Expanding your sauce making beyond the San Marzano/ Roma Types
I will be the first to admit that the San Marzano and Roma Type Tomatoes make a terrific sauce. I have many friends who perform the yearly ritual of buying 20 or so boxes of the red beauties either at a local specialty supermarket or from us at our farm. They usually turn it into a family event and jar away.
But, as growers of up to 24 types of tomatoes – hybrids, heirlooms, cherries and artisans, we have found that they all can be turned into wonderful sauces.
Over the years we have experimented with straight and combination heirloom, jersey and cherry sauces. All with their own distinct flavors and textures. We have even experimented with various blends. For example we will start with Red Brandywine Heirlooms and by adding Orange Valencias we can cut the acidity and add a creamy texture to the sauce. Sometimes we will prepare an heirloom blend by combining Brandywines, Mortgage Lifters, Stripped German and Cherokee Purples and end up with the most flavorful sauce I have ever tasted.
Granted, most times these tomato varieties are not available at supermarkets, however they can be purchased at some specialty farm stands and farmers markets. As for our experience, many of our farm customers have tried making the heirloom sauces from our tomatoes and all have been pleasantly surprised by the result. Also, for those of you who garden, add a few heirloom tomato varieties to your bounty.
So this season or next plan a few sauces around these other varieties of tomatoes and enjoy the different flavors and textures. You will not be disappointed!