forum: Food & Drink

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#1 Wed 16 Jan 13 8:12pm

wine~o

Forum champ
Occupation Handyman
From Dorset u.k
Member since Tue 21 Oct 08

Canned Tomatoes......

I buy a fair few of tins of these, convenient for all sorts of dishes, and given the English climate, fresh tomatoes aren't available all year round....


...however, I've noticed a lot of people buy them ready chopped...I always buy mine whole..

I never know how I'm going to use them (Chopped or whole)
and whilst it's quite easy to chop a whole tomato, it's very difficult to stick a chopped tomato back together...


Thoughts???

Last edited by wine~o (Wed 16 Jan 13 8:12pm)

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#2 Wed 16 Jan 13 8:29pm

MsPablo

Forum super champ
Occupation Just being me
Member since Fri 28 Mar 08

Re: Canned Tomatoes......

Whole canned tomatoes are usually a higher quality, more pure product than crushed or canned tomato sauce.  They are more versatile because they have a less processed, less cooked-down flavor and if you want to cook them down, that's always easy to do.  I will buy 'organic' crushed canned tomatoes or canned tomato sauce because those products are devoid of the poor quality ingredients used in processing, but only when I have a specific purpose for them and want the convenience/texture without the longer cooking time.

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#3 Wed 16 Jan 13 8:31pm

wine~o

Forum champ
Occupation Handyman
From Dorset u.k
Member since Tue 21 Oct 08

Re: Canned Tomatoes......

where is that Thanks button?? big_smile

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#4 Wed 16 Jan 13 10:44pm

Maree

Forum champ
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Sat 10 Mar 07

Re: Canned Tomatoes......

Good post, MsP. Maybe we do need that "Like" button wink.

I buy the whole ones and if I need them chopped I scissor them in the tin, that is while they are still on it. Can cut chunky or fine depending on how I want them. The diced tinned tomatoes are often mostly mush, I've found.


"Cook with love and laughter ..."
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#5 Wed 16 Jan 13 10:49pm

mummza

Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Canned Tomatoes......

I have at times bought the canned chopped tomatoes , but there is more juice and less tomato in the tin .
It was a case of it being helpful that the tomatoes were already chopped rather than having to struggle with another thing  , sounds daft I know as canned tomatoes are quite soft but after the shoulder surgery any help at all was really valuable.

Now I only buy cans of whole tomatoes . I chop them as needed .
I agree with MsP they are a better quality of tomato when hey are whole.

I do occasionally buy the cans of cherry tomatoes , they are quite good .

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#6 Thu 17 Jan 13 7:01am

Thistledo

Member
Occupation Retired something or other
From English immigrant in S. Wales
Member since Fri 07 Dec 12

Re: Canned Tomatoes......

I remember some years ago on one of the cheffy programmes, where the chef quite specifically said that canned chopped tomatoes were inferior to whole ones.  The juice is used is the leftovers of all the other tomatoes used in the process.  I use canned whole toms too.  They're easily broken up to resemble the chopped ones.

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#7 Thu 17 Jan 13 10:33am

Merlin

Member
Occupation Editorial assistant/general online chap
From London
Member since Wed 24 Oct 12

Re: Canned Tomatoes......

Hey all - that was really interesting, I had absolutely no idea there was a difference in quality. I use a huge number of tins of chopped tomatoes every month (particularly in the winter for stews and what have you) - I'll have a try with whole tinned tomatoes tonight, I think, I'm intrigued!

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#8 Thu 17 Jan 13 10:45am

Maree

Forum champ
From Newcastle, Australia
Member since Sat 10 Mar 07

Re: Canned Tomatoes......

Happy cooking, Merlin. I hate mess and unnecessary cleanup (basically, I'm lazy), that's why I attack whole tomatoes with kitchen scissors while still in the can/tin.


"Cook with love and laughter ..."
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#9 Thu 17 Jan 13 10:48am

shammrok

Forum super champ
Occupation Growing things
From Up the garden path...Tasmania
Member since Thu 02 Sep 04

Re: Canned Tomatoes......

Tinned tomatoes are a great pantry item in the off season, and I agree the whole tinned ones are better value.
@Mummza I have never seen canned cherry tomatoes in the supermarkets here.
My tomatoes are ripening now so I should have plenty to freeze again this year. smile

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#10 Thu 17 Jan 13 10:56am

hippytea

Member
Occupation Chief cook and bottle-washer
From Scotland
Member since Mon 12 Sep 11

Re: Canned Tomatoes......

I always buy chopped, because I always need them chopped and I'm not willing to pay extra in order to have to do the work myself. I'm on an extremely tight budget - a lot of the time I buy passata, because it's cheaper again than chopped tomatoes.

Apart from personal economy, I also hate the idea of all the tomatoes that get squashed or accidentally cut during processing being rejected because everyone feels they have to buy the cans of perfect whole ones. I don't mind them being mushy, as I am using them to make sauces anyway. If I'm doing a recipe that calls for whole ones, I'll buy them specially.

I've heard a lot about chopped tomatoes being lower quality, but I'm yet to be convinced. MsPablo, when you say they are "less pure", and you mention "poor quality ingredients involved in processing", what do you mean? What's been added to them? My tin of chopped tomatoes lists its ingredients as peeled plum tomatoes (60%), tomato juice (39%) and citric acid. The citric acid is the only added ingredient. I know this may be different in different countries, though.

The thing is, I've never heard a solid reason why they're less good, though I've heard a lot of pseudo-reasons that don't stand up to inspection. One food writer claimed that you should use whole tomatoes because the chopped ones were bitter, because of the seeds. What? The whole ones have seeds too, and once you've chopped them, the seeds are mixed through the same as the chopped ones! If you don't want seeds you have to use passata, and passata's generally bitterer than tinned tomatoes, don't ask me why.

So imo, this may be one of these things that gets passed on from one person to another as gospel but doesn't have that much foundation. There are so many of those in cookery, and they are amazingly persistent.

eta: I'm going by the local Co-Op later, so I'll take a look at tins of tomatoes and see if the percentage of juice to fruit is different between chopped and whole within the same brand. That's the only potentially sound reason I've heard so far.

Last edited by hippytea (Thu 17 Jan 13 11:05am)

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