Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo



Use baking soda to improve the taste of canned tomatoes

by: Chica

My husband and I are big fans of pasta with tomato sauce (especially with hot Italian sausage!), and we have it for dinner often. I rarely have the time to wait for fresh tomatoes to cook down in the sauce, tomato sauceso I almost always use canned tomatoes (which are also a lot cheaper). The only problem with canned tomatoes is that they always have that slightly acidic and bitter taste that… well… makes them taste canned. Some folks combat this with a little sugar or by removing the seeds from the tomatoes, but my trick is baking soda.

You remember how as a kid you’d mix baking soda with vinegar, and the result would be tomato saucea big bubbly mess that you called a volcano? The same principles apply here, and the baking soda will react with the acid in your tomatoes. Just add a couple teaspoons of baking soda (but not too much!) to your tomatoes as you’re cooking your meal. When you stir it in, the sauce will fizz, foam, and bubble as the baking soda reacts with all that extra acid in the tomatoes. Just keep stirring for a few minutes and soon the bubbles will be gone… along with that canned tomato taste!

7 comments so far:

  • 1
    JS 06/02/2011 at 11:11 pm

    Hey there,

    I was making speghetti and meatballs, and the recipe I used required 2 cans of whole tomatoes. My sauce was not tasting right at all! I tried your tip and it worked like a charm!! Thanks!! You saved my sauce. Whew!

    P.S. Though I wonder how unhealthy it is eating baking soda :-S

  • 2
    Chica 06/03/2011 at 12:56 pm

    JS, so glad to hear that this easy tip helped you out! Baking soda is an ingredient used in many recipes and is perfectly safe to eat. Some argue it even has health benefits, but as with anything, it’s only effective in moderation :)

  • 3
    Tp 07/29/2011 at 3:06 pm

    This tip was on point!!! Thank you so much, I am so glad I came across this information.

  • 4
    Metqa 01/06/2012 at 12:34 pm

    Once the baking soda reacts with the vinegar in the tomatoes the byproduct is salt, so it’s safe to use but you may ,and should, add salt after tasting the almost finished product.

  • 5
    Chica 01/06/2012 at 2:57 pm

    Thanks for sharing that tidbit of info with us, Metqa!

  • 6
    Aldo Perna 02/17/2013 at 9:02 pm

    HI I am having problems preserving tomato sauce, that has been bottled,later to be used as pasta sauce.We remove the skin from the tomato with machine, that also juices the pulp.once bottled we boil the bottles for aprox 45 minutes,we have opened them later and they have fizzed like a carbonated drink, could u advise me on what i am doing wrong.Aldo

  • 7
    Chica 02/18/2013 at 1:26 pm

    Sorry Aldo, but we don’t have any experience with preserving/canning tomato sauce!

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