Here Comes The Tomato Sommelier

Silvia Donati | Thu, 01/30/2014 - 01:15

A signature product of Italian cuisine, tomato in all its forms deserves better appreciation and understanding.

This is the underlying concept of a joint project launched by Mutti, a leading Italian company in the production of canned tomato sauce, and the Italian chefs of the Jeunes Restaurateurs d'Europe: the creation of the “tomato sommelier”.

Is it better to use tomato puree or concentrate for a certain dish? Which is the correct flavor or texture to achieve when cooking fish?

The tomato sommelier answers this type of questions, to provide guidance for the best use of tomato sauce in the kitchen.    

The Tomato Sommelier project has already come up with a series of guidelines on how to use the three classic products of tomato sauce in Italian cuisine: polpa, passata and concentrato.

- The polpa (pulp) is an excellent base for all preparations requiring use of raw tomatoes. Its immediacy and liveliness make it ideal in quick recipes, in the preparation of seafood as well as fatty dishes, where freshness and light acidity are important.

- The passata (puree), with its density and strong creamy-sweet note, is a favorite. You can use it in those recipes where the tomato flavor is predominant and for quick-cooking preparations like soups and creams.

- The concentrato (concentrate) is often recommended to be used as it is, without further cooking, for sauces (hot and cold), dips and gravy, and as a condiment; it is also useful for thickening and coloring naturally, while enhancing the taste of a dish.