Tomato paste

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BIM Market Egypt - Deal of the Week from 8 May 2023

Tomato paste

Tomato paste is a concentrated form of tomatoes that is commonly used in cooking to add flavor, color, and thickness to various dishes. It is made by cooking ripe tomatoes for an extended period and then reducing them to a thick, paste-like consistency. The paste is usually further processed to remove the seeds and skin before being packaged.

Here are some key points about tomato paste:

  1. Flavor and Usage: Tomato paste has a rich, intense tomato flavor and is often used to enhance the taste of sauces, soups, stews, and other dishes. It can serve as a base for pasta sauces, pizza sauce, chili, and more.
  2. Thickening Agent: Tomato paste is used as a natural thickening agent in recipes. When added to sauces or soups, it helps to give them a thicker consistency without the need for additional flour or cornstarch.
  3. Color Enhancement: The deep red color of tomato paste can enhance the appearance of dishes. It’s commonly used to give sauces and gravies a vibrant red hue.
  4. Storage: Tomato paste is typically sold in small cans or tubes. Since most recipes call for a small amount of tomato paste, the unused portion can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a short period. Some people freeze leftover tomato paste in ice cube trays for longer storage.
  5. Reconstitution: Tomato paste is often too concentrated to be used directly from the can. Recipes usually call for diluting it with water or other liquids. The back of the can or packaging usually provides guidelines on how to reconstitute it properly.
  6. Substitutes: If you don’t have tomato paste on hand, you can sometimes substitute tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, but you might need to adjust the cooking time to account for the extra liquid content.
  7. Nutritional Value: Tomato paste is a source of vitamins and antioxidants, particularly lycopene, which is associated with various health benefits. Cooking tomatoes actually increases the lycopene content and its bioavailability.

When using tomato paste in recipes, be mindful of its strong flavor and adjust the quantity according to your taste preferences. It’s a versatile ingredient that can add depth and richness to a wide range of savory dishes.

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