Rairdog
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Making tomato sauce NOT so sweet

What are some good varieties of tart tomatoes I can mix with my beefsteak and better boys to make the sauce less sweet. I am going to try and use less ripe ones this year. I usually core and freeze them whole. Then a min in micro, slide the skin off and mash them into a pot with garden herbs. I usually add store bought paste/canned to even it out. Lemon and vinegar don't seem to help much.

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Re: Making tomato sauce NOT so sweet

Why don't you use the San Marzano or other paste tomatoes that were bred for sauce? I consider the beefsteaks more slicers. But if you want tartness you can grow some yellow pear tomatoes and that will increase the tartness.
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feldon30
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Re: Making tomato sauce NOT so sweet

One of my favorite paste/plums is Sarnowski Polish Plum. Very productive and great flavor. Might be worth a try for next year.
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Re: Making tomato sauce NOT so sweet

Home canned tomato, often has quite a bit of added salt and lemon juice.
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Rairdog
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Re: Making tomato sauce NOT so sweet

It really depends on the weather. Some years if it's dry they just dye off. Wet/steady years the chest freezer is full. My high ph well water doesn't help on dry years. They are grown for slicers but if there are extra they go in the freezer. I have grown roma and 1 oz snack which are pretty much smaller roma's and they are just as sweet. I still have time to buy some starts for dirt and plenty of time in the greenhouse for seed starts.

I can probably find San Marzano seeds and maybe yellow pear starts. Ideally a tart indeterminate that's lanky and not bushy would work well in my aquaponic greenhouse. Those Sarnowski Polish Plum look interesting if they don't get to bushy. Thanks for the help.

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Re: Making tomato sauce NOT so sweet

When you are canning tomatoes to preserve, you are supposed to add lemon juice, vinegar or citric acid/
The USDA and University-based researchers have determined that to ensure a safe acid level for boiling water canning of whole, crushed, or juiced tomatoes, add 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or ½ teaspoon of citric acid per quart of tomatoes. For pints, use 1 tablespoon of bottled lemon juice or ¼ teaspoon of citric acid. Acid can be added directly to the jars before filling the jars with product. Add sugar to offset acid taste, if desired. Four tablespoons of 5-percent-acidity vinegar per quart may be used instead of lemon juice or citric acid. However, vinegar may cause undesirable flavor changes. (Canning Tomatoes, Introduction).
https://nchfp.uga.edu/tips/summer/home_p ... atoes.html

...so you could do the same to fresh made sauce. Is the recommended amount the same as what you tried and found to be insufficient?

I haven't grown better boy and beefsteak in a long while. I like heirloom tomatoes that have what
I call "full complex tomato flavor" -- sweet, rich, tangy, mouthwatering with lingering flavor that excites the entire tongue. I find some varieties to be insipid with limited flavor notes. Sauce made with the rich flavored tomatoes are to die for. :()
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Re: Making tomato sauce NOT so sweet

I haven't added the recommended amount of lemon juice but it wasn't getting better the more I added. I have cherokee purple and large cherry heirlooms and plan on adding more next year. Maybe I could get in on some seed exchanges. Space is limited so I keep to what has avoided cracks, wilt and blight. I'm even growing some on the neighbors side of the property line so she doesn't have to walk as far to steal my others.

I just picked up some San Marzano seeds to try them out. How big do they get? Will picking picking beef/boy with green shoulders help?

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Re: Making tomato sauce NOT so sweet

Raiddog - I have not used them in a sauce but green zebras are not sweet. A wonderful taste that is hard to describe. I had some last year and never thought of using them in a sauce.
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feldon30
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Re: Making tomato sauce NOT so sweet

Cherokee Purple is a tremendous tomato and is the reason WHY I grow tomatoes. But I wouldn't use it for sauce unless you have lots of gardening space. If canning is a priority for you, I'd grow a paste/oxheart/plum like the aforementioned Sarnowski Polish Plum, or something like San Marzano.
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Re: Making tomato sauce NOT so sweet

Thanks E, I will see if there are some green zebra starts locally. I have found Mr Stripey but know nothing about them.

Feldon, I have a friend that grows Cherokee Purple and everyone swears by them. Honestly, I think my beef/boy taste as good or better. Probably because she is growing in a GH in big containers and I have almost 2 feet of river-bottom topsoil. This is my first year and the seedlings have not kept up with my other varieties. Hopefully they come around.

I guess sweetness should be considered a good thing since sour tangy tomato's doesn't give you a good google search. It's probably because we are used to unripe store canned tomatoes. Just like celery and lettuce doesn't taste watered down when out of the garden.

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Re: Making tomato sauce NOT so sweet

San Marzano is like Roma, only a little longer with a pointy tip. It is an Italian paste tomato and is supposed to be one of the best ones to use for sauce.

https://www.rareseeds.com/san-marzano-lungo-no-2-tomato/
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Rairdog
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Re: Making tomato sauce NOT so sweet

imafan26 wrote:San Marzano is like Roma, only a little longer with a pointy tip. It is an Italian paste tomato and is supposed to be one of the best ones to use for sauce.

https://www.rareseeds.com/san-marzano-lungo-no-2-tomato/

Yes, I have been researching it and already purchased/planted some seeds since you mentioned it. Looks like it's vinning/spindling indeterminate which is perfect for snaking around in GH without it taking over. Little long to mature so I'm pushing it for dirt but it might work out.

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applestar
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Re: Making tomato sauce NOT so sweet

This Sarnowski Polish Plum is a new one for me. I will have to look that up and possibly add to my next year's wishlist. 8)
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feldon30
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Re: Making tomato sauce NOT so sweet

Rairdog wrote:Feldon, I have a friend that grows Cherokee Purple and everyone swears by them. Honestly, I think my beef/boy taste as good or better. Probably because she is growing in a GH in big containers and I have almost 2 feet of river-bottom topsoil.
Yeah that could certainly be it. Also, darker colored tomatoes don't fully develop their pronounced flavor in more northern climates. I hope CP tastes as good here as it did in Houston.
Rairdog wrote:I guess sweetness should be considered a good thing since sour tangy tomato's doesn't give you a good google search. It's probably because we are used to unripe store canned tomatoes. Just like celery and lettuce doesn't taste watered down when out of the garden.
It does seem like most people focus on sweet tomatoes cause they have sadly become accustomed to the tasteless pink bags of water at the store. I want a full flavor profile with sweet, zippy, and meaty.


There are so many plum/paste varieties. I think it's a matter of trialing a few and seeing which gives you the most pounds-per-plant and usable production.

Another one to consider is Wes. It is more of an oxheart with large to very large (1+ lb) heart-shaped tomatoes:

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Re: Making tomato sauce NOT so sweet

Wes is one of my, and most that grow it favorites. I just love it. It was not tart though. It had more of the balanced profile you mentioned.
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feldon30
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Re: Making tomato sauce NOT so sweet

I'm growing 2 plants this year. I'd tried it out of a friend's garden and was duly impressed.
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applestar
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Re: Making tomato sauce NOT so sweet

Here's a taste review on Wes from last year: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 11#p310811

...and a photo of my biggest Wes: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 13#p309613
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feldon30
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Re: Making tomato sauce NOT so sweet

applestar wrote:Here's a taste review on Wes from last year: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 11#p310811

...and a photo of my biggest Wes: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 13#p309613
Goodness that Wes looks amazing. Also I've never serious considered growing Soldacki but I have an extra plant (I started some seeds for a friend). Maybe I should squeeze one in. ;)
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Re: Making tomato sauce NOT so sweet

Do! :()

I hope people add to that tomato tasting thread this season. I realize soil and climate could significantly affect the flavors, and same variety may taste differently from year to year, but I enjoyed comparing and rating the relative flavor ratings. I'm definitely going to continue trying to compare different varieties. 8)
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Re: Making tomato sauce NOT so sweet

I have yet to find anybody who has had success growing Mister Stripey.
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Re: Making tomato sauce NOT so sweet

Felton,

I grew Cherokee Purple last year in Philly..... They were awesome. I ate them raw...... No big deal, you say? Well I don't like raw tomato. I can eat a slice on a hoagie or something like that, but I can't just eat raw tomatoes.... They need to be part of a bigger picture. But I was eating the CP last summer with just salt and pepper. And pretty good harvest, but I have had better. If they get even better in the south, WOW!
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Rairdog
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Re: Making tomato sauce NOT so sweet

I found a local lady selling organic heirlooms. Picked up a Martino Roma(less BER supposedly), Pineapple and Chefs Choice which is a hybrid after I looked it up. The best part was she gave me a LIME basil plant. Thanks for all the input.

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Re: Making tomato sauce NOT so sweet

How about adding peppers? Even a small amount would change the direction of the flavor.

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Gary350
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Re: Making tomato sauce NOT so sweet

Slice the tomatoes put them skin and all in the kitchen blender and blend them until the skins have turned to liquid too. The skins will double the tomato flavor and reduce the sweetness. If you want to reduce sweetness more add Roma tomatoes skins and all too.

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Re: Making tomato sauce NOT so sweet

Yeah that could certainly be it. Also, darker colored tomatoes don't fully develop their pronounced flavor in more northern climates. I hope CP tastes as good here as it did in Houston
I never tried it in Huston, but an hour down the road from you, it's a keeper! We have more CP growing than anything else! Yummeh to muh tummeh!
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Gary350
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Re: Making tomato sauce NOT so sweet

I grow beefsteak and all the beefsteak varieties, big beef, beef master, Super star, etc. we love them for everything, salads, soups, stews, chili, juice, sauce, puree, sauce, catsup, etc. I plant 5 different beefsteak varieties then mix them all together when cooking them for canning in mason jars. Only the low acid tomatoes need acid added for canning. I have tried mixing other tomatoes with beefsteak with very disappointing results it changes the whole flavor if the beefsteak tomato. Celebrity tomatoes have about as much flavor as cardboard you can add them to beefsteak like filler. Roma tomatoes make beefsteak taste like spaghetti sauce without the herbs. Tiny 1" salad tomatoes do good with beefsteak but it is a lot of work to pick 1000s of tiny tomatoes to add to a 10 gallon pot of beefsteak tomatoes. The best choice for use is 5 different varieties of beefsteak some are less sweet but you still get that good beefsteak flavor. I bring whole sliced tomatoes to a boil then let them cool 30 minute then puree, tomatoes, skins, and seeds in the kitchen blender. Then boil again and hot pack in 100 pint mason jars. No salt, no herbs, no acid added. Then I boil the hot pack tomatoes 15 minutes then let them cool naturally for about 6 hours. Mark them with dates and put them in the pantry. I try not to let them get more than 3 years old in the pantry. I have been hot water bath canning tomatoes 55 years, if jars and seals are good none will go bad.

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Re: Making tomato sauce NOT so sweet

Sauce tomatoes should be meaty and not juicy for the best sauce and they usually are not sweet. It looks like the tomatoes you are using are sweet to start with and that may be why your sauce is sweeter than you like. Vinegar and lemon have distinct flavors. Try citric acid instead. It is mostly just plain tart and often used to raise the acidity of low acid fruits for safe canning.

https://www.healthycanning.com/citric-ac ... e-canning/
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