Tomatoes & Acidity (LONG)
Sorry folks, but this one is long!
An experienced local gardener who also cans her tomatoes told me that many of the newer tomato varieties are less acidic than the old varieties. Yet I remember reading on this forum that tomato varieties have more or less the same acidity. http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/tomato/msg032214023303.html
Recently I read this from a tomato recipe forum:
A Note On Canning Safety: Tomatoes, because of their acid content, have in past years been considered safe to can in a boiling-water bath. However, in recent years hybridizers have developed "sub-acid" varieties that may be on the borderline of acid content where the safe canning of tomatoes or their juice is concerned. to be on the safe side, taste the juice before canning it. If it lacks tartness, be sure to add enough lemon juice to re-create the characteristic pleasant tomato sharpness. http://plantanswers.tamu.edu/recipes/tomatorecipes.html
So, what's the deal? Has tomato acidity and/or flavor changed over the years? Do people add lemon juice to their canning recipe now just to be on the safe side? Were folks risking their health canning tomatoes without lemon juice years ago?