Understanding Gelling

What Is Sauce "Gelling"?

If after refrigerated storage, a tomato-based sauce smells and tastes fresh, but becomes mysteriously thick or lumpy, the natural pectin in the tomatoes may be "gelling" in a harmless reaction to uncooked forms of garlic or onion (e.g., fresh, powdered, or dehydrated).

To prevent "gelling" from recurring, briefly heat onion and/or garlic (e.g., sauté in oil or boil in a little water) before adding to the tomatoes. Switching to a higher quality onion/garlic may also help.

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