Thursday, July 3, 2008

I'm An Idiot ... Or, Pay Attention To Your Ingredients

For years, I've made red sauces, spaghetti sauces, pizza sauces, chili sauces, etc., etc., etc. And, for years, I've generally used either tomato sauce or tomato puree. And, for years, I just didn't think about the difference.

I knew that if I used puree that I had to add a little more to the mixture to bring up the flavor. But, that I preferred tomato puree to tomato sauce and used it whenever I could.

Yes, yes, I know what you're thinking: for years, I've been an idiot. Just didn't even think about what I was using. Yes, there's a real difference between tomato sauce and tomato puree. Like, um, ingredients and stuff?

What brought about this miraculous revelation? I was getting read to do my promised comparison between the various liquid smokes when making a barbecue sauce. Since I'm trying to move away from as many processed foods as possible, I thought that I'd use tomato sauce rather than tomato paste in the recipe, adjusting the added water, of course.

So, I'm looking at the calorie contents of the two, because the only difference is that tomato paste has less water, right? Oh, look, tomato sauce has ingredients. (insert long dramatic pause) Oops.

Fortunately, I prefer to do my research before starting. So, no food was ruined. My ego was the only casualty here.

Yes, tomato sauce makes a terrible replacement for the combination of tomato paste and water. Why? Because of those pesky ingredients in tomato sauce like vinegar, sugar, salt, and other things which just aren't in "100% tomatoes", as is the ingredient list of tomato paste.

I really need to learn to read.


Alex Rushmer said...

This made me smile. A forgivable mistake to make though :)

Y said...

Haha.. ah well. I'm sure it never did hurt anything you cooked! I'm guilty of occasionally using tomato sauce as my "secret ingredient" when I'm cooking, but don't tell anyone! :)