Does New Jersey prefer homemade or jar sauce? (Opinion)
There are very few cooks like the mommas and grandmas of yesteryear. Sure, you'll find an occasional home cook, male or female, who brags about their "sauce," but the numbers are dwindling fast. There's a good reason why. Jarred sauce is amazing. There are so many different brands and varieties, that taking the time to make your own is a pointless exercise in futility in many cases.
Your grandmother or mother took special pride in making those recipes. It was a big part of who they were. It wasn't some whim after watching somebody on the Food Network, making faces of ecstasy and moaning sounds after slurping some of their recipe on TV. They dedicated their life to providing good meals for the family and built up years of experience and reputations on it.
Ain't nobody got time for that now! You tell me what kind of sauce or "gravy" you like, and I'll make you something delicious that you'll probably love. It'll take me a little while. I'll buy the best canned tomatoes, and other quality, fresh ingredients and it will be marvelous. It'll cost me more time and money than if I just used my favorite jar sauce. The problem with making sauce if that it's usually only one of a few things I'll make for the dinner, so why not just buy a good jar sauce to go with my homemade meatballs or quality, perhaps homemade pasta I'm serving?
So, unless I'm making homemade braciola or lasagna, I'm going for a quality jar sauce for my pasta. The pasta has to be served right out of the pot and al dente. Otherwise, open a can of Chef Boyardee and don't waste everybody's time. For the record, in my opinion, the best jar sauce is ... Lidia's Tomato Basil, hands down. It has nothing to do with being a big fan of her TV series on PBS and of her story. There are some excellent local Jersey brands too like Joe Leone's and Pastosa. If you can't find them near you, go with Lidia. It's so good, even my 89-year-old Sicilian mother will spend the few extra bucks for it.
Here are the top four national brands according to the website delish.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy. Any opinions expressed are Dennis' own.