Picking which tomatoes to buy from the grocery store can be very confusing. Yes, these fruits are rich in nutrients and good for the body but with so many variants, which is the best? In the grocery lanes, you may get dizzy looking at all those tomato cans and you won’t have any idea what this particular type of tomato is best for. Fear no more. This article will help you distinguish those tomato-in-cans.
What’s in the can?
When a tomato is taken from the field, it is processed within hours and stored into a can. Manufacturers usually preserve the tomatoes with salt, calcium chloride, and citric acid. All these are added to make the tomato last longer.
Citric Acid keeps the tomato safe in terms of PH levels. Tomatoes already have them, though. Manufacturers just add more to up the effect and keep it safer to eat in the long run.
Calcium Chloride helps the tomato retain its shape. As you know, there are many types of tomatoes. Some need to be in a specific shape. Calcium Chloride helps best with that.
Dented cans and expiry dates
Don’t buy those tomato cans that have dents or bumps in them. Look for the firm ones. Why? The reason is very simple. The dent is caused by falling and if the can fell from the counter, it means that the tomatoes inside are damaged or the texture is not as good as it should be.
“Best By” does not refer to expiry. It means that before the date arrives, the tomatoes are at its peak taste. Usually, a year after that is when they are most delicious.
The rundown on tomato-in-cans:
Whole peeled – Essentially a tomato that has been stripped of its skin. This is the basic element in many marinara recipes. Whole peeled tomatoes can be in puree form or juice form.
San Marzano – These are special kinds of tomatoes grown in Italy. These tomatoes are from Mt. Vesuvius in Argo Sarnese – Nocerino. It is a protected are in Italy and usually, has a seal of when it was made. Some cannot buy this kind of tomato and so, they dub their tomatoes as “San Marzano Style.”
Diced – These cubed tomatoes are the best for cooking recipes that require the tomato to stay in shape. Some diced tomato producers have finely diced and petite diced these tomatoes.
Stewed – This type of tomato already has some flavor going on and has added sugar. Some cooks appreciate the help. Some don’t. Stewed tomatoes are much softer than whole peeled tomatoes.
Sauce – Crushed tomatoes make it easy for soups and casseroles to be prepared and made. Tomato sauce in cans already has seasoning in them to make it easy for cooking stews and other recipes.
Paste – The paste is formed by taking the water out of crushed potatoes. You evaporate the liquid to get the paste. Just a small amount of tomato paste will give a deep flavor to any kind of food, dish, or recipe about.
The best way to go about keeping tomatoes fresh is through refrigeration. You’ll have to put them in a container that is airtight, though. Keep them stored tightly in the freezer and you can use it for the next seven days. After that, throw it out. You may want to freeze tomato pastes to keep it fresh and use up everything. Don’t re-store unused paste. This is because when you defrost other forms of canned tomatoes, they get mashed and crushed. You can use a baking sheet to freeze the paste, just a tip. When solid enough, you can put them in a freezer bag, if you like.