Author Topic: Stanislaus 7/11 or Escalon 6-1 crushed tomatoes?  (Read 6321 times)

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Offline mbrulato

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Stanislaus 7/11 or Escalon 6-1 crushed tomatoes?
« on: September 05, 2013, 10:06:43 PM »
I live near a wholesaler that caters mostly to pizzerias and other restaurants and they have cash and carry on Fridays. In addition to brands like Caputo and Grande, they also carry Stanislaus and Escalon and was wondering which is the preferred brand of tomatoes on the forum?  They come in cases of 6...
Mary Ann


Offline scott123

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Re: Stanislaus 7/11 or Escalon 6-1 crushed tomatoes?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2013, 11:14:17 PM »
I don't think that all that many members have access to wholesale tomatoes, but, I think, from the ones that do, Stanislaus and Escalon are both viewed equally as favorably.  Escalon was bought out by Heinz a few years back, and, although I haven't heard anything about a drop in quality, because of this fact, if I was choosing between them, I might grab Stanislaus.  I trust Heinz implicitly with ketchup, but, for canned tomatoes, I'm not sure.

The 7/11s are unpeeled, by the way.  There is a prevailing theory that peels provide flavor, but, the flip side is the texture they provide.  Some crushed tomatoes (such as Sclafani) have less peels than others.  If peels offend you, I would probably go with tomato magic.

Speaking of Sclafanis, even though the Stanislaus and Escalons will be very good, they won't hold a candle to Sclafanis.  The Sclafanis will be more expensive, though.  The other downside to the wholesale tomatoes is that you'll be forced into buying 6 lb. cans.  If you're making pizza for a lot of people, a 6 lb. can will work, but, if you're only doing a pie or two, that's a lot of waste.  You'll find a couple people on the forum that are okay freezing canned tomatoes, but I'm not one of them. I think it damages their taste and texture.

Btw, which distributor has cash and carry on Fridays?
« Last Edit: September 06, 2013, 10:31:47 AM by scott123 »

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Stanislaus 7/11 or Escalon 6-1 crushed tomatoes?
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2013, 12:51:12 AM »
I bought a couple cans of 7/11 earlier this summer and liked them enough that I decided to buy a case of them, which I think is down to 4 cans. I've used 7/11 for NY style, deep dish, and stuffed, although the tomato peels seem a little out of place with the Chicago styles. Not a big deal, though. I also have a can of Tomato Magic, which I think is just 7/11 without the peels, but I haven't tried the Tomato Magic yet.

Member waltertore is also a big fan of 7/11, and he goes through a lot of them in his classroom pizzeria/bakery.

I tried 6 IN 1 (without peels, I think) a couple years ago, and I didn't care much for them. From what I remember, they seemed excessively salty. I'd like to try them again, though, just to find out if the saltiness was an anomaly with the can I had. As you probably know, 6 IN 1 is very popular with a lot of members, especially the Chicago folks, so you'll probably be seeing a lot of 6 IN 1 love here before long.

Offline Aimless Ryan

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Re: Stanislaus 7/11 or Escalon 6-1 crushed tomatoes?
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2013, 12:58:38 AM »
As you probably know, 6 IN 1 is very popular with a lot of members, especially the Chicago folks, so you'll probably be seeing a lot of 6 IN 1 love here before long.

A lot of that is because 6 IN 1 is much easier to acquire than most other foodservice quality tomato products, though.

Also, member Weemis uses 7/11 for his mobile WFO pizzas. At least he did when I went to RDP foodservice with him last fall. Probably still does.

Offline mbrulato

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Re: Stanislaus 7/11 or Escalon 6-1 crushed tomatoes?
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2013, 09:05:23 AM »
@ Scott - I tried a 90 ounce can of SM tomatoes from Restaurant Depot to use for my Sunday gravy.  This is about the size I typically use for Sunday dinner without waste.  But I realized that I don't like SM for pasta and meatballs - only for pizza.  I much prefer crushed tomatoes :) for that.  This is why I wouldn't mind buying a case of crushed tomatoes.  The wholesaler near me does carry Sclafani crushed tomatoes.  Thanks for the tip.

@ Ryan - I might also try the 6 - 1.  I like salt!  ;)

Happy Friday!
Mary Ann

Offline scott123

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Re: Stanislaus 7/11 or Escalon 6-1 crushed tomatoes?
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2013, 09:28:45 AM »
Sounds good, Mary Ann. You're going to love the Sclafanis. Just make sure they're the NJ Sclafanis and not the CT ones (the NJ are in the first photo).
« Last Edit: September 06, 2013, 09:34:35 AM by scott123 »

Offline mbrulato

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Re: Stanislaus 7/11 or Escalon 6-1 crushed tomatoes?
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2013, 09:58:25 AM »
Scott,

Where did you get these?  My stop and shop doesn't have them.  We are getting a new Shop Rite before Christmas.  Maybe they'll have em?  I guess I can try Whole Foods or Fairway Market...  My husband thinks I'm a lunatic that I run to 29 stores to find what I want.  I just want to make everyone's tummies happy using the best possible ingredients  :-D

Mary Ann
« Last Edit: September 06, 2013, 10:01:40 AM by mbrulato »
Mary Ann

Offline scott123

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Re: Stanislaus 7/11 or Escalon 6-1 crushed tomatoes?
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2013, 10:20:45 AM »
I heard about the new ShopRite over on Horsehill.  Is that supposed to be open by Christmas?  That's going to be sweet.  New supermarkets rock! Before they get all smelly and nasty.

ShopRite carries the Sclafanis and I believe Kings does as well, although Kings recently revamped their tomato line. For a very short time, the Sclafanis at Kings were $1 for a 28 oz. can.  I miss those days.  The best you'll find is $1.99 on sale at SR.

Your husband won't completely understand your quest for the best ingredients, but, after you serve him a pie made with Sclafanis, I think he'll be one step closer.

Btw, ingredients definitely kick things up a notch, but if you really want to bring your NY style to the next level, and you've got the right oven, steel plate is king.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2013, 10:26:44 AM by scott123 »

Offline mbrulato

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Re: Stanislaus 7/11 or Escalon 6-1 crushed tomatoes?
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2013, 10:42:07 AM »
I'm headed to the smelly old ShopRite to get me some Sclafani tomatoes.  Friday IS pizza day.  Sicilian tonight - dough has been in the fridge since Wednesday.  I've been caught by my son sniffing the dough bc it smells soooooo good.  :drool:

I'd like to know more about these steel plates you speak of.  Currently I've been using Pampered Chef (only because I got them for free for hosting a party) in my Thermador professional series double wall ovens.  We remodeled our kitchen last year.  Does this qualify as the "right oven"?
Mary Ann

Offline scott123

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Re: Stanislaus 7/11 or Escalon 6-1 crushed tomatoes?
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2013, 11:13:26 AM »
I'd like to know more about these steel plates you speak of.  Currently I've been using Pampered Chef (only because I got them for free for hosting a party) in my Thermador professional series double wall ovens.  We remodeled our kitchen last year.  Does this qualify as the "right oven"?


Is this your oven?

http://www.ajmadison.com/cgi-bin/ajmadison/PODC302J.html

If so, there's a good chance you can hit Neapolitan bake times with this oven.  That broiler looks really promising.  60-90 second leoparding, on the top, should be viable. Matching that on the undercrust could be the tricky part. It depends on how hot the oven will go.  What's the max temp on the bake setting?  Can the oven be calibrated higher?

1/2" steel plate, with the right flour, cheese and sclafanis, will give you the best NY style pizza you've ever had- no question.  That oven is begging for it  ;D

On the other hand, if you can pre-heat the entire hearth to 550... combined with the broiler at full strength, you might be able to do 60-90 second Neapolitan bakes with 1/2" aluminum plate- and you also might be able to do great NY bakes with aluminum- although, right now, I think, for NY, 1/2" steel is still a bit more proven.

If you want the best NY style and best Neapolitan that that oven can do, I'd suggest sourcing 1/2" steel and 1/2" aluminum. I would start off with steel, though, since the results with that, as long as you can hit 550, are guaranteed.


Offline mbrulato

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Re: Stanislaus 7/11 or Escalon 6-1 crushed tomatoes?
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2013, 11:56:17 AM »
Yes.  This is my oven  :D. Where do I get this steel?
Mary Ann

Offline mbrulato

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Re: Stanislaus 7/11 or Escalon 6-1 crushed tomatoes?
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2013, 01:13:17 PM »
Unfortunately the smelly old ShopRite did not have the Sclafani tomatoes, but I got these to try for my Sicilian tonight. My oven's highest setting is 550 degrees, but I use convection so it probably gets a bit hotter than that.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2013, 01:14:50 PM by mbrulato »
Mary Ann

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Re: Stanislaus 7/11 or Escalon 6-1 crushed tomatoes?
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2013, 01:32:02 PM »
There is some good information on the 7/11s and the 6-in-1s starting at Reply 24 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,22498.msg230226.html#msg230226. I do not have any Nutrition Facts on the peeled 6-in1s, but I would say that the 7/11s have more salt (more sodium) than either of the 6-in-1 products when the serving sizes are equalized. But, even then, the differences are so small as not to be detectable on the palate for most people.

Over the years I have read posts over at the PMQ Think Tank on the brands of tomatoes the professionals there use, and I have also conducted a fair amount of research using the PMQTT archives, and I would say that generally they prefer the Stanislaus products over the Escalon products. Both are good products but it appears that Stanislaus kills its customers with kindness from a customer service standpoint. Their customer retention rate is exceptional. Escalon used to be family owned, as is Stanislaus, but after it was acquired by Heinz in 1991, Escalon perhaps became more corporate and not as close to its customer base as it once was. With the recent takeover of Heinz by Warren Buffet and other investors, it will be interesting to see if the buyout will affect the Escalon products. Many of us have already taken note of the Classico canned tomatoes, which are also produced by Escalon, being marked down in price by WalMarts in several parts of the country in what looks like a phaseout of those tomatoes.

Stanislaus and Escalon are the top suppliers of fresh pack tomatoes. The San Benito fresh pack tomatoes, from the Neil Jones Company, may be third. They supply the tomatoes used by Malnati's for its pizzas.

Peter

Offline mbrulato

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Re: Stanislaus 7/11 or Escalon 6-1 crushed tomatoes?
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2013, 06:20:29 PM »
The Jersey Fresh were fantastic!  I think I may never use SM tomatoes again on my pizza after this.  If the Sclafani tomatoes are half as good as these, I'll be hooked for life.  These were a great accidental find  ;D
Mary Ann

Offline scott123

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Re: Stanislaus 7/11 or Escalon 6-1 crushed tomatoes?
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2013, 12:16:08 AM »
Where do I get this steel?

It all depends on how frugal you want to be  ;D For about $150 you can get it online, but, if you're willing to call local steel distributors, you could whittle that down to as little as $50.

Unfortunately the smelly old ShopRite did not have the Sclafani tomatoes, but I got these to try for my Sicilian tonight.

Sorry. I stopped shopping at the smelly ShopRite years ago and will only go to the Parsippany store.  I guarantee you that Parsippany will have them.

On a scale of 1 to 10, if, say, regular Cento puree is about a 3 and your average SM is about a 4, then Jersey Fresh would be 9 and Sclafani would be 9.5.

SMs have their place in a few applications where authenticity might be important, such as Neapolitan, but the vibrancy of a crushed Jersey tomato makes it the far better choice for everything else.

Offline scott123

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Re: Stanislaus 7/11 or Escalon 6-1 crushed tomatoes?
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2013, 12:18:42 AM »
Their customer retention rate is exceptional. Escalon used to be family owned, as is Stanislaus, but after it was acquired by Heinz in 1991, Escalon perhaps became more corporate and not as close to its customer base as it once was. With the recent takeover of Heinz by Warren Buffet and other investors, it will be interesting to see if the buyout will affect the Escalon products.

Peter, thanks, this is useful information.  For some reason, I thought the Heinz buyout was more recent, but I probably got the Heinz buyout and the Warren Buffet buyout mixed up.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2013, 12:25:46 AM by scott123 »

Offline mbrulato

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Re: Stanislaus 7/11 or Escalon 6-1 crushed tomatoes?
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2013, 08:22:33 AM »
Peter, thank you for that information.

Scott, I reread part of another thread here talking about steel plates and someone posted this website as a link but I think this size would be better.  I liked the size of this plate as well as the fact that it comes pre-seasoned and it's non-stick.  The item description indicated that custom sizes are available.  But this one is 1/2 inch thick, I thought you suggested that optimally it should be 3/4 inch thick.  http://bakingsteel.com/shop/the-big/ What do you think? 

My other alternative is that when I worked in public accounting, I used to have a client that was in the steel business.  I could look them up and see if they would cut me a plate I'm guessing it would be hot rolled steel?

I agree that SM's have their place where authenticity is important.  I should have gone to the Parsippany ShopRite yesterday, but I'm glad that I stumbled upon the Jersey Fresh.  I'll have to make a road trip next week.  BTW, I heard that they now carry adult beverages right in the store versus having the separate liquor store next to Modell's.  That should make my road trip worthwhile  :-D
« Last Edit: September 07, 2013, 08:24:13 AM by mbrulato »
Mary Ann

Offline scott123

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Re: Stanislaus 7/11 or Escalon 6-1 crushed tomatoes?
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2013, 07:16:41 PM »
Mary Ann, for the dimensions that I recommend, Baking Steel would be in the $150+ realm.

Baking Steel's default sizes are way too small for NY style. When you get into pizzas that small, they're all rim.  You want to biggest square plate your oven can accommodate- touching the back wall and almost touching the door.

From looking at the specs of your oven, it looks like your shelves are 17.25 x 22.75.  There's usually a small gap between the shelves and the door, so there's a chance you can fit an 18" plate.  For NY, there's nothing more magical than an 18" pizza.

When sizing the steel plate, you'll want to measure the living daylights out of that space. You can't be too careful at this stage.  Make a cardboard dummy, put it in place and see if the door closes. Be acutely aware of lips on the back of the shelf, the position of the convection fan, along with protrusions on the door. Put a piece of paper on the cardboard, extending out the oven a bit and, when you close the door, see how far it pushes back. You'll want to size the plate so that the door, when closed, just clears it, with absolutely no additional space.

Hot rolled (aka 'mild' aka a36) steel is what you want. I was, for a while, recommending 3/4", but, other than for better recovery for very large parties (more than 10 pizzas baked back to back), I no longer recommend it. 1/2" is the one to go with, and, for easier installing, you want to get it split down the middle lengthwise (see photo below)  If you know someone that deals in plate, great, otherwise, unless you want to spend $150+, do a search for 'yourtown, state steel' in google maps (see photo below) and just start making calls.

Offline mbrulato

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Re: Stanislaus 7/11 or Escalon 6-1 crushed tomatoes?
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2013, 08:06:40 AM »
Thank you for all of this useful information, Scott.  I'll round up some cardboard and measure next week.  I'll keep you posted but probably not on this thread because I got away from the tomato topic and I dont want to be annoying  :-\

Do you keep your steel plate(s) in your oven permanently or do you only use for pizza/bread baking?  What is the other item above your plate?  Looks interesting...
Mary Ann

Offline norma427

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Re: Stanislaus 7/11 or Escalon 6-1 crushed tomatoes?
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2013, 08:16:32 AM »
Pizza Mama,

I have tried different Stanislaus products and also Escalon 6-in1's.  I like the 6-in-1's with November's sauce recipe, but also like the 6-in 1's with a few other ingredients added.  I use a Stanislaus product for my pizzas at market with added ingredients.  I recently purchased the Jersey Fresh Crushed Tomatoes and the Sclafani crushed tomatoes at a Shoprite in Hamilton, NJ, but I didn't get to try those out yet.  I have also tried the Great Value tomatoes products at Walmart and the Classico crushed tomato product.

Norma
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