The Tomato House near Dahlonega GA – Sauce, Marinade, Dressing, Jelly, & Jam Heaven

Posted on Apr 17, 2017

The Tomato House

2512 Cleveland Hwy, Murrayville, GA 30564   Phone: (706) 867-8052

If you’re trying to eat EZ Diet healthy you need clean sauces, marinades, dressings, jams, and jellies to make all that high fiber, healthy food palatable. There’s one huge problem. They’re very hard to find.

After you’ve read a few thousand sauce, marinade, dressing, jams, and jelly ingredient lists you start to understand that 99% of food that comes in jars or bottles and manufactured by large food processors will be polluted with numerous health destroying ingredients.  These health destroying ingredients can include genetically modified corn and soy, probably a good dose of roundup, high fructose corn syrup, monosodium glutamate (MSG), too much sugar or salt, and/or artificial sweeteners to name a few.

In contrast small private label or gourmet shop sauces, marinades, dressings, jams, and jellies will almost always be cleaner.

Most grocery stores (even Whole Foods, Sprouts, Trader Joes, Fresh Market) are very inadequate when it comes to clean sauces, marinades, dressings, jams, and jellies. There are a few, but it’s like 1 out of a 100 products. It’s discouraging and very time consuming to have to read a hundred ingredient labels to find one that kind of fits the EZ Diet system. Most I disqualify because of excessive salt and sugar. So organic and healthy can still include too much sugar and salt.

It’s very common also to find a usable sauce or dressing from a Mart type store only to see them discontinue it later. That’s happened to me a dozen times. This is also why you can’t eat out at restaurants too often because even the best ones will not take the time or expense to weed out fat-bomb condiments.

For years I’ve kept my local sources for clean sauces, marinades, and dressings to myself.  I’ve learned the hard way that when I promote my local sources for anything I can expect to find the shelves empty when I need them.  I’m going to share the Tomato House with you anyway. There must be tens of thousands of bottles of product. I haven’t even read 10% of his stock’s ingredient list and I have a dozen products I buy regularly. Plus I’m always trying another one. I think the owner can keep up with demand. And he needs new business.

Several years ago I discovered this small roadside produce stand that also sells sauces, marinades, dressings, jellies, and jams called the Tomato House. It’s on Highway 115 (just north of where Hwy 400 ends) between Dahlonega and Cleveland, Gerogia. Highway 115 is one of the main gateways to the north Georgia mountains. The original small roadside stand pictured above was old, interesting, with low cardboard ceilings. Lots of character. But it was packed to the low ceilings with room after room after room of interesting sauces and dressings. I was very impressed with how clean the place was. Tens of thousands of bottles and jars with no dust on them. On my initial trip their I found a dozen sauces I could use. I’ve been going back monthly every since. The owner recognizes me now and I always say, “yeah, time to get sauced up again.”

For several months The Tomato House has been moving their stock further west on Highway 115 into a new large warehouse with a green roof pictured above. It sits between two large cornfields.

If you’re heading to the North Georgia mountains stop in and look around, you won’t regret it. I spend $50+ there once a month when I’m heading that way.  I highly recommend the place. Take a good pair of reading glasses and or a magnifying glass to read small print ingredient labels.

Not all products will be clean, you still have to read labels. You probably have 10 out of a 100 here that kind of fit my clean condiment list. And easily 5 out of a 100 that are clean. The shorter the ingredient list the better. My experience is cayenne pepper makes a good replacement for salt.  Many sauces will be disqualified because they start out with a base of a large commercially processed ketchup, soy sauce, or worcestershire sauce that contains HFCS and MSG. Tomato based, or water based vinaigrette with xanthan gum thickener are best. Cane sugar makes the best sweet sauces.

See more pictures of the Tomato House below..

On the left aisle of the picture below you can find hundreds of jams and jellies with no sugar added. Try the Apple Butter. I recommend the Tomato House brand label. I almost always grab a no sugar added peach, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, grape jams, and no sugar added pumpkin and apple butter. All delicious on Ezekiel Bread.

There are several sauces I buy from this section above.

These are sauces I buy regularly (leave a couple for me please). However don’t limit yourself to my recommendations, read some labels…. lots of good stuff here:

Georgia Peach Grilling Sauce $4.95 (also used by Georgia Bull Dogs I believe and one of their mascot grilling sauce for up to $20 a bottle donation),

Sun Dried Tomato Marinade $4.95 (love this stuff, I use it in crock pot vegetable stew for flavor),

Sweet Bourbon Glaze $5.95, (great for grilled steak or chicken as a dip).

Vidalia Onion Summer Tomato Dressing $4.95

My picks from my last visit:

The two steak sauces on the left have a worcestershire base however these are private labeled for the Tomato House by Brasswells’ of Georgia and their products are generally cleaner.

The ingredient list is so short on these jams and apple butter it’s listed on the front of the sticker just under the product name. Very unusual.

So how do I define a cleaner Sauce, Marinade, or Dressing?

Here’s the issue, most healthy 400 calorie meals can only support 50 to 100 calories in butter, sauces, and marinades. If you’re going to eat healthy, you need clean sauces, marinades, and dressings to make all that high fiber, healthy food palatable.

Calories Per Serving under 50

When I pick up any sauce, marinade, or dressing bottle the first thing I look at is calories per serving. I want calories under 50 per serving. Way under if possible. Then I look at what they consider a serving. Serving sizes on sauces can vary from a teaspoon  to two tablespoons. You have to watch the serving size ploys.

Sodium per Serving under 100mg

Next, I’m looking at sodium. I want sodium under 100 mg per serving. This criteria kills almost all large grocery store sauce selections. Salt sells food. This  is why most of the sauces and dressings are disqualified, even at the best fresh food grocers.

No High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

If the product passes the calorie and sodium test, then I go to the fine print and start reading ingredients. Normally high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is the cheap sweetener of choice for most processed food conglomerates. HFCS is processed by the liver like alcohol without the buzz. The fat epidemic in this country is partially to blame on HFCS in almost everything.

I don’t want any HFCS in anything I buy. The Tomato House has their share of products with HFCS, like most grocery stores.  I disqualify sauces and dressings that start with a base of commercially processed ketchup, soy sauce, or worcestershire sauce where HFCS and MSG is already added.

No Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

Next, I’m looking for monosodium glutamate (MSG) in the dozens of different deceptive ways it can be labeled. This neuro-excito toxin has been added to most processed food to enhance the lab rat feeder lever smacking behavior. I also don’t want any MSG hidden in my sauces. Many, many, many, many products that get this far on my list FAIL because of the term “Natural Flavoring” or “Seasoning” in the ingredients list. Two terms big food started using when the public wised up about MSG toxicity in food. See Dr. Russell Blaylock’s book Natural Strategies For Cancer Patients where he suggests HFCS and MSG is like cancer fertilizer. 

No Added Sugar

I almost never get this far on sauce or marinade labels at any other grocery chain. Sprouts, Whole Foods, Kroger, Winn-Dixie, Ingles, Publix  and on and on, you’re all woefully inadequate on clean sauces. You’re all getting it wrong on sauces, marinades, dressings, and condiments.

I’m willing to accept a small amount of sugar (in a dozen forms), but sugar can’t be one of the first few ingredients. If I have to have some sugar I want real sugar or cane sugar.

I would do the happy banana dance right there in the store aisle if I saw Stevia in an ingredient list on a sauce or marinade. Especially for Walden Farms BBQ, Ketchup, Cocktail, and other Dressing products who still use Splenda as a sweetener.  I wish they would drop the Splenda from your sauces and dressings. I don’t buy any of it today because of Splenda. I would use it all the time if they would just take the Splenda out and replace it with uncut Stevia.

No Artificial Sweeteners

I don’t want to see Splenda, Equal, the pink stuff, the yellow stuff, none, at all. I have no tolerance for any mind-bending, cancer-causing artificial sweeteners.

No Chemical Food Coloring or Preservatives

I don’t want my sauces and marinades to be a science project with chemicals I can’t pronounce. If I can’t pronounce it, I don’t want it. It’s mystery poison, and no one is looking out for my best interests when it comes to the 10,000+ chemicals used in the food supply. Fewer is better.

The Underlying Message In This Before and After Image:

Photo credit


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