Author Topic: Doing crushed tomatoes blind taste test: As-is, or add some ingredients?  (Read 1693 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline orangeman1

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 48
I am going to make several small cheese pizzas for the purpose of doing a blind taste comparison of different crushed tomatoes and am looking for opinions on how to do it.

My question is, should I pour it on the dough straight from the can so I get the full effect of each, or is there some minimal amount of seasoning that I should apply to each one? I'm probably a bit of an over-seasoning person so I don't have a good feel for the bare bones esssentials in order to give them all a fair shake.

Thanks in advance.


Offline TXCraig1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 12950
  • Location: Houston, TX
Re: Doing crushed tomatoes blind taste test: As-is, or add some ingredients?
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2013, 03:50:19 PM »
Simply side-by-side tasting out of the can is one thing, however when tasting on a pie, I think you should test them exactly as you would use them on a pizza.

It might seem counter to the idea of scientific testing, but I don't think you necessarily want to season them all the same way. You might want to taste each and season such that it's as good as you can get it then make pies and taste the pies blind.

When I make a sauce, I add a little salt and taste. If it needs it, I add a bit of sugar. The amount of salt I add is almost always exactly the same, however the amount of sugar is not. Most of the time, I don't need to add sugar, but some times I do. If I wanted to do a blind test, I don't think it would make sense to add or not add sugar to all the tomatoes for the sake of being consistent in the test. Some might not need any and some might, and I might skew the result by making what would otherwise be the best can too sweet or not sweet enough. Furthermore, if I did the same thing to all the different tomatoes, how would I apply the results to my sauce as I don't always do the same thing when I make sauce.

Every can of tomatoes, even two of the same brand, must be seasoned base on how it tastes. This is how I would suggest testing sauce on a pizza.

Also keep in mind that the best tasting product today may be the worst (or vice versa) if you repeat down the road with can's from different production runs. To have any confidence in your results, you probably should try a minimum of 3 cans of each from different production runs.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline dmcavanagh

  • In Memoriam
  • Posts: 1912
  • Location: Glenmont, NY
Re: Doing crushed tomatoes blind taste test: As-is, or add some ingredients?
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2013, 04:50:45 PM »
I'll save you a lot of time and effort, buy these   http://www.donpepino.com/sclafani-crushed-tomatoes.asp
Rest In Peace - November 1, 2014

Offline Chaze215

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 802
  • Location: Jersey Shore
Re: Doing crushed tomatoes blind taste test: As-is, or add some ingredients?
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2013, 05:16:09 PM »
I'll save you a lot of time and effort, buy these   http://www.donpepino.com/sclafani-crushed-tomatoes.asp

 ^^^ They have been my choice for a while now.
Chaz

scott123

  • Guest
Re: Doing crushed tomatoes blind taste test: As-is, or add some ingredients?
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2013, 05:53:58 PM »
On a slightly different topic, the Sclafanis recently changed their packaging. They removed the roma tomatoes from the illustration to leave only two round tomatoes.

It's probably no cause for alarm, but if they changed the tomatoes in any way, I'm going to be really angry.


Offline orangeman1

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 48
Doing crushed tomatoes blind taste test: As-is, or add some ingredients?
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2013, 05:58:35 PM »
I picked up as many as I could for this round based on posts in this forum:

Red Gold,
Great Value
6 in 1
Bonta
Scalafani
Hunts
Nina
Jersey Fresh

I think that is enough without making my taste buds explode.

Offline orangeman1

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 48
Re: Doing crushed tomatoes blind taste test: As-is, or add some ingredients?
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2013, 06:01:43 PM »

I'll save you a lot of time and effort, buy these   http://www.donpepino.com/sclafani-crushed-tomatoes.asp

I'm excited to be trying them. As for the time and effort, I look at it like a fun weekend project. It will be 100% blind so we'll see if there are any shockers.

Offline orangeman1

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 48
Re: Doing crushed tomatoes blind taste test: As-is, or add some ingredients?
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2013, 06:05:16 PM »
TXCraig1, good thoughts, thanks. I'll have to think about the best way to work that out. Maybe I will only do 3 or 4 at a time to keep it manageable. I'm sure there are some I can eliminate quickly and then view the serious contenders over multiple batches.

Offline mbrulato

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1032
  • Location: NJ
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Doing crushed tomatoes blind taste test: As-is, or add some ingredients?
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2013, 07:59:13 PM »
^^^ They have been my choice for a while now.

 ^^^ Sclafanis are great.  I have been using them for the past three weeks.
Mary Ann

Offline dmcavanagh

  • In Memoriam
  • Posts: 1912
  • Location: Glenmont, NY
Re: Doing crushed tomatoes blind taste test: As-is, or add some ingredients?
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2013, 10:33:01 AM »
I picked up as many as I could for this round based on posts in this forum:

Red Gold,
Great Value
6 in 1
Bonta
Scalafani
Hunts
Nina
Jersey Fresh

I think that is enough without making my taste buds explode.

I believe that Bonta is a pizza sauce, not crushed tomatoes. It's an Escalon product which also is how produces the 6 in 1's. Red Gold comes from the same canner as Red Pack, which I usually found to be watery and containing a lot of unripe fruit. GV and Hunt's are very similar, I suspect that GV might be packages by Con Agra (Hunt's). Nina are imported Italian tomatoes, I've never tried their crushed but was unimpressed with their whole tomatoes. I have a can of Jersey Fresh in my cupboard, have yet to try them, but reliable sources tell me they are not of the quality of two other Jersey tomatoes, those from Sclafani and LaFede. There aren't many I haven't already tried.
Rest In Peace - November 1, 2014


Offline orangeman1

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 48
Re: Doing crushed tomatoes blind taste test: As-is, or add some ingredients?
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2013, 10:51:59 AM »
I believe that Bonta is a pizza sauce, not crushed tomatoes. It's an Escalon product which also is how produces the 6 in 1's. Red Gold comes from the same canner as Red Pack, which I usually found to be watery and containing a lot of unripe fruit. GV and Hunt's are very similar, I suspect that GV might be packages by Con Agra (Hunt's). Nina are imported Italian tomatoes, I've never tried their crushed but was unimpressed with their whole tomatoes. I have a can of Jersey Fresh in my cupboard, have yet to try them, but reliable sources tell me they are not of the quality of two other Jersey tomatoes, those from Sclafani and LaFede. There aren't many I haven't already tried.

Thanks for your insight. I feel like I know how the story is going to end, but I want to see how it plays out. There has to be a reason people love Sclafani. Unfortunately I live in the Chicago area so I had to get them shipped. The weight makes them very expensive. But if they are the best, I'll do whatever I need to do.

Offline dmcavanagh

  • In Memoriam
  • Posts: 1912
  • Location: Glenmont, NY
Re: Doing crushed tomatoes blind taste test: As-is, or add some ingredients?
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2013, 11:40:51 AM »
Unfortunately, many of these products are regional and hard to find for everyone around the country. If you research some of the threads about Classico crushed tomatoes, they may be your best option. They are a Heinz product (Heinz owns Escalon) and are available at most Walmarts across the country. They are about as good as any others, my only criticism of them is they are a little watery and could use a little draining before use. Bonta does come in a crushed tomato form, sounds like they are pretty thick and ready for use as a sauce, only needing the seasonings of your choice.
Rest In Peace - November 1, 2014

Offline Chaze215

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 802
  • Location: Jersey Shore
Re: Doing crushed tomatoes blind taste test: As-is, or add some ingredients?
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2013, 02:00:10 PM »
I picked up 28oz cans of Sclafani crushed at Shoprite recently for .99/can! Needless to say, I bought a few :)
Chaz

Offline mbrulato

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1032
  • Location: NJ
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Doing crushed tomatoes blind taste test: As-is, or add some ingredients?
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2013, 02:17:11 PM »
I picked up 28oz cans of Sclafani crushed at Shoprite recently for .99/can! Needless to say, I bought a few :)

I was lucky enough to hit that sale price too!  Got 12 cans.  ;D
Mary Ann

Offline TXCraig1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 12950
  • Location: Houston, TX
Re: Doing crushed tomatoes blind taste test: As-is, or add some ingredients?
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2013, 08:43:03 PM »
I really like the taste of the Sclafani, but they are too intense for NP pizza, IMO. They are so ripe and rich, it almost tastes like the add molasses to them.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline orangeman1

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 48
Re: Doing crushed tomatoes blind taste test: As-is, or add some ingredients?
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2013, 04:33:45 PM »
Unfortunately, many of these products are regional and hard to find for everyone around the country. If you research some of the threads about Classico crushed tomatoes, they may be your best option. They are a Heinz product (Heinz owns Escalon) and are available at most Walmarts across the country. They are about as good as any others, my only criticism of them is they are a little watery and could use a little draining before use. Bonta does come in a crushed tomato form, sounds like they are pretty thick and ready for use as a sauce, only needing the seasonings of your choice.

My local Walmart only sells Classico pasta sauces.  I'll have to check other locations.  Besides Walmart can the Classico be purchased elsewhere?  I haven't seen it in my local grocery stores.

Offline dmcavanagh

  • In Memoriam
  • Posts: 1912
  • Location: Glenmont, NY
Re: Doing crushed tomatoes blind taste test: As-is, or add some ingredients?
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2013, 07:28:45 PM »
when they first came on the market Price Chopper, a local food chain was stocking them. They quickly stopped and cleared them out and since then I've only seen them at Walmart.
Rest In Peace - November 1, 2014

Offline TomN

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1530
  • Age: 55
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Doing crushed tomatoes blind taste test: As-is, or add some ingredients?
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2013, 07:46:10 PM »
Simply side-by-side tasting out of the can is one thing, however when tasting on a pie, I think you should test them exactly as you would use them on a pizza.

It might seem counter to the idea of scientific testing, but I don't think you necessarily want to season them all the same way. You might want to taste each and season such that it's as good as you can get it then make pies and taste the pies blind.

When I make a sauce, I add a little salt and taste. If it needs it, I add a bit of sugar. The amount of salt I add is almost always exactly the same, however the amount of sugar is not. Most of the time, I don't need to add sugar, but some times I do. If I wanted to do a blind test, I don't think it would make sense to add or not add sugar to all the tomatoes for the sake of being consistent in the test. Some might not need any and some might, and I might skew the result by making what would otherwise be the best can too sweet or not sweet enough. Furthermore, if I did the same thing to all the different tomatoes, how would I apply the results to my sauce as I don't always do the same thing when I make sauce.

Every can of tomatoes, even two of the same brand, must be seasoned base on how it tastes. This is how I would suggest testing sauce on a pizza.

Also keep in mind that the best tasting product today may be the worst (or vice versa) if you repeat down the road with can's from different production runs. To have any confidence in your results, you probably should try a minimum of 3 cans of each from different production runs.

I have to agree with Craig. I only wanted to mention that sometimes when using the same exact brand of tomatoes, I find that I have to add more or less sugar. I have found that tomatoes vary a bit in sweetness, per harvest or can date.

TomN

Offline orangeman1

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 48
Re: Doing crushed tomatoes blind taste test: As-is, or add some ingredients?
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2013, 02:27:24 PM »
I finished my test with the following results:
TOP CLASS
Sclafani
Jersey Fresh
50/50 mix of Stanislaus 7/11 and Full Red
--------------------
OK
Red Gold (Good taste but very watery)
6 in 1
Hunts
Nina
--------------------
BOTTOM TIER
Walmart Great Value
Bonta

I preferred the Stanislaus as the best for me.  Jersey was 2nd and Sclafani was 3rd.  I know everybody loves Sclafani and I have several more cans, so I look forward to seeing if my opinion changes.  That was just one can one time one taste.  I don't think you can go wrong with any of those three.  I've used 6 in 1 for over 1 year and I personally lost my taste for them.  I used to love them and many people do.  For my personal taste they are no longer top tier.

Offline orangeman1

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 48
Re: Doing crushed tomatoes blind taste test: As-is, or add some ingredients?
« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2013, 06:58:52 PM »
Although I like the Stanislaus, it doesn't seem to like me.  The acid hits me like no other brand.  Always a few hours afterward.  I don't understand this because I frequent pizza places that I know for a fact use Stanislaus and I don't have the same reaction.  Is there something that can be done to neutralize the citric acid?