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Old 01-28-2009, 03:37 PM
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I want to grow some tomatos in my garden this summer so I can make homemade sauce. What are the best kind of tomatos to to make sauce?
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Old 01-28-2009, 04:40 PM
Location: WA
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Whatever does well in your area. I have never found that variety made that much difference in sauce, just quality. When I consider the work and trouble it makes more sense to used canned tomatoes for my sauce.
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Old 01-28-2009, 05:08 PM
Location: Southern, NJ
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NRG: I relocated from the No. to E. NC & I have had wonderful luck with the Roma tomatoes. After harvesting them (& the fresh basil), I take a knife and cut on X on the bottom of each tomato, put them into boiling water, cover and simmer for approx. 3 mins. With a slotted spoon take the tomatoes out and drop them quickly into ice cold water with ice cubes, the tomato skins will come right off. I puree them and put into ziplock bags and lay flat in the freezer. I have them all winter to make sauce.
A trick I use for the basil, I insert them into ice cube trays with either chicken broth or water and freeze, pop them out when frozen wrap in foil and insert them into Food Saver bags, they are ready to go into any dinner all winter. kelsie
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:22 PM
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You can make tomato sauce out of any variety of tomato, however, there are reasons people prefer to stick to the paste varieties.
Look up "Paste Variety" tomatoes.

Paste varieties contain less juice than slicing variety tomatoes. Therefore, the paste tomatoes require less processing to make tomato sauce. Often, when you try to make tomato sauce out of real juicy slicing tomatoes, you end up with tomato juice, or very thin sauce, and must cook it down which wastes time and energy.

Another reason paste tomatoes are better for sauce, is because they have fewer seeds. I, myself don't mind seeds, but many people are much more picky about food, and you seldom will see seeds in a can of Hunt's Tomato sauce. Also, the shape of paste varieties lends itself to easier processing, as you can just scoop out the seeds from the middle of the tomato. (Slicing tomatoes have seeds scattered in little pockets throughout the fruit.)

The common Roma / Roma VF are probably the most popular, easy to grow, and easy to manage. However, there are many, many varieties of paste tomato, and some with excellent flavor such as Opalka and San Marzano.

Good luck, have fun, and keep it simple on your first attempt.

Oh yeah, and in NC you probably can grow any variety of paste tomato you like. A better group of questions to research are...
Whether you want determinate or indeterminate tomato plants?
If you want small stand alone plants, or large vining plants that require stakes or tomato cages?
Do you want a hybrid variety with better disease resistance, or do you want an heirloom with greater flavor?
How much tomato sauce do you want to produce?

Last edited by FOAD; 01-28-2009 at 07:32 PM.. Reason: added stuff
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:20 PM
Location: Albemarle, NC
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I'm growing San Marzano this year for canning. The beefsteak will be for summer eating.
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:28 PM
Location: missouri
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Through the years I have gotten real lazy. I take my tomatoes and run them through the meat grinder. Then you can bag and freeze - or heat up put in jars and pressure cook can them. The jars are nicest to grab when cooking, but sometimes you don't have time to can.

It is true, if you want a real thick sauce - smooth - or a thick paste - you will work very hard and cook very long. But even your juicy tomatoes ground up make a thick enough sauce for speghetti or chili once you cook that for a while and add all your ingredients.

I also chop and freeze my green peppers flattend thin in zip lock bags. Then you just "break" off how much you want from the package when cooking.

I planted Romas one year and had great luck. My favorite tomato is Goliath.
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:35 PM
Location: Montrose, CA
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Roma tomatoes for sauces.
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Old 01-28-2009, 10:57 PM
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Yeah, processing produce is probably the downside to gardening.

Freezing is an option for tomatoes, but if you want them to last a while, and preserve the flavor, canning is a good idea.

Keep in mind that many frozen veggies need blanching before freezing. The main reason is enzymatic action that depletes nutrients and diminishes flavor is stopped by the heat of blanching. Blanching also kills bacteria and prolongs the time in which veggies can be frozen. It is said that squash frozen unblanched may loose half of its vitamin A and vitamin C within a month.

Anyway, I do not enjoy blanching, and yeah... I've been accused of trying to eat all the tomaters, so I don't have to can 'em! It is just so much more enjoyable to turn them into tomato sandwiches, don't ask me why.
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:55 AM
Location: The mountians of Northern California.
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We use a roma tomato from Burpee called Big Mama. What we do is buy a #10 can of tomato paste from Costco for about $5. Then we process the tomatos from our garden, drain as much juice as we can. Cook it down in a large pot (bought from a store that sells restuarant supplies). Mix in enough paste for the thickness you want, then add spices, garlic, bell pepper, and onion from your garden and process in a water bath. I learned that from a gardener that has been canning their own sauce for 40 years. I plan to tag along in their kitchen later this year to learn some more.
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Old 01-29-2009, 03:08 AM
Location: Middle Tennessee
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Any of the plum tomatoes are normally used for sauce and paste...One thing that is important is to get one that is as disease resistant as you can and produce well in your area...
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