Why is my tomato sauce wangy?

sundrops(Z6 SW Indiana)February 28, 2010

I have been an avid lurker on here for years. I hope someone can help me.

Today I took a bunch of tomatoes out of the freezer. I wanted to make some tomato sauce and read a post here the other day about how to do it and was very excited. However, I have worked all day on this mess and am very disappointed. Everytime I make anything from my tomatoes it comes out wangy. Is there some ingredient that I can add to do away with some of the wang.

This is not the first time this has happened. I worked one year for days making tomato juice and my husband won't drink it or use it in any cooking. It always seem to have such a wang. It doesn't seem to matter what kind of tomatoes I use. I have grown every kind imaginable including the following:

Santa Anna canner







Box Car Willie

and on and on and on

The ones I used today were Dona, Brandywine and Champion. I added garlic, olive oil, italian seasoning, roasted red pepper, salt, pepper and some pepper flakes

Does anyone have a suggestion?

Disgusted in Indiana

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Hi sundrops and welcome - could you define or describe "wang". I have no idea what it means. Sorry. Is it watery, too salty, bland, too acidic, too sweet, or what?


    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 6:21PM
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ruthieg__tx(z8 TX)

I was wondering the same thing...wang?

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 6:58PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

Add something sweet to offset the flavor. I do believe you mean twangy,acidic, or tart, right ? I always add sugar to taste.
Some people even use something like grape jelly. I have heard of all sorts of sweet things being added. Please, don't give up. I would take a bit of your sauce, not all of it, and add some sugar and see if that works for you.
I would think it would help. Works for me.
If you read the Ragu or Prego jars you will see they add sweeteners, usually high fructose corn syrup in commercial foods.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 10:23PM
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anney(Georgia 8)

Maybe "tangy", as you say, linda_lou, meaning acidic or tart. I doubt if Sundrops means the definition given below if it's the sauce to which she refers.

I guess taste-preference is really up to individuals. I like pasta sauces that are tangy or acidic, though I'd add a sweetening agent and a bit of salt along with seasonings to balance everything out.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wangy

    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 9:34AM
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I usually grate a bit of carrot into my sauce, if it has too much of an acid taste.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 9:50AM
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sundrops(Z6 SW Indiana)

Thanks everyone for the suggestions.

I apologize I guess wangy is an Indiana term. My description would be very tart and acidic. I have this problem with my tomato juice and sauce. Would you add sugar to the tomato juice also? I've been looking to see what I am missing and the only thing I have found would be the sugar. Would carrots do the trick? I plan on canning lots of tomato juice this summer and would love to make sauce but I am tired of the results after so much work!

What's really bad is I am not a novice at canning or at least I don't think I am. I've been at it for about 10 years. I have a large garden (60 X 100') and grow lots of stuff but was so beat down yesterday about this sauce I feel like not even trying anymore.

However, I am obsessed with growing vegetables so this will be short lived.

I hope that description helps. Does anyone have a good tomato sauce recipe they would be willing to share?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 3:55PM
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As Linda Lou mentions, I also add sugar to mine. Another trick I got from a friend of mine is to add a bit of a chocolate bar! I know it sounds strange but you don't taste the chocolate, per say, but it gives it something. I also add a dash of cinnamon. You can put too much of that so go very lightly. Lori

    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 4:53PM
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instar8(Z 5 N.IN)

Never heard that one up here...I've never done the freeze then cook thing, so can't help ya there...though it sure sounds like a good strategy when it's 90+ degrees and you've got a tomato tsunami comin at ya...

I have a Mennonite friend who adds a crazy amount of brown sugar to her tomato sauce...like 3/4 cup to a big-family size pot, not to my taste, but a lot of people like it.

i'd be more likely to go with a nice sweet or semi-sweet white wine meself...;~)

    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 4:55PM
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Well, I don't know about it just being an "Indiana" term, but we call it "wangy" too. So some of the things we do to tame the wang are:

Add some carrots - we roast them in the oven first to bring out the natural sugars.
Add some canned tomato paste.
Add some white wine (we happen to like that better than red wine).
Add some roasted sweet (like Vidalia or Texas Sweets) onions.
As a last resort, add some sugar.

Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 5:22PM
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instar8(Z 5 N.IN)

My friend adds tomato paste too, I dunno, mine is always about as sweet as i can stand it, but that comes out in the cooking. I don't garden to save money, i do it for better veggies and control over what i eat...adding processed paste to something i'm gonna can is just not a happenin thang. But when i'm cooking, i love the richness of tomato paste, always an option.

I think i read that someone roasts them in the oven before freezing...maybe that's the thing? I'd be tempted to do it on the grill then peel and freeze them? THat sounds like a plan too!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 6:17PM
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Are you removing the seeds from your tomatoes? I didn't for my first couple batches of sauce before I got a food mill. I couldn't eat the sauce. I don't know if I'd describe the taste as wangy (its been a while so I don't quite remember).

My recent batch, using frozen tomatoes and the food mill was excellent. No other change to the recipe.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2010 at 3:41PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Agree - seeds left in make it very bitter to us so we make sure they are removed. Sugar is also common in many juice and sauce recipes. Just do it to taste till you figure out how much you want - too much is almost as bad as none at all. ;)


    Bookmark   March 2, 2010 at 4:04PM
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One thing that popped into my mind is the type of pot used. I inherited one of my grandmothers big pots, and made a large batch of tomato sauce in it - only to find it very metallic tasting. It turned out her pot was aluminum! Although it didn't taste wangy - it did taste twangy! The whole batch was thrown out, and I don't use her pot anymore....

    Bookmark   March 2, 2010 at 7:27PM
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mrs.b_in_wy(5a WY)

You received lots of great advice, but I'd like to second gardengalrn's comment about the chocolate. It's cocoa powder in our house, though, since a chocolate bar isn't likely to last long around here :) It seems I read somewhere that the alkalinity of the cocoa counteracts the acidity of the tomato sauce. Like gardengalrn said, a little goes a long way. We might use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon to a quart of sauce. Sometimes none at all, depending on which tomatoes go into the batch.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 6:45AM
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