I wanted to put in a report on La Romanella Tomatoes. La Romanella seems to be a house brand of Smart and Final (a mini Costco like grocery out in the West). I purchased a 28 oz can of their "La Romanella Whole Peeled Pear Tomatoes with Fresh Basil". The label says "Packed Fresh in Season with Vine Ripened California Tomatoes". They were pretty cheap, I dont think they were more than $1.79. The contents says "Tomatoes, tomato juice, salt, basil, citric acid". I put them in my blender and gently pulsed the blender until I got a sauce that was not smooth, but still a little chunky. I added some spices and simmered for about 40 minutes to thicken. The sauce was really tasty. I've tried Muir Glen, Cento, Cento DOP, and all of the common mainstream brands (S&W, Contadina, Progresso, etc). I thought it was better than any of those. I added just a touch of salt, but it probably didnt need it. It needed no sugar. It was a really nice flavorful robust taste. I cant wait to try them in other recipes.
I have some 6 in 1 tomatoes to try real soon too, so I'll post back here with how they compare. I called Escalon last week and talked with a nice lady there. She said that they produce the Trader Joe's branded tomato products. I havent tried them, but I got the following there: organic diced tomatoes, plum tomatoes with basil in tomato juice, and sugi di pomodoro marinara. I guess I'll be doing lots of tomato tasting in the next few weeks. I also found this nice article about tomatoes:http://www.northendmarkettours.com/html/askmichele/askmichele_2003_winter.html