Tomatoes that have been cooked for a short amount of time and then strained, producing a thick sauce which is used to add flavor, color and body to a sauce. Fresh tomatoes can be pureed by peeling and removing the seeds and then pureeing the peeled tomatoes in a food processor and then adding salt and citric acid. Commercial tomato puree is available in cans or tubes from most grocery stores however, caution should be used when adding this to a food because adding too much may overpower the flavor or cause the taste to become too acidic. After opening tomato puree, it can be kept refrigerated for several days if it was canned, while tube puree will last for approximately a month. The difference between tomato paste, tomato puree and tomato sauce is texture and depth of flavor. The thicker the consistency the deeper the flavor. Tomato paste is the thickest, then puree is next in consistency and tomato sauce is the thinnest.
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