What is Tomato Sauce?
Tomato sauce is a sauce made from a base of tomatoes. Tomatoes are ideal for making sauces due to their rich flavor, water content, and ability to thicken when cooked. The sauce may be different in different countries and have a range of flavors from sweet to umami to savory to spicy, depending on the cuisine.
- The most popular of these sauces is ketchup.
- Tomato sauce may be used as a dip, as a sauce for dishes like pasta, or mixed with vegetables into a rougaille.
The top 10 most popular tomato-based sauces are:
- Hot Sauce
- BBQ Sauce
- Tzatziki Sauce
- Buffalo Sauce
- Tomato Sauce
- Bolognese Sauce
- Hoisin Sauce
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Garlic Sauce
Origin of tomato sauce
This sauce most likely originated in Mexico during the time of the Aztec civilization. However, modern versions have their roots in Italy. Legend has it that the first sauce was created as a love potion by a smitten Marquis d’Avalos. It quickly gained popularity and replaced the popular pepper preserve as a condiment. From Italy, tomato sauce spread around the Mediterranean region and then to the rest of the world. Today, every region has its own version of tomato sauce.
Nutritional profile for tomato chili sauce (1 tbsp):
Tomato sauce is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, vitamin C, folate, choline, vitamin A, carotene, and lycopene. Lycopene helps in reducing cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, and mental disorders through its anti-oxidative effects. Also, it has shown some alleviation of menopause symptoms. Furthermore, it helps in increasing vision health, regulates metabolism, and reduces the risk of certain cancers.
Additionally, tomatoes are rich in antioxidants and polyphenols. Combined with olive oil, tomato sauce may prevent cardiovascular diseases, atherosclerosis, and other diseases. This is due to the olive oil increasing the bioavailability of tomato compounds.
To prepare a basic tomato sauce, the tomatoes are seeded and peeled and cooked on high heat to create tomato concentrates, or pulsed to create a type of tomato juice. Then, they are mixed with other ingredients including vegetables, aromatics, and herbs to create the sauce. Finally, salt and other seasonings are added before bottling.
Tomato sauce recipes
Tomato is a rich and flavorful ingredient used to enrich and add color to a variety of dishes. Almost every region in the world has its own version. Here are a few recipes:
- Marinara Sauce
- Jeow Mak Len
- Nam Prik
- Romesco Sauce
- Salsa Roja
- Sriracha Sauce
- Curry Sauce
- Egg Rougaille
- Sauce à la Provençale
- Obe Ata Dindin
Tomatoes fall under the 20 most frequently consumed raw vegetables. Also, they are classified as a raw agricultural commodity (RAC). Ketchup (or catsup) is food prepared with tomato concentrate with or without lemon juice, fresh ripe tomatoes, or tomato residue. The FDA requires this liquid to be free of skins, seeds, and other coarse matter.
Imran, Muhammad et al. “Lycopene as a Natural Antioxidant Used to Prevent Human Health Disorders.” Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 9,8 706. 4 Aug. 2020, doi:10.3390/antiox9080706, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7464847/
Frusciante, Luigi et al. “Antioxidant nutritional quality of tomato.” Molecular nutrition & food research vol. 51,5 (2007): 609-17. doi:10.1002/mnfr.200600158, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17427261/
Valderas-Martinez, Palmira et al. “Tomato Sauce Enriched with Olive Oil Exerts Greater Effects on Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors than Raw Tomato and Tomato Sauce: A Randomized Trial.” Nutrients vol. 8,3 170. 16 Mar. 2016, doi:10.3390/nu8030170, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4808898
Julia Buckley, How this fruit became the star of Italian cooking, Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy, CNN, https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/tomato-italy-history/index.html