tip: tinned tomatoes

tinned tomatoes
Continuing with top tips and fabulous facts blog posts, I have discovered a new tip, which I have only ever seen in one cookbook. This is the sort of tip that a friend might mention to you in passing, to which you guffaw, a little unbelieving.

Where did I see it? Jocasta Innes' The Pauper's Cookbook, actually my mother's copy from about 1976. Does it work? Yes it does. Get to the point, Kelly. What is the wretched tip? (I suspect the clue is in the picture).

Well here goes . . . tinned tomatoes (particularly those in the supermarket value ranges) can taste a little metallic, particularly the juice of the tomato. Usually I compensate for additional sourness (as some of the cheaper tinned tomato brands seem to use tomatoes that are not always that ripe) with about a half teaspoon of sugar to balance the flavour.

However, as Jocasta Innes suggests that "a pinch of instant coffee counteracts the tinny sharpness from tinned tomatoes" I thought I would give it a go, since tinned tomatoes seem to be such a staple of my cooking life, particularly in the winter. Admittedly I had to borrow the instant coffee as I don't drink the stuff myself (I'm a tea drinker). I did get a bit of an odd look from my neighbour when I said that all I needed was about a quarter of a teaspoon. But I guess they are getting used to my odd requests and I am getting used to the funny looks!

So do try this, t works, oh ye of little faith, I promise you!


  1. This sounds a strange tip, but really intersing and one to try out next time I open a tin of tomatoes.

  2. The only flaw in the logic of this is that I bung in the coffee whether the tomatoes are tinny or not . . . so I am assuming it works!

  3. Oh no, I read that and realised I must be about the same age as your mother :o That's what I love about the internet, no one really knows how old you are - ha ha! I was a big Katherine Whitethorn fan "Cooking in a Bedsit"

  4. Anonymous1:33 pm

    Do you add directly to the tin? Or to the meal you're cooking?

  5. Ah, I hadn't thought about it. I usually add to the dish rather than the tin . . . I think!

  6. I can't believe that I have owned Pauper since about 1979 and never noticed that tip. Shall be trying it shortly - there is no shortage of coffee in the Emmm household!

  7. Ha ha - the tips are in the introduction section (about page 14 - though I haven't got it in front of me). Full of useful thoughts :)


A message from you makes my day and gives me something to smile about!

To all you spammers out there, I do check each and every comment. If you are plugging a product or some less-than-savoury site, you will not be published!