Canned tomatoes

All about canned tomatoes

We cook at home with a lot of canned tomatoes. So much so that I’m learning about different brands and different styles, and finding out that there’s a lot of difference in quality when it comes to canned tomatoes. This post looks at all of these factors and more so you know how to find and buy the best canned tomatoes for your cooking needs.

What are canned tomatoes and are they good?

Canned tomatoes are whole or diced tomatoes that are peeled and packed in a can with juice or tomato sauce. They’re a convenient and shelf-stable option for adding flavor and nutrition to a variety of dishes, from soups and stews to pasta sauces and salsas.

Canned tomatoes are often harvested at the peak of ripeness and processed and canned soon after, preserving their flavor and nutrients. They are usually cooked and sterilized during the canning process, making them easier to digest and giving them a softer texture.

Many types of canned tomatoes are available, including whole, diced, mashed, and tomato sauce. Some are seasoned with herbs or spices, while others are plain and can be seasoned to taste.

Canned tomatoes are a staple in many cuisines and can be used in a variety of dishes, from soups and stews to pasta sauces and salsas. They’re a convenient and affordable way to add flavor, nutrition, and convenience to your cooking.

Basic vinaigrette recipe

10 types of canned tomatoes

  1. Whole Tomatoes: These are whole ripe tomatoes that have been peeled and pickled in their own juice or a light tomato sauce.
  2. Diced tomatoes are cut into small pieces and placed in juice or tomato sauce.
  3. Shredded Tomatoes: Shredded tomatoes are whole or diced tomatoes that are crushed into a chunky sauce.
  4. Tomato Sauce: This is a smooth and thin tomato-based sauce that is often flavored with herbs and spices.
  5. Tomato paste: This is a concentrated form of tomato sauce made by boiling tomatoes and reducing the liquid until a thick, spreadable paste is formed.
  6. Fire roasted tomatoes are whole or diced tomatoes that are roasted over an open flame, giving them a smoky and charred flavor.
  7. San Marzano tomatoes are a type of plum tomato prized for their sweet, sour flavor and firm flesh.
  8. Petite Diced Tomatoes: These are small, bite-sized pieces of diced tomatoes, ideal for recipes that call for a finer texture.
  9. Italian-Style Canned Tomatoes: These are diced or shredded tomatoes seasoned with Italian herbs and spices like basil and oregano.
  10. Canned tomatoes with no added salt: These are canned with no added salt, making them a healthier option for those trying to reduce their salt intake.

Whole canned tomatoes

Why use canned tomatoes instead of fresh?

There are several reasons why canned tomatoes may be preferred over fresh in certain cooking applications:

  1. Convenience: They’re always available and don’t need to be peeled or cored, saving time and effort in the kitchen.
  2. Consistency: They offer consistent flavor and texture regardless of the season or location.
  3. Preservation: They are preserved at the peak of maturity to ensure that the flavor and nutritional values ​​are preserved.
  4. Cost: They are often cheaper than fresh ones, especially when tomatoes are out of season.
  5. Shelf Life: They have a long shelf life, making them a great pantry staple.
  6. Flavor: They often have a concentrated, rich tomato flavor ideal for soups, stews, sauces and more.

It’s important to note that fresh tomatoes are still an excellent choice for many recipes and offer their unique benefits, such as: B. a crisp texture and a bright, fresh taste. When using canned tomatoes, look for quality products made from ripe tomatoes that are free of added preservatives, colors, and flavors.

Healthy or not?

Canned tomatoes can be a healthy choice as they are a good source of several essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium and lycopene.

However, the health benefits of canned tomatoes can vary depending on the type of tomato and the ingredients used in the canning process. For example, canned tomatoes packaged in their own juice or a low-sodium tomato sauce are healthier than those packaged in syrup or have added salt.

It’s also important to look for canned tomatoes that are free of artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors. In general, it’s healthier to choose plain canned tomatoes or those seasoned with herbs and spices rather than tomatoes with added sugar or other ingredients.

Whole peeled tomatoes

Why do some people add lemon juice to canned tomatoes?

Adding lemon juice to canned tomatoes can help balance out the flavor and acidity of the tomatoes. Canned tomatoes are often processed with added salt, making them taste too salty or bland.

Lemon juice can help counteract this by adding a fresh, sour flavor that helps enhance the tomatoes’ natural sweetness and brightness.

Lemon juice can also help counteract the metallic taste that is sometimes present in canned foods. This is because lemon juice is acidic and the acid in the lemon juice reacts with the metal in the can, reducing the metallic taste.

In addition to its flavor-enhancing properties, lemon juice is a good source of vitamin C. This antioxidant can help boost the overall nutrient content of canned tomatoes.

Pasta Tips

Which are good for sauces and soups?

When making pasta sauce or soup, the type of canned tomatoes you choose can significantly affect the flavor and texture of your sauce. Here are some of the most common types of canned tomatoes used in both pasta sauces and soups:

  1. Whole peeled tomatoes are your best bet for making a chunky, hearty pasta sauce. They are usually canned by hand, which gives them a more natural texture. They are also great for making hearty soups like tomato sponge cake or minestrone. The large chunks of tomato add texture and body to the soup.
  2. Crushed tomatoes are ideal for making a smooth and velvety pasta sauce. In addition, they are ideal for preparing smooth, creamy soups such as tomato soup. The even texture of the crushed tomatoes allows for easy blending, resulting in velvety and creamy soups and sauces.
  3. Diced tomatoes are similar to whole peeled tomatoes but are cut into smaller pieces. They are ideal for preparing a thicker, chunky sauce with a smooth texture and soups with a thicker consistency and chunky texture, such as B. Gazpacho.
  4. Tomato Puree: This is a smooth, thick tomato sauce with a silky texture and a deep, intense flavor. It is ideal for preparing sauces and soups that require a long cooking time, as it does not break down as quickly as whole or diced tomatoes.

When choosing canned tomatoes for pasta sauces and soups, look for high-quality products made from vine-ripened tomatoes and free of added preservatives, colorings and flavors.

Top Rated Canned Tomatoes for 2022

Here are some reviews for canned tomatoes from some popular sites that do. I find it interesting how different websites choose different products based on different qualities. I will update this every year or when I find new reviews.

Wirecutter—December 14, 2022
Bianco DiNapoli Whole peeled organic tomatoes
San Merican Tomatoes Whole peeled tomatoes
Paste San Marzano DOP tomatoes

Best Ever – Rao’s Homemade
Budget – Whole Foods 265
Best Seasoned – La San Marzano

food network
Gustarosso DOP San Marzano tomatoes
Alessi DOP Whole peeled tomatoes

spores – October 19, 2022
Bianco DiNapoli whole peeled organic
Cento San Marzano certified peeled tomatoes
Cento Italian peeled tomatoes

Source link