"Here Today, Gone Tomato"
Have you ever noticed that your tomatoes don't taste the same as you remember? The truth is that tomatoes for the last 70 years have been bred to be more uniform in size and color. But what this does is reduce the amount of sugar and other tasty compounds especially when they aren't allowed to ripen naturally. Basically we sacrificed flavor for durability. So how can we make a tomato taste better? The answer is simple - a vacuum chamber sealer.
Tomatoes have tiny air pockets in them. Placing sliced tomatoes in a vacuum bag and removing that air with a chamber vacuum sealer results in a tomato that is denser, an intensified color and a real tomato flavor. In fact, you can even replace those air pockets with any flavor in essence infusing the tomato.
Basil Compressed Heirloom Tomatoes
First, I made a basil syrup by combining 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water along with a cup of basil leaves and brought that to a simmer. At that point I took it off the heat, let it rest for 30 minutes and eventually strained. I found some beautiful heirloom tomatoes and sliced them thick. I placed them in a bag along with a couple tbsps of the basil syrup and compressed them using my Avid Armor USV20 Chamber Vacuum Sealer. I then plated that with some toasted walnuts I chopped and saba (think a sweeter balsamic vinegar). Finally a tomato dish that tastes like tomatoes.
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