Tomatoes 2013_Freezing, Fermenting, Drying
Just sharing what I've done so far; this year I grew several varieties gleaned from the Tomato Forum (and probably this forum also) that I perceived as being 'favorites' among the 'connoisseurs', which were...
...and I've found all of them to be superb in their own right (Cherokee Green has now become the favorite slicer for me and my wife) . But, a major thing I've learned to be true, which I probably picked up here on the Harvest Forum, is that blending as many different varieties together makes for the best sauce/juice; IMO, the flavor is sublime, especially when fresh run raw, not blanched, through a device such as a Roma Food Strainer and Sauce Maker, which is why I now have about 130 lbs fresh frozen sauce in the freezer.
The other (very successful) thing I did was to ferment them. When the flood of ripe tomatoes was on and I could not keep up, I chunked them into pieces (small enough to fit into the Roma Sauce Maker) into 5 gal food grade buckets, added some Italian seasoning, fresh diced baccatum chiles, garlic, salt, and yogurt whey, mashed them with a hand held potato masher until submerged in their own juices, pressed Saran Wrap across the surface, and let them ferment; some sat as long as two weeks before I finally got around back to them to run through the sauce maker. The fermented sauce I then either water bathed canned (no acid added), or, simply bottled raw capped w/olive oil at the top (something I�ve read about and have been hankering to try). Bottled fermented sauce to go to the cellar:
I have distributed to friends and family for trial tasting several pints/quarts of fermented tomato sauce and it is a hit with everyone so far. It makes good chili (already done that), or, it is good simply poured over ice and drank like V8 or tomato juice. I am very pleased with the outcome of the experiment of fermenting the tomatoes prior to canning.
One of the handiest items I used this year was a plastic lettuce knife to chunk all those big tomatoes up with, it sure saved me a lot of knicks and cuts, well worth the three bucks:
Another thing I dabbled with is tomato kvass made from the leftover skins/seeds after saucing. I add sugar (3/4 cup per gallon water) to make it stout with lactic acid. Other than one little taste I have not really had time to experiment much with it, right now I am looking at it as a lactic acid based vinegar, because vinegar is what it reminds me of.
I also dried lots of tomatoes, including the black cherries, everybody likes those too, but seems to me that Brandy Boy especially excels in flavor as a dried tomato.
This post was edited by sidhartha0209 on Sat, Aug 17, 13 at 3:29