I donít know think the basil leaf in the sauce sample I received from Buddyís was a fresh leaf, but canít be sure. I never tried to put a fresh basil leaf in sauce before to see what would happen, or how it would look after being in the sauce for awhile. I know the Saporito Super Heavy Pizza Sauce I use has many basil leaves in that product and thought the one from the extra Sauce from Buddyís did look the same. Maybe a member did put a fresh basil leaf in a tomato product before to watch what happened.
I couldn't quite tell from the first sentence in your post as quoted above whether you think that the basil leaf in the sample of the Original Sauce you got from Buddy's was a fresh basil leaf, or a fragment of a basil leaf, but I took your statement to mean fresh basil, not dehydrated.
In my experience, a fresh basil leaf put into a can of tomatoes at the processing facility will turn a dull green or brown-like color while in the can. In fact, it will look much like the fragment of the basil leaf in the photo that you posted in Reply 914 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,21559.msg228248.html#msg228248
In order to divine what Buddy's may be using for tomatoes in its Original Sauce, and how it makes its original Sauce, it might help to revisit what we know about Buddy's sauce. First, at the original version of its website, Buddy's said that its sauce was made with a ďblend of Stanislaus premium tomato productsĒ, along with a proprietary blend of spices and herbs (Reply 126 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3783.msg81436.html#msg81436
). Second, former Buddy's employee lufty said that the Buddy's sauce was "tomato paste, water, and seasoning whisked together ahead of time" (Reply 318 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3783.msg136795.html#msg136795
If we do a mash-up of the above two statements, I think a case can be made that Buddy's is blending the Stanislaus 7/11 product with the Stanislaus Saporito Super Heavy Pizza Sauce w/Fresh Basil (http://www.stanislausfoodproducts.com/_pdfs/Saporito-Pizza-Sauce-w-Fresh-Basil.pdf
), thinning the blend with water, and adding seasonings. The 7/11 tomatoes would provide the skins and the Stanislaus Saporito Super Heavy Pizza Sauce w/Fresh Basil (it is basil leaves in the plural) would provide not only a thick tomato product but also fresh basil. Moreover, I'm quite certain that the Stanislaus Saporito Super Heavy Pizza has a Brix reading of 20, which places that product at the low end of the Bx range (20-26) for the Stanislaus Full Red Tomato Paste (note, however, that the Full Red Tomato Paste has no basil, http://www.stanislausfoodproducts.com/_pdfs/Full-Red-Tomato-Paste.pdf
, which rules that product out of contention).
Blending the 7/11 and Saporito products referenced above would not be a new blend. Nick Sasso, who is one of the core members of the PMQ Think Tank, used such a blend, along with water and seasonings, when he had his pizzeria. See, for example, one of his many posts on this blend at the PMQTT at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=46089&sid=6ae7c613506b58cb03f49797b2ff4a25#p46089
. While I was at the PMQ TT, I also noted that you at one time tried a similar blend, as you noted at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=59030&sid=6ae7c613506b58cb03f49797b2ff4a25#p59030
. So, if your memory on such a sauce is good, you might recall whether that sauce was like the one you got from Buddy's, at least in terms of color and consistency.