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Jan 23, 2009 07:10 PM

Boxed tomato equivalent?

OK, an online friend of mine posted a recipe for Cassoulet here: http://clo-sensuous-delights.blogspot... , knowing that I'd had it in the South of France, even though she's up in Alsace.

I printed out the English translation, 'cause I don't trust my French all that well, and I have a question about one of the ingredients.

2 large boxes of tomatoes without skins

Does anyone know how many ounces of peeled tomatoes are in a large French box of tomatoes?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Check out (online or in the store) POMI brand, because that's almost certainly what she's talking about. V. popular in Europe & available in the U.S. as well.

      1. re: jaykayen

        To quote from French recipe:
        "2 grosses boites de tomates pelées, ( 765g chacune- 28 oz for the USA),"

      2. also, I would bet that Wolfert has a cassoulet recipe in her southern French cook book.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jaykayen

          There are lots of other sources for a cassoulet recipe.

          Anyways, in Wolfert's 2 recipes, there are either no tomatoes, or just one (which adds some acidity to keep the bean from cooking too fast). So that does not help with a version that uses 2 large boxes.

          1. re: paulj

            depending on when it is added (like near the beginning, as in this recipe), the tomato's acidity will keep the beans from softening. is that why the dish takes 4 hours? ;-).

        2. To answer to your question the tomatoes peeled and without seed or pips are in a large can from :
          850 milliliters Enter x 0.034 = 28.90 ounces
          467 grams Enter x 0.035 = 16.66 ounces
          0.765 kilograms (total weight) Enter x 2.205 =1.686 pounds

          so if you find a can around 26 or 28 oz that is good ! and you need 2 x the same because dried beans need many juice to be good cooked and to have a good taste.

          Some let them backing during 2 days and more !!

          I never heared about cassoulet without tomatoes in it although my husband was from the South-West and all his family.
          If the tomatoes were better than they are now without taste I had used them not in a big can, but also I have had to peel them and put off all the seeds!! hard and long work !!
          Most of us use this can of tomatoes coming from Italia because they are easy to use and not so expensive !
          You can add also if I forgot to write it 4 pieces of sugar (around 2 tbspoons) that is because of the acidity of the tomatoes.
          If you need to ask other questions about the recipe you can send me in the "comment" and I'll answer you.. Better than to ask to ppl who doesnt know anything about french cooking !
          I understand that is not easy to find the same products in USA than those we use to cook... But I can try to help you to make your cassoulet the best.
          Hope you'll enjoy it :)


          2 Replies
          1. re: Clo

            Assuming this dish has deep historical roots, there must have been a time when no one used tomatoes. However it shouldn't be surprising that most current versions do include them. But are tomatoes every a dominante flavoring, or are they just part of the background?

            My intention in mentioning the versions without tomatoes was not to get into an argument as to whether tomatoes are appropriate or not. Instead I just wanted to convey the impression that amount of tomato is not critical to the dish, since there are authentic versions that have little or none.

            1. re: paulj

              and also there was a time where they didnt use beans to make cassoulet !! Nobody knows the deep historical roots. Each century it is some change..
              *laughs with a shake of head* how much americans place a formula set in stone for a simple dish that is variable and common in France!
              and the best recipe for a dish is the one you like the best ! even if you make some change in it each time you cook it !
              Cooking is like painting : it is to create, to invent and not to be stuck with the idea that dish is a format !


          2. OK, I found most equivalent products today, and we're in our last half-hour of cooking on the stove. The house smells wonderful! I'll let you know later or tomorrow how it all tastes.

            Thank you for chiming in, Clo, and welcome to Chowhound! See you in AW soon!