Author Topic: Tomato shootout  (Read 2905 times)

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Offline scott r

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Tomato shootout
« on: December 14, 2005, 07:22:33 PM »
I am going to quote from another thread.

[A leading cooking magazine] did a review of canned tomatoes in their Sept/Oct 2005 issue. Progresso It style , Redpack Whole in puree and Hunts whole were their top picks. They also liked la Regina and Pastene San Marzanos but didn't think they were worth the extra money. Second place picks were Tuttorosso It style, Muir Glen Organic, Rienzi and Cento.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2010, 02:36:23 PM by Steve »


Offline chiguy

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Re: Tomato shootout
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2005, 07:51:59 PM »
 Hey Scottr,
 This is a easy reply. They are freckin nut's. Hunts are some of the worst tomatoes, they would be a last choice. I think at one time they may have been good? I know San Marzanos are expensive but if you are using them for pizza sauce only they can be worth the price. Like most people i have tried all kinds of tomatoes and there are all kinds of different quality. I wanted to address the most popular. Thanks, Chiguy
« Last Edit: February 25, 2010, 02:36:43 PM by Steve »

Offline scott r

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Re: Tomato shootout
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2005, 07:53:34 PM »
After reading the resuts of their findings I wanted to try some of the brands that I have not tasted myself.  I went to the store today and picked up a can of Progresso Italian style whole peeled tomatoes, and a can of Tuttorosso Italian style peeled plum shaped tomatoes.

After opening both cans I was very happy to see the white plastic (?) coating on the inside of both of these cans.  This is a feature I have only found in a few brands of tomatoes (one being La Regina) and I wish all the brands would use it.  After trying both cans it was nice to find very little or no tin can aftertaste.  I attribute this to the cans coating.  Why Escalon and Stanislaus don't do this is beyond me.  Still,  they do still have some of the very best tasting tomatoes, so who am I to complain.

Right away I noticed that the Progresso tomatoes had much of the peel still left on and many yellow discolorations.  The Tuttorosso tomatoes were all pure red with 100% usable tomato product.  The consistency of the Tuttorosso was also superior.  They were easy to crush, but firm, and not veiny with hard spots like the Progresso.  The Tuttoroso tomatoes won out in the flavor department as well.  They had a subtle sweetness and a nice pure tomato flavor.  The Progresso were bland.  They reminded me of a lesser grade example of the Escalon Bella Rosa tomatoes (which I also dislike).  I still can't figure out why I love most of the Escalon products so much, but the Bella Rosa whole peeled tomatoes they sell are so bad.  Maybe I need to try another batch.

In the end, I have to agree with Cooks Illustrated on the La Reginas, the Pastene, and the Tuttoroso, but definitely not on the Progresso.  The only explanation I can find for the Progresso beating out these other great brands is the fact that cans of tomatoes can vary so greatly from batch to batch even within the same product.

One last thing, the Progresso cost more at 1.69 a can with the Tuttorosso only costing .99.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2010, 02:37:08 PM by Steve »

Offline Steve

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Re: Tomato shootout
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2005, 07:50:44 AM »
They also judged a KitchenAid stand mixer better than the Hobart N50. Their logic? The N50 was too heavy.  ::)

Oh yeah, and they didn't like the fact that you had to shut off the mixer to change gears.  ::)

Never mind the fact that the N50 can run circles around a KitchenAid mixer!!  >:(
« Last Edit: February 25, 2010, 02:37:32 PM by Steve »
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Offline mmarston

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Re: Tomato shootout
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2005, 11:02:53 AM »
As the original contributor of the tomato test and a fan of the magazine I feel a need to comment. First canned tomatoes of the same brand often vary in quality. I for one have have had excellent Bella Rosa's. My current favorite pizza sauce uses a 50/50 mixture of 6 in 1's and Bella Rosas. The test was extensive and involved tasting raw, quick cooked and long cooked sauce. The article also provided a great deal of info on additives, processing and trade laws. I did disagree with one of their findings. They did not like Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes. While I would never put these on a Pizza they are great for simplfying Mexican dishes which often call for roasting Tomatoes. 

The mixer test was aimed at the home cook most of whom cannot justify spending $1,500 for a mixer. Aside from the weight and gear change issue they rated the Hobart N50 very highly.

Michael
« Last Edit: February 25, 2010, 02:38:57 PM by Steve »
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Offline Steve

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Re: Tomato shootout
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2005, 06:18:03 PM »
The mixer test was aimed at the home cook most of whom cannot justify spending $1,500 for a mixer. Aside from the weight and gear change issue they rated the Hobart N50 very highly.

I understand the price issue, but the ratings should be based on performance and not price, weight, or gearing issues.

The KitchenAid utilizes a varable speed motor connected to a fixed gear. Running at low speed results in low torque which tends to cause the motor to bog down and stall. I know this because my KitchenAid "Professional" stand mixer has a tough time with a relatively stiff pizza dough.

The N50, on the other hand, utilizes a fixed motor speed and selectable gears. A high-speed motor running with low gearing produces very high torque. And to imply that having to shut off the mixer to change gears is somehow bad... well... that's like saying it's bad having to push in the clutch to shift gears in a manual transmission car. Lock your manual transmission into third gear and try to pull a heavy boat out of the water and you'll have a KitchenAid-style car.

If price was an issue, why even include the ultra-expensive N50 in the review? In my humble opinion, the N50 should have scored top marks with the KitchenAid rated a "Best Buy."

Steve
« Last Edit: February 25, 2010, 02:38:43 PM by Steve »
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