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Thankfulforgrace
05-23-2010, 11:03 AM
I really want to can this year. I already have Roma for sauces but want something for diced tomatoes. Opinions please! Otherwise I just have grape and cherry tomatoes and know those aren't good for canning and we eat them as fast as they ripen anyways :giggle

Thank you!

mountainash
05-23-2010, 06:56 PM
I'd do Romas for diced as well. Other tomatoes taste great, but are too juicy for canning/freezing.

Can'tTurnLeft
05-24-2010, 08:40 AM
Roma's and this heritage called Amish paste are my faves. Beware though that it takes a TON of tomatoes to make sauces and juices. Most people don't quite get how much it takes.

Macky
05-24-2010, 08:59 AM
You can use any tom you like for diced tomatoes! :) I've used all sorts, including yellow and black to add a bit of colour. You're correct in that tomato acidity has decreased over the years (just by general breeding to consumer tastes), but that's why approved home-canning recipes have changed, too. Add the prescribed amount of lemon juice and you'll be fine. I've used mine for up to two years.

I will give you a hint, though. I could taste some tartness at first and thought it was from the lemon juice. After I started removing the seeds from all my tomatoes for canning (originally it was just sauces because I had gotten a mill that year), I noticed the unpleasant taste was totally gone, no matter how long I simmered them. It takes a little extra time, but it's worth it for this tomato snob. ;)

If you've ever canned diced before, you've probably notice that the toms often float to the top. This isn't because you used the wrong variety. As soon as you cut into any tomato, you release enzymes. Those enzymes cause the juice to separate in the finished product. To prevent this, you have to get the tomato simmering within a minute or so of first cutting it. I have my cutting board right next to the pot and add them as I chop. I just measure for the recipe once they're thoroughly heated instead. Now, my diced and stewed tomatoes separate very little, if at all (when I've been super attentive.

This year I'm growing Anna Russian (heirloom paste) for the second time and Applause (hybrid) for the third time. Sunstart is my backup – too sweet for my taste, but still good and very dependable if bad weather affects harvest for the others. Anna and Applause have that old-fashioned, tangy tomato taste I love. I really don't like sweet tomatoes.

Erin, agreed! I had so many tomatoes one year I actually had enough to cook down into sauce. I remember it being some ridiculous number of pounds to make four 125g jars. Swore I'd never do that again, lol! Man, it made SUPERB pizza sauce, though!

Thankfulforgrace
05-24-2010, 01:07 PM
You can use any tom you like for diced tomatoes! :) I've used all sorts, including yellow and black to add a bit of colour. You're correct in that tomato acidity has decreased over the years (just by general breeding to consumer tastes), but that's why approved home-canning recipes have changed, too. Add the prescribed amount of lemon juice and you'll be fine. I've used mine for up to two years.

I will give you a hint, though. I could taste some tartness at first and thought it was from the lemon juice. After I started removing the seeds from all my tomatoes for canning (originally it was just sauces because I had gotten a mill that year), I noticed the unpleasant taste was totally gone, no matter how long I simmered them. It takes a little extra time, but it's worth it for this tomato snob. ;)

If you've ever canned diced before, you've probably notice that the toms often float to the top. This isn't because you used the wrong variety. As soon as you cut into any tomato, you release enzymes. Those enzymes cause the juice to separate in the finished product. To prevent this, you have to get the tomato simmering within a minute or so of first cutting it. I have my cutting board right next to the pot and add them as I chop. I just measure for the recipe once they're thoroughly heated instead. Now, my diced and stewed tomatoes separate very little, if at all (when I've been super attentive.

This year I'm growing Anna Russian (heirloom paste) for the second time and Applause (hybrid) for the third time. Sunstart is my backup too sweet for my taste, but still good and very dependable if bad weather affects harvest for the others. Anna and Applause have that old-fashioned, tangy tomato taste I love. I really don't like sweet tomatoes.

Erin, agreed! I had so many tomatoes one year I actually had enough to cook down into sauce. I remember it being some ridiculous number of pounds to make four 125g jars. Swore I'd never do that again, lol! Man, it made SUPERB pizza sauce, though!

Ok, this feels like a silly question, but isn't the tomato mostly seeds? Seems like I'd be taking a lot of the tomato out? But I've read to remove the seeds so I was planning on trying it. I need to remember to put them in the pot after cutting like you said, thanks for the great tips!

This is my first time canning so I'm pretty clueless but I do know it takes a lot. I'm not sure if I will have enough or not but thought I'd try and if it doesn't work, I'll try again next year:giggle

Macky
05-25-2010, 01:59 PM
Nope, most tomatoes are mostly flesh. Here's a good comparison of cross sections (scroll about halfway down to "Different number of locules in tomatoes"):
http://hubpages.com/hub/GrowingTomatoes
Two locules wild type: Examples are Cherry Tomatoes, plum or Pear tomatoes.
Four to six locules: Examples are most of the commercial cultivars for fresh market.
More than six locules: Examples are the large 'beefsteak' types
People tend to like beefsteak tomatoes on sandwiches because of the very fact they have smaller locules and thus less juicy gel to make the bread soggy.

A lot of the tangy tomato flavour is in the gel that surrounds the seeds – which would be removed along with the seeds. If you have a mill of some sort, you could run the gel and seeds through it and add the juices back to the pot, sans seeds. You could probably accomplish the same with a sieve and some elbow grease. :)

Paste tomatoes are used for sauces because they have a lot of flesh compared to seeds/gel, but they also have higher levels of pectin, which means it takes less time to cook them down into a thick sauce. You can cook any tomato down into a sauce, it just takes longer than with paste tomatoes.

ETA: Oops... I meant to say "tomato PASTE" in that other post. Sauce doesn't take a ridiculous amount of tomatoes for a couple of tiny jars; paste does!!!

Can'tTurnLeft
05-25-2010, 04:08 PM
Sauce doesn't take a ridiculous amount of tomatoes for a couple of tiny jars; paste does!!!

I have had a very different experience. I've canned tomato sauce most years of my life and sixty pounds will give you about twenty pints of sauce. And we always use paste tomatoes. :shrug3

Macky
05-25-2010, 04:24 PM
I'm talking about making actual tomato paste – like you'd buy in 5.5 oz tins from the store – not regular vs paste tomatoes in making sauce. I don't understand how our experiences have been different. :shrug

Can'tTurnLeft
05-25-2010, 04:51 PM
I'm talking about making actual tomato paste like you'd buy in 5.5 oz tins from the store not regular vs paste tomatoes in making sauce. I don't understand how our experiences have been different. :shrug

I'm talking about making tomato sauce. Like you use on pasta or pizza. I'm Italian, we know our sauce ;) Sixty pounds of paste tomatoes makes about 20 pints of sauce. Every summer of my life :)

Six Little Feet
05-25-2010, 05:04 PM
I'm talking about making tomato sauce. Like you use on pasta or pizza. I'm Italian, we know our sauce ;) Sixty pounds of paste tomatoes makes about 20 pints of sauce. Every summer of my life :)

Umm if your Italian don't you call it gravy. :P~

Can'tTurnLeft
05-25-2010, 05:10 PM
Umm if your Italian don't you call it gravy. :P~

LOL That is a raging argument in the Italian community. My Nona called a cooked sauce sugo or gravy and a raw sauce a condiment or sauce.