Monday, July 22, 2013

Is your tomato sauce worth bragging about?

It's been a tough year for tomatoes, what with that long, lingering cool spell and weeks of monsoons. So this year, instead of the annual tomato tasting day, the Matthews Community Farmers' Market will hold a marinara contest this Saturday, July 27.

As in their other cooking contests, there will be two rounds of judging:: A People's Choice table, where you can sample and vote, and a professional judging session. Judges for that will be Luca Annunziata of Passion8 Bistro, Joe Bonaparte of the International Culinary Schools of the Art Institute, and cooking teacher/writer  Heidi Billotto.

Entries must be made with tomatoes that are either grown in a home garden or bought from a local farmer's market; each entry has to be accompanied by a whole tomato of each variety used. You should also use as many fresh, locally grown ingredients as you can. To enter, bring your sauce by 9 a.m. Saturday to the market, 208 N. Trade St. in Matthews. Judging starts at 9:15 a.m. Prizes include market gift certificates, tote bags and T-shirts.

Other rules:
No professional chefs or cooks;
All entries must be made from scratch. The marinara sauce should be brought to market warm if
it is a cooked sauce or at room temperature if an uncooked sauce.
Bring a copy of the recipe, including ingredient list, with your name, address and phone number. Index cards taped to submissions work best.
Bring at least a 1/2 gallon of sauce split between two disposable plastic quart containers, for the judges' table and the public tasting table. 

As long as we're on the subject, what's a marinara? For the contest, the market is using this definition:
"A meatless, Southern Italian tomato sauce usually flavored with garlic, onions, herbs and spices. Chunky or smooth, it can have many variations."


Hawaiian Bob said...

Any pointers on how to use fresh tomatoes for sauce? This is one of the few instances where I find that good canned whole tomatoes work better than home-grown vine-ripened ones.