All about San Marzano Tomatos - chefshop.com/enews

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Tomatoes

Baking Season

Herman Ranch


chocolate cookies
chocolate chipped

baking decor baking
decorations


vanilla paste organic vanilla
condensed paste

cocoa baking season
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sugar super fine
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rega rega realDOP San marzano tomatoes Fall turns into Red
Keep summer in your kitchen year round!

As tomato season slips through our fingertips and fall approaches I find myself preemptively missing my favorite summer fruit. The tangy, sweet, and crisp tomato of summer may be on its way out, but donít panic, hope isnít lost yet.

As the tomato crop fades away, there is a substitute - the canned tomato. I know, itís not the same, especially atop a salad, but canned tomatoes substitute beautifully for fresh, in flavorful sauces and soups (gazpacho from a canned tomato? Yes, itís possible!). The trick is finding the right canned tomato.

But, where to start? First, not all tomatoes are created equal. Each variety of tomato has a unique taste and best suits particular recipes, not to mention that each responds differently to being canned. Secondly, not all tomatoes are canned equally - different processes and additives change the texture and taste of the finished product.

Simple things first: take a close look at the ingredients. Calcium chloride is a common ingredient in domestically canned tomatoes. Itís added to maintain the firm texture of the tomato, but lends an undesirable acidic and metallic taste. Not to mention that an overly firm tomato is not necessarily a positive attribute.

Citric acid is another common additive. While citric acid is found in many can goods, if youíre using a high quality tomato, it shouldnít need the added acidity - which I should note - is often leveled out with some sugar or syrup. When looking at ingredients, less is more; all I want in my canned tomatoes is tomatoes, and maybe a little basil for taste.

Itís my belief that Italian tomato variety San Marzano is the best canning tomato. Although tomatoes are a New World fruit, San Marzano tomatoes originate from the region of Campania, and benefit from the areas warm weather and rich volcanic soil. In addition to being naturally sweet and low in acidity, the San Marzano tomato has a thicker flesh than its relative the Roma tomato, and has fewer seeds which is why, even after the canning process, it remains juicy and flavorful.

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Rega San Marzano Tomotoes Controlling the process
How Canning makes a difference!

Now for the trickier distinction: the canning method. There are two basic methods used to sterilize canned goods industrially.

The first is a two-step sterilization, called aseptic canning, and is a process similar to that used by home-canners. First, the cans and lids are sterilized by ultra-high temperature steam. Then the product is rapidly heated and cooled to kill all microorganisms that could lead to product spoilage. Finally, the pasteurized product is placed in the sterilized can, and the process is complete.

I prefer this two-step method because it allows the producer to have the most control over the cooking of the product. By strictly controlling how quickly the product is heated and cooled, the producer can almost eliminate the effect of pasteurization on the texture and taste of the product.

The alternative method and the one found most frequently in the US, is a single-step process called retort canning. Here, the product is cooked and the can sterilized simultaneously; the container is filled with raw food product and then heated using pressurized steam until the heat penetrates through the container to the center of the product, at which point the product and container are both sterilized.

While this method is effective and inexpensive, it is much more difficult to control the cooking of the product, and usually results in a product that has been unevenly heated and exposed to heat for a much longer period time than in aseptic canning.

Naturally, the canning process impacts every product in a different way - but I tend to think that the more control a producer has over his product and its cooking - the better the outcome!

When it comes to quality food, itís important for all of us to remember that it isnít just where the product comes from, or the variety, or the additives used, or the packaging process used that affect the quality of the overall product - itís all of it tied together.

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rega rega san marzano tomatoes


tomatoes
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San Marzano
real tomatoes from Italy
Rega Rega Ė San Marzanos at their best. We sell a brand of canned tomatoes called ĎRega Rega.í

These tomatoes are certified D.O.P. (Denominazione di Origine Protetta) San Marzano, which ensures their provenance and quality. Rega Rega pride themselves on picking tomatoes only when they have come to full maturity on the plant - meaning that they are full flavored and sweet, just as nature intended.

The tomatoes are picked ripe and canned (using the two-step process) on the same day to ensure quality, freshness, and maximum flavor.

Most of the ďSan Marzano styleĒ canned tomatoes sold in the US are actually grown and processed in California Ė and if you look closely at the can, it should say so. And often they never say that there are San Marzanos in the can! If there are hard, indigestible ends in the can and the whole tomatoes donít easily fall apart when you lightly squish them with your hands or a spoon, thatís your clue that the tomatoes in that can were grown, harvested (green) and processed in the good olí US of A. No vine-ripened goodness to be had here!

It's such a simple answer, grown and canned San Marzano tomatoes. Italy makes wonderful food.

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aged cheese
Parmigiano-Reggiano!
36 Month aged Summer Parmigiano-Reggiano is available to be cut and shipped in about two weeks. Order now and keep summer for Fall.






reed avocado
Herman Ranch

Reed Avocados! "The one I cut open last week-Thursday-is still bright green/yellow-not an iota of oxidation- amazing. And so delicious! I could tweet about them everyday!" Food Editor F&W

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Learn the history and origins of some of the most commonly used Spanish ingredients, as you learn how to prepare a variety of classic Spanish tapas dishes using traditional Spanish ingredients. There are literally hundreds of potential tapas recipes to choose from. Chef Karen hasn't decided yet which recipes to make -- but rest assured, each and every one will be delish. So sign up now, before we sell out -- and check back later for a complete list. Or just come and be surprised!


New Honeys, New Syrups, New foods. Almost Hot Chocolate Season! Rain and Cloudy expected...


This Weeks Recipes

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Chicken Stew with Garlic Recipe

Grilled Mustard Chicken with Fresh Corn Polenta Recipe

Basic Tomato Sauce Recipe

Fusilli with Artichoke and Tomato Sauce Recipe


See what you missed in previous Newsletters

Skin Deep Beauty, Summer is Here, Yes! Gray Salt

Baking Season

Buttery Reed, Polyphenols in a Bottle, Peanut Brittle


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