Is tomato paste controversial?

1,466
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Joined Nov 6, 2004
Hi dan!

          Wow I love opening up a can of worms...hehehe tomatoes I mean. I did not mean to come across as arogent, but maybe I am just too old schooled. I have worked for many Italians and picky ones for the most part. Heck they hired a Canadian,Irish decent dutch looking chef !. I have used canned tomatoes in the larger operations where I was pumping out 10-12,000 covers a week ( for you Ed). but still no tomato paste. I would reduce in the large kettles...we had 4! I now use garden variety plum tomatoes for sauce and reductions...I have an excellent connection with the produce purchaser for one of the largest grocery stores in Canada, who supplies to small guys like me on the sidelines...He's down at the terminal everyday and I can reach him pretty much 24 hours! I have lucked out with him and most do not have a great connection like that. I believe the end result is what matters....Happy customers, happy life!

Do what you will with those fruits of love ...it's all good!

Gypsy
   Hi ya Gypsy,

   I suppose I really look at paste as being two things in one can.  On one hand, I use tomato paste straight from the tube, or can, as an ingredient to deepen flavors and to make a sauce, soup, etc more complex.  The other way I'll use tomato paste, on occasion, is as a sauce.  When using it as a sauce I suppose it's really a time saver and nothing else.  When I dine I prefer that the restaurant cut as few corners as they can.  This is a setting where I believe they should be making a sauce the correct way, likewise for stocks, soups, sauces, demi-glace, etc.

    But at home we don't always have the time, so we take something that has been cooked down to a big bold paste and add water to meet the sauce half way.  Then, it still needs some time to "smile" a while...but it can still be a time saver.  I suppose when I posted my reply I was confusing how I use paste, both for a cheater sauce starter and as an ingredient to deepen flavor.  As you described in the other post...I would agree with you.

   g'day,

  dan
 
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Joined Nov 1, 2009
Bottom line, does it taste good? 
 
I use tomato paste quite a bit when making tomato sauces.  But I hear from various people refer to tomato paste as if it's a shortcut or cheating.  A friend of mine is so proud of her tomato sauce and follows it up by saying "and I never have to use paste."  Someone else recently said that tomato paste was the secret ingredient to her sauce but not to tell anybody.  Sometimes even my husband asks me why I'm putting tomato paste in my sauce.

What's the big deal then?
 
1,466
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Joined Nov 6, 2004
   I know I refer to using tomato paste to make a sauce as a "cheater sauce".  Why?  Because you're not making the sauce in one cooking session.  You're using a pre-made item that packs tons of flavor and saves you time that you add water in order to make start the sauce.

   I have no problem using tomato paste for a sauce at home...I'll also use it as an ingredient in various dishes.  Why are people so threatened if someone calls it a shortcut?

   dan
 
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Joined Jul 5, 2016
My family would keel if anyone used tomato paste to thicken....why, I don't know.  When I make sauce, I use a mixture of crushed and plum tomatoes hand crushed.  But, I'll admit, in a pinch, I have used paste {OMG don't tell my family!}
 
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