Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Do You Say Tomato?

Here is Bea, our Bella's cousin. Bella is in a bit of a funk over having her cousin for four days and then she was gone; kaput; so I took this picture

of Bea, calmly sitting on her dad's lap with her arm on the armrest and blew it up to life size. It didn't help and I am now pissed that I spent so much time in the labor of love and Bella doesn't even look at it.

I have a subscription to Cooks Illustrated magazine and have since the the mid nineties but I am not renewing it. It is a thorn in my side to get through it. There is always a backlog due to the fact that I am one of those people (there are more of me, right?) that won't read a current magazine unless the previous ones have been completely read. It started with the subscription of People I had, way back in the nineties. I got so busy and so behind in my reading that I cancelled my delivery of the darn magazine. Maybe it was the end of the century that was weighing me down.

In culinary school I was never taught to gut a tomato. Somewhere since I got into this habit of taking out the seeds and wet stuff. It may have been the advent of Bruschetta or Salsa (reverent to me and therefore capitalized) and seeding made it less wet and so more appetizing. If you know anything about Cooks Illustrated, you know that they dissect everything, compare everything and try everything. This month's issue does two things that I can't get out of my mind. The first is the question of seeding a tomato.

The experiment was that they made two gratins, one made with intact tomatoes and the other where the tomato seeds and jelly (wet stuff in the tomato) had been removed. The results were that the gratin with the intact tomato innards had a decidedly richer and deeper flavor that it's stripped counterpart. (Yeah, these are G's tomatoes in the picture).

I was aghast!!! I have been serving inferior food for years. The insides of the tomato have three times as much flavor enhancing glutamic acid as the flesh. Moral? When a recipe calls for removing the seeds from the tomato? Don't do it!!!!

Oh, I said two things, didn't I? The second was rating the taste of supermarket olive oil. The taste test winner by far was Columela; well on top of these brands in order of taste, from best to worst:
Lucini Italia
Filippo Berio

Price had nothing to do with it. I was shocked. I always buy Colavita or Bertolli. Maybe I should hang on to this magazine after all!!!


Beth in TN said...

I love Cook's Illustrated! I ran to the bookstore to get the issue you were talking about but unfortunately they already have the next month's issue on the newsstands. Not so much of interest in that one. They do a yearly compilation that I bought for my daughter for a couple of years. I think I will buy it for MYSELF this year :))

upnitestx said...

I always trust their food and kitchen equipment ratings (allowing some variation for taste when it comes to food). My problem is I can't seem to throw one away-even though I have the web membership, so I can access the archives easily. Plus I love the covers! I always find your food adventures entertaining.

Anonymous said...

That dog, (is bea her name?), is a perfect specimen of a bichon.