Thursday, March 29, 2007

Tomato paste rant

How many times have you made a recipe that called for 1 or 2 tablespoons of tomato paste? You scoop out what you need, put some plastic wrap over the can, stick it back in the fridge and then discover it weeks later all covered with a scary black substance. So then you throw the can away.

I once wrote to Hunt's (or maybe it was Contadina) to ask them why they had to sell their product in steel cans. I wanted to know if there wasn't some packaging that would allow the consumer to keep the leftover tomato paste without it turning nasty colors. Well, no surprise, nobody wrote back to me.

There is actually an interesting solution to this: tomato powder. Tomato powder can be reconstituted to tomato paste (or to sauce, if you add more water). You just spoon out what you need, mix it with water and voilĂ . The downside to tomato powder is that it is more costly than canned tomato paste, but if you factor in all the cans you throw away, it might actually end up a savings.

If you're interested, you can check out a place called Barry Farm Foods. They have a lot of other interesting dried fruits and vegetables, too, like artichoke powder. I wonder what you can do with that?

(P.S. I do know about the trick of freezing tablespoons of leftover tomato paste, but it still annoys me that I have to do it.)

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