What is Homemade Tomato Sauce?
Tomato sauce can be store bought or homemade. Many restaurants will opt to make their own, for a unique and full flavored sauce. Tomato sauce is made by simmering tomatoes, tomato paste, olive oil, garlic and herbs. There are many variations of tomato sauce, but these ingredients are standard for almost any recipe. Tomato sauce has a a wet texture that runs from thin to thick in viscosity. The sauce is red with bits of herbs strewn throughout and the flavor is tangy, slightly sweet, salty and umami, with hints of garlic and herbs. It is best served hot over pizza or pasta and pairs well in many Italian dishes.
What does Homemade Tomato Sauce Taste Like?
...Salty is one of the five main tastes. It has a satisfying and addictive quality with hints of sourness. Salty foods include cheeses, cured meats, chips, and olives. It is used in almost every dish and prepared food. Salt is added to enhance flavor and offer a distinctly salty taste.
...Sweet is one of the five main tastes. It has smooth and round notes in its flavor profile. Sweet is a naturally occurring flavor in many foods, including fruits, berries, winter squashes, sugarcane, and honey. The sweet taste in these foods is due to a higher sugar content. Sweetness is characteristic of desserts and is used as an accent in savory foods.
...Sour is one of the five main tastes. It is tart and bright, sometimes with a mouth-puckering quality. Sour is a naturally occurring flavor found in many foods, including citrus, vinegar, various dairy products, and certain fruits. Sour is used to enhance a dish or drink and is used as both a main and complimentary flavor.
...Umami is one of five main tastes. It is savory with a depth of flavor. Umami is a taste in many foods, including meat, seafood, beans, and nuts. It is both naturally occurring and created through the specific use of ingredients to create a satisfying taste. Umami is characteristic of proteins and savory dishes.
...Botanically speaking the tomato is a fruit, but in the culinary world it is used almost strictly as a vegetable. Tomatoes are a nightshade plant that grow on tall, thick sturdy stalks. There are many varieties of tomato, but the most common type is round and red. It has a thin skin that covers its extremely juicy and soft flesh. The center contains seeds wrapped in a gelatinous film. The tomato is sour with a hint of sweetness. It can be sliced into rounds and wedges or diced into small chunks and is eaten raw or cooked.
...The onion is a bulb vegetable, meaning its bulb and not its leaves are eaten. Onions come in many varieties, including white, yellow and red. Shallots are small and mild onions. Vidalias are sweet, while red onions are strong and sharp. The onion is usually round and has a thin dry skin around its juicy layers. This skin depends in the color of the onion, as does the flesh. The flesh, or body of the onion is made of multiple round layers, that get smaller towards the center. The flavor of onions are sharp and sweet when raw, with an astringent taste. When cooked, these flavors mellow and the sweetness emerges. Onion are a very common flavoring and ingredient for many savory dishes.
...Olive oil is extracted from the fresh olive, which grows on a tree. Many olives are needed in the extraction of the oil. This is done by a mechanical process and sometimes by a chemical process, though the mechanical method is highly preferred. Olive oil is a golden color and changes slightly due to whether it is extra virgin, or first cold pressed. The flavor of olive oil depends on how it was processed. Lower quality oils will taste mild, while high quality olive oils will have a robust flavor that is green, or may have a spicy quality. Extra virgin and first cold pressed or preferred. Olive oil lends a depth of flavor to any savory dish.
...Tomato paste is a made by cooking tomatoes down, straining them and then continuing to let them cook until they have been reduced to a thick, dark red paste. This paste is tart and sweet with very little moisture due to the reduction of juices which creates an intensified and rich tomato flavor. Tomato paste is used in sauces and many Italian dishes.
...Garlic is used in cuisines around the world and is extremely popular for its depth of flavor. The garlic bulb forms underneath the soil and is harvested once it reaches maturity. The bulb typically has thin, dry, white and flaky skin, surrounding the individual cloves. Often there are 10-12 cloves to a bulb/head of garlic. The cloves are cream colored with a strong smell and flavor that is spicy and sharp. Garlic takes on a nutty flavor in addition, when cooked. It is used in countless dishes, sauces, breads and more.
...Oregano is an herb in the mint family and grows on thin and delicate stalks that produce tiny oblong leaves with tapered ends. These leaves are less than half an inch in length. Oregano has a mildly fuzzy texture and is thin and delicate. The green herb has a sharp and peppery flavor that is pungent, slightly bitter, green and a bit minty. When eaten, raw oregano creates a stringent feeling in the mouth. This herb is used in many cuisines and can be found frequently in Italian dishes, such as tomato sauce.