Author Topic: Use of Tomatoes For Chicago Style Deep Dish and Deep Dish Tomato Sauce  (Read 5353 times)

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Offline vcb

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Hi, Deep Dish fans!
I'm noticing that a ton of threads in here have people inevitably asking about deep dish tomatoes, regardless of the initial subject.

Because of this, I'm starting this thread so we can post info and links to all the other posts that are related to
tomatoes used for Chicago style deep-dish,
so people at least have one thread they can point people to when this happens.
Below are a few links to discussions that I have found regarding this popular subject.
Some of these threads go beyond their initial titles to talk about different tomato brands, preferences and tips for tomato prep, and troubleshooting, like watery or soggy pizzas.

I hope you will all feel free to post your own deep dish tomato links if you find them.
If you can, please post the individual post link where deep dish tomatoes are discussed if the post is a long one.
If you try out a brand of tomatoes for use on a deep dish, please post your experiece here (or post a link to your thread).
Thanks to everyone for your help. We all make better deep dish because of the work we all do this forum.
--

Lou Malnatis is no longer selling their famous canned tomatoes:
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=19950

Tomatoes for Deep Dish - Escalon 6-in-1 Chunky???
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8592.0.html

6-in-1 Tomatoes
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,16.0.html

Crushed vs Whole Peeled Tomatoes
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6386.0.html

Cook or Uncooked Sauce, Shorter Rise Time Option too?
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,18646.0.html

Deep dish sauce
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17545.0.html

First Chicago pizza - great, but super soggy
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,17557.0.html

Re: A real deep dish video;  "a Gradito, irregular cut tomatoes"
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10161.msg93419.html#msg93419
   
Re: A real deep dish video;  "heavy juice vs puree"
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10161.msg93425.html#msg93425

Problems with my own deep dish (this is the title of the thread by ChiEE)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13518.0.html

Re: A real deep dish video;  "KITCHEN STYLE tomatoes - Pete-zza contacts San Benito/Neil Jones co."
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10161.msg94210.html#msg94210
*this thread is also worth reading in it's entirety because of the valuable deep dish analysis and investigation by everyone in this forum.

Malnati Deep Dish with Semolina: : BTB describes his deep dish sauce procedure
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6480.msg55568.html#msg55568
*this is another thread that, although it is very long, should be read in it's entirety.

Info for draining crushed tomatoes
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,5627.0.html

My own take on deep dish tomatoes (here's a few excerpts from RealDeepDish.com - Pizza Rants):
Quote
Flavor of canned tomatoes varies from brand to brand and can often have differing amounts of freshness, sweetness, saltiness, acidity and other characteristics. Everyone has a preference and some tomatoes can be superior to others depending on the dish they’re being used in. For Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza, my fellow pizza-holics over at pizzamaking.com are big fans of a canned tomato brand called ’6-in-1′ from a company called Escalon.

Quote
Lately, my favorite canned tomatoes to use for deep dish is the
Muir Glen brand CRUSHED TOMATOES WITH BASIL.

Quote
The consistency is mostly crushed with a few chunky bits in it and has the perfect texture and a bright sweet flavor for deep dish.
Often, I recommend that people drain their canned tomatoes for bit before using them in a pizza, but the Muir Glen Crushed w/ Basil can pretty much be used straight out of the can.
Just make sure you don’t use too much on your pizza.
For a 12″ deep dish, start with about 12-14 oz ladled in the middle and work your way outward until the pizza is covered. Add a little more if necessary, but rarely will you ever need to use a whole 28 oz can.


« Last Edit: July 15, 2012, 05:34:15 PM by vcb »
-- Ed Heller -aka- VCBurger -- Real Deep Dish - Deep Dish 101
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Offline pythonic

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Vcb,

Have u ever tried San marzanos or real good plum tomatoes in your deep dishes?  Since malnatis stopped selling theirs I've really been struggling to find a good replacement.
If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball.

Offline vcb

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Vcb,

Have u ever tried San marzanos or real good plum tomatoes in your deep dishes?  Since malnatis stopped selling theirs I've really been struggling to find a good replacement.

I don't know many brands that have "random-cut" tomatoes, so I'm not sure you'll be able to find a perfect match.
I didn't hate the Lou's tomatoes, but wasn't overly impressed with them either
(you can read my review in the post link below - on page 2).

Malnati's tomatoes now available at their stores (no longer available; just another deep dish tomato thread)
http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10837.0.html

As I've said before, I'm pretty happy with Muir Glen "Crushed with Basil" style in the 28 oz can.
They work perfectly for me. Not everyone in this forum likes them, but I've had no complaints from the people eating my deep dish.
If you want more random size chunks in your tomatoes than crushed tomatoes provide,
you can always add some diced or hand-crush some whole tomatoes.
Another brand I like is Dei Fratelli, but their crushed tomatoes are almost too sweet for deep dish,
so I usually go 50/50 with their diced.

I've tried a few brands from San Marzano, Italy, and wasn't overly impressed with the flavor of them.
I thought they were lacking the sweetness and bright acidity that I look for in deep dish tomatoes.
Your tastebuds may think differently.
I'm also concerned with the fact that imported tomatoes, even canned ones, might not have a consistently reliable quality.
Maybe Italian tomatoes don't always travel well.
I do like the San Marzano style of tomatoes that are grown in the USA, mainly in California.
Speaking of California tomatoes, there is a brand of tomatoes called "San Marzano", which I've mentioned before, that are grown in California, and have been a reliable brand for me. I used to buy them all the time from Treasure Island grocery stores. This was my "go-to" brand for a while until I started using the Glen Muir (maybe they should hire me to promote them :-) ).

USING FRESH TOMATOES:
I've only tried using fresh tomatoes for a deep dish pizza once, and it wasn't great.
It's very possible that I did not have access to the best tomatoes.
I prefer to stick to the canned tomatoes because I have more control over the consistency of my pizzas.
Also, it's a lot of work to use fresh tomatoes.
If you're fortunate enough to find enough super-sweet fresh plum tomatoes
and are willing to blanch, peel, crush, and drain them all, go for it.
I'd prefer to pick up a can of my favorite crushed tomatoes for about $3 a can and cover 1 or 2 pizzas with it.

If you have the time and the $$$, pick up several different brands of crushed tomatoes that you haven't tried before,
open them up, and taste them right out of the can.
This is the most important thing you can do. YOU HAVE TO TASTE YOUR TOMATOES.
If they taste good to you, then you're all set. If they're not sweet enough, add a bit of sugar to them and cross that brand off your preferred list until you find a brand that tastes good to you.

If you're still having trouble finding a good brand...
 
Grab your camera phone and take a pic of your local grocery store canned tomato aisle.
Then post it here (or link to the photo on a photo sharing site; posting pics on here can sometimes be tricky) ,
or
make a list of the brands you are interested in and post them here in this thread,
and maybe the people in this forum can recommend a brand from what is locally available to you.

I hope this info has been helpful.
--

Others will disagree with me, and they are welcome to post their deep dish tomato experiences here.
That's why I created this thread.
:chef:
« Last Edit: July 15, 2012, 06:54:09 PM by vcb »
-- Ed Heller -aka- VCBurger -- Real Deep Dish - Deep Dish 101
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Offline Chicago Bob

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Cento's imported work real well on Chicago DD.....strain 'em.
Those SM brand blue or green labels have always been a decent go to product.
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Offline danjm16

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I was watching Throwdown with Bobby Flay. He was making Chicken Cacciatore.  His opponent was Keith Young the Firehouse Chef. Keith was adamant that you don't use tomatoes that contain citric acid. Is this something that anyone has ever considered? I noticed most brands including Muir Glen and Lou's contain citric acid. I assume it is a preservative.

Online Pete-zza

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danjm16,

My understanding of the citric acid situation in relation to canned tomatoes is as expressed in the first paragraph of Reply 1731 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3940.msg194622/topicseen.html#msg194622.

Peter

Offline Chicago Bob

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I thought that was the main difference between 7-11's an 6n1's....one has acid, one does not....  ???
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 06:15:38 PM by Chicago Bob »
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Online Pete-zza

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I thought that was the main difference between 7-11's an 6n1's....one has acid, one does not....  ???


Bob,

I once had a discussion with a customer service representative at Stanislaus on this matter since Stanislaus listed citric acid as an ingredient at the time. She was somewhat defensive since she knew that their main competitor, Escalon, touted that they did not add citric acid to their tomato products, and users were making a lot over the distinction. Somewhere along the line, it looks like Stanislaus changed their ingredients lists to emphasize that the citric acid is naturally derived. See, for example, the Nutrition Facts for the 7-11 product at http://www.stanislausfoodproducts.com/_pdfs/7-11-Ground-Tomatoes.pdf.

Peter

Offline Chicago Bob

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Bob,

I once had a discussion with a customer service representative at Stanislaus on this matter since Stanislaus listed citric acid as an ingredient at the time. She was somewhat defensive since she knew that their main competitor, Escalon, touted that they did not add citric acid to their tomato products, and users were making a lot over the distinction. Somewhere along the line, it looks like Stanislaus changed their ingredients lists to emphasize that the citric acid is naturally derived. See, for example, the Nutrition Facts for the 7-11 product at http://www.stanislausfoodproducts.com/_pdfs/7-11-Ground-Tomatoes.pdf.

Peter
So Escalon is still acid free?

I just went back a couple of your links and see that they don't " ADD" acid...all tomato do have it occuring naturally   ;)
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 06:50:30 PM by Chicago Bob »
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Online Pete-zza

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So Escalon is still acid free?

I just went back a couple of your links and see that they don't " ADD" acid...all tomato do have it occuring naturally   ;)


Bob,

I do not ever recall Escalon saying that there was no citric acid in their canned tomatoes--only that they don't add any citric acid to their canned tomatoes (http://www.escalon.net/escalon-difference.aspx). I believe that both companys' canned tomatoes contain citric acid, but naturally derived. My understanding of the FDA regulations is that one is not required to list naturally occurring ingredients in any list that is covered by those regulations. So, there is no need for Escalon to say anything on that subject. Stanislaus may have changed their wording to make it clear to their customers and end users that their citric acid is naturally occurring. At least that is my take on the matter.

Peter


Offline vcb

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Many of the brands of canned tomatoes that I've seen use either
salt (aka sodium chloride), calcium chloride, or citric acid (or a combination) as preservatives.
The first two are salts, which are generally safe to consume, and unless you have a problem eating citrus fruits (which contain loads of it), I wouldn't worry too much about citric acid.

As for what they do for flavor or texture, that all depends on how much of those preservatives they use,
how you cook your tomatoes and how you like them to taste.
Highly acidic tomatoes could be a problem if you have a delicate digestive system, but other than that, I'm not sure what the concern is about citric acid.

Health-wise, you might be more concerned with whether the cans are lined with BPA, which is (or was) in a lot of plastic containers and food packaging. Most baby bottles, for example, no longer contain BPA.
I'm not too worried about it myself since I've been exposed to that stuff for several decades already,
but if you're pregnant or have young kids, you might want to do your own research on BPA to decide if it's a concern for you.

The FDA has not yet banned it from food packaging (no surprise).
I found a list of canned foods that are no longer using BPA (as of 1-31-2012):
http://www.cafemom.com/group/14077/forums/read/15906201/Canned_Tomatoes_and_BPA

Muir Glen switched to BPA-free cans in late 2011, but there may still be BPA cans on some store shelves.
Look for expiration dates of 2014 or later. You have a 50/50 chance on the 2013 cans.
http://thedelicioustruth.blogspot.com/2012/02/update-on-bpa-in-cans-of-muir-glen.html
 
You can read about BPA here: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/news/sya/sya-bpa

Was there some other concern about citric acid I should be aware of?
If so, please share.
 :chef:
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 07:32:43 PM by vcb »
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Offline Chicago Bob

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From my experience
6n1 can does not list acid.....7-11 does. I recommend both.
If you want a "brighter", 'lil more "tang" to your sauce...7-11 is a great product.(slightly acidic)
If you are desiring a slightly more "smooth sweet" flavor...6n1's won't let you down.(not acid)

It was stated that just about all tomato sauce producers have citric acid in their sauces (that's vague)...naturally occurring this is true....ADDING, big difference , and I just wanted to help aid in a persons flavor profile selection.


« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 08:04:57 PM by Chicago Bob »
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Offline jives

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I use whatever brand of whole San Marzano tomatoes with basil that I can find, and so far, my sauce tastes the same every time.  In fact, the last deep dish I made a couple of weeks ago used Kroger brand tomatoes.  I don't remember the brand I usually use, but the Kroger tomatoes were about half the price so I decided to try them.  They had a little more water than I was used to, but I'll explain how I deal with that.

I put the tomatoes in a pan and mash them with a potato masher to the desired consistency.  I then add the remaining ingredients and simmer for about an hour.  I keep the pan at a low enough temperature that the sauce doesn't really boil, but the water starts to separate and "puddle" on top of the sauce.  The secret is to not continually stir the sauce.  That just mixes the water back into it.  After I've simmered the sauce for about an hour, I use a large spoon to carefully scoop out as much of the water as I can from the puddle that has formed.  I've never had a problem with a pizza being soggy because of the sauce.

Offline Chicago Bob

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They prolly all taste the same because you are cooking your sauce....your pizza will go way up to the next level if you try some walmart "Classico" ground or crushed and put them in a fine mesh strainer.And DO NOT cook that sauce!! The water will be gone in about 10 min. and,no, the sauce does not leak out if you have a fine mesh strainer.
Try it...you'll like it.

Bob
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Offline pythonic

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For my taste buds the malnatis tomatos were #1.  They in fact said it was the most crucial part to their pizza too.  I know they are using random cuts so are those like random pieces of plums, big boys, heirlooms etc...?  

I have some nina brand plum tomatos I am gonna try on my next DD pies to see the results.  

Can 7-11 tomatos be purchased anywhere in IL?
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Offline Chicago Bob

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Ground (or crushed) 7-11 are the same(to most people) as 6n1's.  6n1's are the same thing (same company)that is in Walmart's "Classico's"...available everywhere.

I believe Malnati's were "cuts" of plum tomatoes. The preferred DD pizza tomato.
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Offline dmcavanagh

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pythonic

I resently made pasta sauce with some Nina plum tomatoes and I was NOT impressed. FWIW

Offline pythonic

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Ground (or crushed) 7-11 are the same(to most people) as 6n1's.  6n1's are the same thing (same company)that is in Walmart's "Classico's"...available everywhere.

I believe Malnati's were "cuts" of plum tomatoes. The preferred DD pizza tomato.

I heard somewhere that the 6-1s were sweeter and without as much citric acid.  6-1s are my standard right now for new York, Chicago thin and some non malnatis DD.  How about tomato magic?  Ever heard of them?  My wife's family lives in Pitt so will be going to Penn Mac soon to give them both a try.
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Offline pythonic

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pythonic

I resently made pasta sauce with some Nina plum tomatoes and I was NOT impressed. FWIW



I saw somewhere they ranked them 8/10 so i had to give them a taste test.  Surprisingly Muir Glen only rated a 4/10.

http://www.pasta-recipes-by-italians.com/canned-tomatoes.html
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Online Pete-zza

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I heard somewhere that the 6-1s were sweeter and without as much citric acid.  6-1s are my standard right now for new York, Chicago thin and some non malnatis DD.  How about tomato magic?  Ever heard of them?


pythonic,

As the Escalon/Stanislaus cross-reference chart at http://www.pizzamaking.com/escalon_stanislaus.html indicates, the Stanislaus counterpart to the 6 IN 1 Peeled Ground Tomatoes is the Tomato Magic product. The Stanislaus 7/11 Ground Pear Tomatoes are considered to be the counterpart to the 6 IN 1 Ground Tomatoes in Puree.

Peter