Deacidifying tomato sauce

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ScreamingChicken
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2009/06/18 12:33:47 (permalink)

Deacidifying tomato sauce

The other night "Christina Cooks" was on TV and I wasn't paying close attention, but I heard a snippet of something about putting a carrot into tomato sauce to absorb the acid.  Does anyone have any details or firsthand experience?  My wife's sensitive to the acid and if something like this works without significantly altering the flavor of the sauce I think she'd be happy to know about it.  Thanks!
 
Brad
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    Rusty246
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    Re:Deacidifying tomato sauce 2009/06/18 12:37:38 (permalink)
    I use sugar, about 1/8 cup, give or take to take the acid "bite" out.  Not sure if that's what you want to hear or not, afterall it's not removing any acid.
    I just read on Dr. Gourmet that the only way is to using baking soda, 1 1/2t.  Any more and it will taste soapy.  Good question.
    post edited by Rusty246 - 2009/06/18 12:40:23
    #2
    shortchef
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    Re:Deacidifying tomato sauce 2009/06/18 12:39:32 (permalink)
    I don't know if it deacidifies the sauce, but a grated carrot in your sauce definitely adds a little sweetness. I have a problem with the acidity, too, since I suffer with acid reflux, but I just cannot give it up.  First the sauce with pasta, then the Rolaids.
    #3
    Ivyhouse
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    Re:Deacidifying tomato sauce 2009/06/18 12:48:20 (permalink)
    Sugar is what my grandmother, my mom and I have used to reduce the tartness in tomato sauce.  I add it by the pinch, tasting after each addition.  I don't know if this will help with sensitivity to acidity / acid reflux -- we have always done it for the taste. 
    #4
    analei
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    Re:Deacidifying tomato sauce 2009/06/18 12:49:31 (permalink)
    depending on how much you like, i like to add lots of carrots, but i like it to cook down to carmelise when i am cooking the onions, garlic, and celery to it makes a flavourful base, and then I add tomatoes. Perhaps cooking it a long time lessens the acids. Now, in the summer, i will add a ripe peach to the sauce and it cooks with everything else. No one can figure it out, and its really quite nice.

    no, i am not the south. i am thoroughly Italian, and was born in Italy. It' just something i experimented with one summer.  No skin on the peaches. 
    #5
    Twinwillow
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    Re:Deacidifying tomato sauce 2009/06/18 12:53:09 (permalink)
    I prefer to buy my canned tomato's without citric acid. There aren't many brands out there that do not contain citric acid but, there're there. You just have to look for them. Read the ingredients list on the cans.

    The best of the bunch w/o citric acid: "6 in 1" brand. You can order them online if there're not available in your area. 

    www.escalon.net/6in1.aspx



    post edited by Twinwillow - 2009/06/18 12:57:12
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    WarToad
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    Re:Deacidifying tomato sauce 2009/06/18 12:53:52 (permalink)
    An interesting articles re: deacidifying tomato products.

    http://www.epicureantable.com/articles/atomato.htm

    To the point:

    " There are four factors that contribute to the natural acidity of a tomato sauce. The juice, peel and the seeds. And overcooking. 
     
    Traditionally, these purees and sauces were cooked 2 to 3 hours (disputed greatly among Italians themselves). One of the reasons for this was the folk belief that the longer tomatoes cook, the less acidic they became. However, cooks added sugar to counteract this and so to the tongue,  it seemed less acidic. But you cannot fool the stomach.  
     
    One cannot 'de-acidify' a product by cooking it longer.  In fact, long cooking reduces the mass by 'cooking off' the liquid present thus concentrating the acid already present in the product.  This results in the same acidity started with but in a mass that is now reduced by most likely a fourth or a third.
     
    Adding sugar or salt - both of which have a natural affinity with tomatoes - should be a personal preference and not to counteract and mask a problem.  A little sugar, just to enhance the tomato's natural sweetness yet not enough to be noticed at first taste is all that is needed.  The amount will vary from batch to batch."


    Thus, skin, seed, and seed goo removal, excessive juice removal, and short cooking time all minimize the acid concentration.  But deacidification seems to be something of a time honored folk myth.

    #7
    Twinwillow
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    Re:Deacidifying tomato sauce 2009/06/18 12:59:31 (permalink)
    As a rule, I always try to remove the seeds from whole canned tomatoes.
    #8
    fabulousoyster
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    Re:Deacidifying tomato sauce 2009/06/18 13:36:16 (permalink)
    Brad, I hope your wife is getting medical care for the GERD/acid reflus problem, thats probably why she's sensitive.  If she can be de-sensitized, maybe she can enjoy it like many people do, lots of great gastroenterologists out there. You can try the carrot, its nice, plus remove the skin, seeds of the tomato.   I buy Sclafani canned crushed tomatoes, no citric acid in New York:
    http://www.donpepino.com/sclafani-crushed-tomatos.html

    I would recommend this, if she will eat tomato sauce, it should eat small portions and not to lie down or go to bed for 3 hours after that.  She probably knows that already.....


    #9
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Deacidifying tomato sauce 2009/06/18 14:05:36 (permalink)
    Lots of useful info - thanks!

    Fortunately it's not a reflux problem.  What happens is that she'll get small blisters on her tongue and inside her mouth, and she's been that way all her life.  Maybe it's a food allergy of some sort instead?  It's more of an inconvenience or minor annoyance than anything else so we've never (at least as long as I've known her) looked into it.
    Brad
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    leethebard
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    Re:Deacidifying tomato sauce 2009/06/18 15:06:01 (permalink)
    My Sicilian Grandmother would fry, briefly, a whole potato and then put it in the cooking sauce for the fianl hour. She said it took the acid out. Her "gravy" always tasted great...as did that potato!!!
    #11
    stricken_detective
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    Re:Deacidifying tomato sauce 2009/06/18 15:39:41 (permalink)
    Brad_Olson

    Lots of useful info - thanks!

    Fortunately it's not a reflux problem.  What happens is that she'll get small blisters on her tongue and inside her mouth, and she's been that way all her life.  Maybe it's a food allergy of some sort instead?  It's more of an inconvenience or minor annoyance than anything else so we've never (at least as long as I've known her) looked into it.
    Brad


    The same thing happens to my Aunt Sue. Of course, tomatoes still warm from the garden are her favorite, so she won't give them up, just limits them. Not sure if it's Vitamin C related or what.

    Are you talking about homemade sauce? We always put a pinch of sugar & half a stick of butter. Not sure why, but it tastes good. I've got GERD, and am medicated for it, but my homemade sauce (Grama's recipe) doesn't bother me.

    I can shoot you a PM with the sauce recipe. We use it for pasta, lasagne, stuffed peppers, everything.
    #12
    SeamusD
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    Re:Deacidifying tomato sauce 2009/06/19 10:04:15 (permalink)
    Brad_Olson

    Lots of useful info - thanks!

    Fortunately it's not a reflux problem.  What happens is that she'll get small blisters on her tongue and inside her mouth, and she's been that way all her life.  Maybe it's a food allergy of some sort instead?  It's more of an inconvenience or minor annoyance than anything else so we've never (at least as long as I've known her) looked into it.
    Brad


    I have several food sensitivities, and I get the same thing, but with lettuce. It also stuffs me up something awful, almost as bad as rice does. I can live without lettuce, don't know how I'd do without tomato sauce!
    #13
    jellybear
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    Re:Deacidifying tomato sauce 2009/06/19 10:11:19 (permalink)
    Have always heard about the sugar thing but My Father is is Italian would flip out if you mentioned sugar in the sauce.
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    blinky193
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    Re:Deacidifying tomato sauce 2009/06/19 10:17:42 (permalink)
    I'm Italian and have always peeled and cut up carrots and put them in my sauce, that's how my mother did it for years.   Since there is sugar in carrots, this is an alternative method instead of putting sugar in your sauce to reduce the acid and give it a milder flavor.  I have a friend who breaks out into coldsores or blisters on her lips everytime she eats a fresh orange or lemon.  She says she is allergic to the acid in them, so she stays away from eating them.
    #15
    chewingthefat
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    Re:Deacidifying tomato sauce 2009/06/19 16:32:44 (permalink)
    If you oversalt a soup, a raw potato simmered in it vastly reduces the salt level, perhaps this is true with removing acidity, worth a try!
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    stricken_detective
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    Re:Deacidifying tomato sauce 2009/06/19 21:52:02 (permalink)
    jellybear

    Have always heard about the sugar thing but My Father is is Italian would flip out if you mentioned sugar in the sauce.


    My grandparents are Italian, they taught me to put sugar in it. *shrugs*
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    harriet1954
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    Re:Deacidifying tomato sauce 2009/06/20 14:53:58 (permalink)
    Yes, by all means, throw that carrot in. My sweet former sister-in-law Anita did, and years ago I asked her why, and she told me it was to lower the acid in it. Her sauce never bothered me. I started doing that whenever I had a carrot - I'm thinking now that if I don't have a fresh one and throw a frozen one in, it may have the same deacidifying effect. I might try that. But when I don't have a fresh one, I've been throwing sugar in and quite frankly, for me I think that just adds to the flavor, but I just don't know about the acid. I do it out of habit. I've never made my own sauce when my boyfriend ate here; we just usually ate Italian food out. He is highly sensitive to fresh tomatoes and also gets the sores on the inside of his mouth from them, and irritation to a lesser degree if the sauce at a restaurant is too acidic. So I'm going to buy carrots next time I know I'll make sauce, just to be safe, if I make him Italian food.
    #18
    joclyn
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    Re:Deacidifying tomato sauce 2009/06/20 17:42:17 (permalink)
    i usually use canned tomato (peeled) and always remove the seeds and the pulp around the seeds and my sauce is never acidy...makes it take longer to prepare and it's a bit messier.  well worth the effort, though, in my book.
     
    i don't use sugar to sweeten...the toms are sweet enough as is.
     
    never heard of putting carrots in to reduce acidity.  they wouldn't though...their sweetness (sugar content, which is actually pretty high) would just hide the 'taste' of the acidity - same as sugar does.
    #19
    susanll
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    Re:Deacidifying tomato sauce 2009/06/20 18:19:31 (permalink)
    Always a pinch of sugar.
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    emsmom
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    Re:Deacidifying tomato sauce 2009/06/20 21:22:17 (permalink)
    susanll

    Always a pinch of sugar.


    I agree with the pinch of sugar-alqays works for me
    #21
    tacchino
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    Re:Deacidifying tomato sauce 2009/06/20 22:58:06 (permalink)
    Sauteeing carrots, celery, and onions to a soft, sweet amalgam has been the traditional base for classic bolognese (meat) sauce for centuries...you can google it online.  Italians have used carrots in this manner for a long while, as they complement tomato flavor... whether that means "cancelling out" the acidity, I don't know...it does improve the taste dramatically.

    I had always heard (being the chld of an Italian immigrant) that the pinch of sugar used in Italian-American sauce preparation was an accomodation in the recipe for the taste of different types of tomatoes here available in the US; the sugar would not have been used in Italy.
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    joerogo
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    Re:Deacidifying tomato sauce 2009/06/20 23:26:26 (permalink)
    Brad_Olson, Always start with the right tomatoes.  Watch for tomatoes from concentrate and with added citric acid. 
     
    I made sauce tonight for a small gathering at my house.  I used Cento Brand all purpose crushed tomatoes.  Vine ripened and not from concentrate.  As for sweetening my sauce.....I use Pork
    #23
    Foodbme
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    Re:Deacidifying tomato sauce 2009/06/20 23:45:39 (permalink)
    stricken_detective

    Brad_Olson

    Lots of useful info - thanks!

    Fortunately it's not a reflux problem.  What happens is that she'll get small blisters on her tongue and inside her mouth, and she's been that way all her life.  Maybe it's a food allergy of some sort instead?  It's more of an inconvenience or minor annoyance than anything else so we've never (at least as long as I've known her) looked into it.
    Brad


    The same thing happens to my Aunt Sue. Of course, tomatoes still warm from the garden are her favorite, so she won't give them up, just limits them. Not sure if it's Vitamin C related or what.

    Are you talking about homemade sauce? We always put a pinch of sugar & half a stick of butter. Not sure why, but it tastes good. I've got GERD, and am medicated for it, but my homemade sauce (Grama's recipe) doesn't bother me.

    I can shoot you a PM with the sauce recipe. We use it for pasta, lasagne, stuffed peppers, everything.


    Why be stingy--Share the recipe with ALL of us!
    #24
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