Removing the Bitter Taste from Canned Tomatoes
Andy Anderson !
Our quest is to reduce the bitter, acidic taste associated with most brands of canned tomatoes.
So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.
How to Make Removing the Bitter Taste from Canned Tomatoes
- Chef’s Note: The one thing all canned tomatoes have in common, is what is called the “canned” taste of the tomatoes. In some cheaper cans of tomatoes, the taste is more pronounced; while in other, more expensive labels, it’s much less. Our goal is to reduce that “bitter” taste, and wind up with a great-tasting tomato that we can then use in virtually any tomato-based dish.
- You will need the right can of tomatoes, so if you want some help with that, go to this recipe post I put together on the best-canned tomatoes:
Cooking Class: The Best Canned Tomatoes
Understand that nothing you do can fix a really bad can of tomatoes… NOTHING. Imagine spending hours working on that special tomato or pizza sauce only to have it ruined by a bad can of tomatoes.
- Chef’s Note: Before I’ll ruin one of my sauces, I’ll throw away a can of tomatoes that taste too bitter or, better yet, I’ll return them to the store. I’ve purchased two cans of tomatoes from the same brand name, brought them home and opened them… One was useable, the other wasn’t. Good chefs will taste as they go.
- Before buying, pick up the can and give it a shake, if it sounds real watery, it’s probably too bitter. Put it back and shake another one.
Shake, Rattle, and Roll.
You’ll looking for a can that sounds more viscous, or thick. If you shake a really cheap tomato brand, it will probably feel like you’re shaking a tin of water.
- Chef’s Note: How can you tell if a can feels watery or viscous? How can you tell when you taste the tomatoes if they are too bitter to use? Experience is the teacher here. In my classes, I have good and bad cans, and I let my students shake the cans to get experience on what to expect. The same is true with tasting tomatoes. The more you do it, the better you will get. Go into the store, and find the most expensive can of tomatoes you can and then shake it… Now find the cheapest, junk can of tomatoes you can and then shake that one… Notice any difference?
- Chef’s Tip: Here are some other ways to help in reducing the bitterness of canned tomatoes:
Sugar (just a touch): For some sauces this will work; however, when I’m making a pizza sauce, I don’t use sugar. I don’t like a sweet pizza sauce.
Salt (just a pinch): Adding salt might sound a bit counterintuitive; however, salt working with the acidic tomatoes will reduce their overall bitterness.
Dried Oregano (crushed in your hand before adding): The released oils will help to reduce the bitterness.