Season Your Tomatoes With Sugar as Well as Salt

Enhance the tomato’s natural sweetness just a smidge for a wondrous tomato experience

In the height of the tomato season, there can be no simpler pleasure than a perfect tomato salad. Thick slices of tomato, dressed lightly with olive oil, salt, pepper and… sugar?

Though it may seem bizarre to season a savory fruit with something as sweet as sugar, adding sugar to tomatoes is not some new, radical idea. In fact, Italians have been adding a pinch of sugar to their tomato sauce for generations, using the sweetness of the sugar to balance the end-of-season tomatoes that didn’t get to be quite ripe enough.

Adding sugar to tomatoes can be used in any situation where the tomatoes are just not up to snuff. If you’re cooking with canned or jarred tomatoes, ones that are a little out of season or just not ripe enough, sugar will help coax the natural sweetness out of the subpar tomatoes!


Just as sugar can complement tomatoes that aren’t perfectly ripe, so too can it enhance a beautiful and perfectly ripe tomato. It may seem bizarre — to some it may seem absolutely mad — but don’t knock it till you try it. I promise it makes such a difference!