This is probably an odd question for this forum, but does anyone here besides myself use non-canned tomatoes to make sauce with? I personally avoid all canned tomato products as I dislike the tinned taste and out of concern over the recent reports of BPA leaching from the lining of tin cans. Unfortunately this limits the selection of tomatoes available to me. As you all know, most quality Italian tomatoes are only available in the canned variety. For a while, Pomi boxed tomatoes and fresh summer heirloom tomatoes was all I used. These days, I'm happy to see more and more brands of jarred tomatoes popping up on grocery store shelves. I used them regularly in cooking and to make pizza sauce with it. Some are good, others not so good. As with cans sometimes two different jars of the same brand will taste different. Wanted to share some of the ones I've tried and see which brands others recommend. Unless noted otherwise, all of these are Italian tomatoes.
In no particular order:
1) Pomi Chopped Tomatoes - comes in the paper Tetra-pak box. makes a good pizza sauce but can be a bit acidic sometimes. a bit of seasoning and sugar helps. somewhere between the consistency of crushed and diced tomatoes. needs to be pureed in order to make a smooth sauce.
2) La Bella San Marzano - tomato puree. one of my least favorite brands. it's technically not from the San Marzano region. of all the brands i've tried, this was the most acidic and needs lots of sugar and seasoning. it's actually not bad for cooking and works for pasta sauces but doesn't produce that fresh tomato taste of a good pizza sauce. high salt content.
3) Bella Terra Organic tomato puree (with basil leaf) - had a nice sweetness out of the jar and made for an excellent tomato sauce and even better marinara sauce. best to use them soon after the jar is opened. they lose some flavor from freezing and from extended refrigeration.
4) Bionaturale Organic tomato puree (no salt) - had a good balance of sweetness and acidity. no sugar needed here. just salt, pepper, and a little bit of dried herbs. made my best sauce yet using these on a recent Sicilian pie. these are milled to the perfect consistency for pizza sauce...not too chunky, nor too watery. this and the Bella Terra tomatoes were the freshest tasting of all the ones i've tried and can be used straight with minimal seasoning.
5) Jovial Brand Whole Peeled tomatoes - one of the few whole tomatoes in a jar out there. tasted very good out of the jar, though the flavor was more reminiscent of regular canned tomatoes than italian. so far i've only used them in cooking. it tasted wonderful in a tomato based curry dish last week. tomorrow i'll be testing them out on a NY style pizza. even though they taste good, i doubt i'll be purchasing this brand frequently. $5-$6 for a puny 18 oz jar is pretty expensive.
6) Mutti Passata - tomato puree. decent but not great. i found this one a bit too watery and sodium content here too was high. i have heard good things about this brand though so i picked up a jar today and will give it another shot.
7) Cirio Passata Rustica - another jar of italian tomato puree. i only used it a couple of times before it disappeared from store shelves and both times i thought it was good. don't remember if i ever used it for pizza sauce but it worked great in other tomato based dishes.
8) Muir Glen BPA-free canned tomatoes - i included this because it's the only brand of BPA-free canned tomatoes on the market. these are also the only non-Italian tomatoes that in my experience yield a good pizza sauce. i tried the diced and whole varieties and thought the diced tasted a little better. BPA free or not, there is still a hint of tin can taste in these but not as strong as other tin cans