The Ingredient Swap That Will Majorly Upgrade Your Canned Tomatoes

Novice chefs and culinary connoisseurs alike can attest to the disappointment that canned tomatoes can sometimes bring to a dish. Forgetting to cut the acidity of the canned tomatoes with an additional ingredient is all it takes to throw off the balance of all the flavors you worked so hard to blend.

In order to prevent the growth of bacteria and preserve them effectively, tomatoes are acidified during the canning process (via The National Center for Home Food Preservation). This often leaves behind a lingering, unpleasant taste that cuts through even the most well-seasoned tomato-based dish. Fortunately, there are a few additional ingredients you can include to reduce the bitterness of this product. The opposite of bitter is sweet, so this option is somewhat of a no-brainer; just add sugar. This simple hack can easily negate the harsh acidic taste of canned tomatoes and transform your dish entirely. A little goes a long way!

Adding sugar to your tomato sauce

It's important to note that not all brands or types of canned tomatoes are alike. You may end up using some in your dish that already had sugar added to the can to counteract the acidity. The phrase "use as needed" becomes an important one to adhere to when creating your tomato sauce. Be sure to do lots of tasting along the way to keep track of your changes.

After seasoning your tomato sauce to perfection, add sugar as one of the last steps before letting it thicken to get rid of the tomatoes' acidity. Feel free to try recipes using either white or brown sugar to achieve this result. You may be asking, "How much sugar is too much?" Not everyone likes an overly sugary tomato sauce, so to keep it tasting fresh and savory, Taste of Home suggests starting with just ΒΌ teaspoon to taste.

Eliminating the acidity of canned tomatoes

Crafting the ideal tomato sauce can be a tedious job. It can be especially disheartening when you've wasted time and money preparing a specific meal, only to discover that your canned tomatoes have contributed quite a harsh undertone to the overall dish. Whether you're cooking up homemade pizza sauce or need to warm up with a comforting bowl of tomato soup, using sugar in the end stages of cooking can make all the difference.

Using sugar as an add-on is an easy way to boost the flavor of your sauce while canceling the "canned taste" that we want to avoid in the end result. Let it simmer until all the spices have deliciously infused and melded together to your liking before serving. Marrying the flavors in your tomato sauce doesn't have to be an overly complicated process, especially with such an easy secret ingredient to sweeten the deal.