Why does our home canned tomatoes taste so much better than the stuff you buy?

As we start another medium sized (about 8 quarts) batch of spaghetti sauce from our own frozen tomato sauce something comes to mind–thinking about buying some canned tomato sauce at the store.  Why is this happening?  Well, despite the fact we canned and froze over 9 bushels of tomatoes, we are starting to run low and think of the possibility that we just might buy some tomato sauce at the store in the near future.  We have tried a number of brands, many of which say they are all natural and contain only tomatoes and salt.  If you have only used commercial tomato sauce for your spaghetti and pizza sauce you might think they are fine.  However, if you are spoiled like we are, you will notice they don’t taste the same as our homemade sauce.  What’s the difference?  Well, it is hard to explain  but I guess a delightful fresh taste of the homemade sauce sure is part of its superior flavor.

Some possibilities on why our tomato sauce tastes better are:  commercial sauce is over processed, our own tomato sauce is fresher (we normally use our sauce within 9 months of canning/freezing), we grow tomato varieties that inherently taste better, we pick our tomatoes riper,  we only hand pick our tomatoes and we basically hand process our tomatoes, although we do use a Squeezo Strainer powered by a cordless drill.  While probably all of these differences add up to a better tasting product, my feeling is that the primary difference is relatively simple–we are fussy when we pick the tomatoes, when we wash the tomatoes, when we cut them up, when we put them through the Squeezo Strainer and when we can or freeze them.  We don’t pick tomatoes from dead vines or tomatoes that have bad spots on them.  The tomatoes have to look nice before we put them in our bucket.  Then while we are washing them we throw out any tomatoes that we might have picked but we shouldn’t have.  When we cut them up if they don’t look delicious inside we toss them.  In other words we are fussy.  While we don’t wind up throwing many tomaotes that we pick away, we do avoid picking tomatoes that we feel would not be the best tasting–we actually leave as many tomatoes in the field as we put in our buckets.  Do you know how commercial  tomatoes are picked?  With machines that pick EVERYTHING. I feel this is the primary difference in taste.


Two friends and good customers of ours, Ron and Ed, often discuss between themselves which is better, freezing or canning the sauce.  Ron says freezing and Ed canning.  Well we do both and we like both ways.  If we had unlimited freezer space we might just prefer freezing since its quicker and during tomato harvest time is money for us.

I do have a recommendation for those who also are running short of homemade sauce.  Tomato paste.  We have found that name brand cans of tomato paste can be substituted for sauce, all you need do is add more water to your recipe.  For some reason we prefer the flavor of spaghetti, pizza and other tomato based sauces if high quality commercial tomato paste is used instead of commercially canned tomato sauce.

By the way, we have a video on YouTube which shows in detail how we make our homemade tomato sauce.  To see this go to our youtube channel at www.youtube.com/magiclandfarms

The fragrance of cooking spaghetti sauce from the kitchen drifting my way is starting to trigger my starving response!  Got to go…








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