Author Topic: First Street (Smart and Final) and Sam's Choice (Wal Mart) tomatoes - under $2  (Read 1975 times)

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Online jsaras

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Now that Classico tomatoes are a thing of the past I'm on the hunt for good tomatoes for under $2 per can.

First Street tomatoes are a "fresh pack" California tomato.  They taste excellent. In fact, it was the first time I've made a sauce that impressed me.  Citric acid is listed as an ingredient, although it does not say whether it's naturally derived or not.  No calcium chloride.

The Sam's Club tomatoes are Wal Mart's upscale tomato with added dry organic basil.  The texture is more rustic than their "Great Value" tomatoes.

Finally, I stocked up on the generic Wal Mart Great Value Tomatoes.  The last can I opened tasted incredible; among the best I've ever tasted.  However it didn't necessarily translate into my favorite sauce after I added my various spices and baking it on the pie.
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Offline Lydia

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Thank you for posting this. I am on a similar journey for canned tomatoes. I wasn't aware of the Sam's Tomatoes. I will keep a look out for them and will give the Great Value a try as well. I have yet to look into Aldi and Target brands.


I'm morning the loss of "First Street tomatoes" after my move to the south, they are my favorite !!! and brought a case to hold me over until I find replacements. Big bummer about the discontinued Classico tomatoes from Walmart. They were my second place tomatoes.  :(


My bet is that the First Street brand are Bonta tomatoes.
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Online jsaras

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Bonta is made by Escalon, who also makes 6 in 1, and Escalon also made Classico.  Sounds like a likely story to me.
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Online Pete-zza

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My bet is that the First Street brand are Bonta tomatoes.

Lydia,

I supppose anything is possible with a private branded product, but Escalon, the producer of the Bonta products, has claimed for years that it does not add citric acid to its tomatoes, as it so notes on the third page of the Escalon product guide at http://www.escalon.net/common/pdfs/product_guide.pdf. However, that doesn't mean that there is no citric acid in their tomatoes because there is naturally occurring citric acid. My recollection is that years ago Stanislaus used to note citric acid in their ingredients list but later changed the wording to "naturally derived citric acid". See, for example, http://www.stanislaus.com/_pdfs/Saporito-Concentrated-Crushed-Tomatoes.pdf. I have not seen the ingredients labels for Escalon's professional product line for some years, but I do not ever recall seeing Escalon list citric acid in their ingredients lists on labels, and certainly not on the labels of their retail products. If I were they, I would not risk potential blowback by starting to do it on private branded products. They would be exposed almost immediately by their competitors.

Peter

Offline xsosx

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If you are an Amazon Prime member you can get Sclafani crushed tomatoes for $2.06 a can (sold as a 12 pack for $24.74). They also sell Jersey Fresh crushed tomatoes for $2.22 a can (sold as a 12 pack for $26.58) with or without basil.

Offline Lydia

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Hi there Peter.... Yes you are completely correct.....I think I'm slipping....I meant to say "San Benito" not Bonta.   [size=78%]http://www.neiljonesfoodcompany.com/brands/san-benito/[/size]


I believe that is still correct for the Escalon branded products, the only "slight" exception I'm aware of is the Heinz branded tomatoes that are fresh packed at the Escalon plant (e.g. Papa John Pizza Sauce and the Classico's from walmart).


Never Mind........I just looked at a can of Classico's and they don't list citric acid. I always thought they did.  ::)

Lydia,

I supppose anything is possible with a private branded product, but Escalon, the producer of the Bonta products, has claimed for years that it does not add citric acid to its tomatoes, as it so notes on the third page of the Escalon product guide at http://www.escalon.net/common/pdfs/product_guide.pdf. However, that doesn't mean that there is no citric acid in their tomatoes because there is naturally occurring citric acid. My recollection is that years ago Stanislaus used to note citric acid in their ingredients list but later changed the wording to "naturally derived citric acid". See, for example, http://www.stanislaus.com/_pdfs/Saporito-Concentrated-Crushed-Tomatoes.pdf. I have not seen the ingredients labels for Escalon's professional product line for some years, but I do not ever recall seeing Escalon list citric acid in their ingredients lists on labels, and certainly not on the labels of their retail products. If I were they, I would not risk potential blowback by starting to do it on private branded products. They would be exposed almost immediately by their competitors.

Peter
« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 05:31:33 PM by Lydia »
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Offline Lydia

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The First street tomatoes should be this product here. http://www.neiljonesfoodcompany.com/food_products/whole-peeled/


labeling and ingredients match almost word for word.
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Online Pete-zza

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I believe that is still correct for the Escalon branded products, the only "slight" exception I'm aware of is the Heinz branded tomatoes that are fresh packed at the Escalon plant (e.g. Papa John Pizza Sauce and the Classico's

Hi, Lydia,

Having devoted a good chunk of my life trying to reverse engineer and clone the Papa John's dough and pizza sauce  :-D, I am pretty certain that the Papa John's pizza sauce is sourced by Stanislaus, not Escalon. And, yes, there is citric acid in that sauce. See, for example, Reply 493 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.msg260046/topicseen.html#msg260046 .

The Classico tomatoes now appear to be history at Wal-Mart, having been sold off over the last several months. I was in my local Wal-Mart the other day and there were no more Classico tomato products. Many of us saw this coming and stocked up at $1 a can.

Peter

Offline Lydia

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Peter you are still correct but is been a few years but check out my post here http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6633.msg139300.html#msg139300


In the picasa link within that post you'll see Papa Johns, Mellow Mushroom and Bucca de Beppo sauces at the Escalon plant.


So, yes they "use both" Stanislaus and Heinz-Escalon.
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Online Pete-zza

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Lydia,

Thank you for refreshing my memory. I now remember the photos from the Heinz tour, and my comments about companies not wanting to do sole source contracts.

Back in June, 2008, I received the ingredients list for the PJ pizza sauce from PJ itself and posted it in the thread at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6633.0.html . That same ingredients list appears five years later in Reply 493 that I referenced earlier, except that the 2013 ingredients list spells out what the spices are. I have seen the PJ pizza sauce ingredients list several times over the years and do not recall seeing any version without citric acid. But clearly PJ has done business at some point with Heinz.

Peter


Offline Lydia

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No problem Peter. If it's any consolation I would also chose Stanislaus for a PJ sauce clone as well.
The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.They say he acquired his size from eating too much pi.

Offline Lydia

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jsaras


I just took at look at the Great Value crushed tomatoes I just picked up. Same "new" green label as your pic below. I checked the ingredients: they're an exact match except the GV lists cut tomatoes and the FS just state tomatoes. Then I flipped both cans over to check the manufacturer stamp. These also match!!!!


I have "5TPCG  OL" for the code. So unless I'm interpreting the code incorrectly, they apparently are from the same manufacturer.


I just now popped them both open. They look the same, (color, seeds and texture) they smell the same and taste the same to me.


Yippee!!!  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D


I wonder if maybe you got some FS tomatoes that weren't stored right. My Smart & Final was "really bad" about not storing things at proper temperature.  ???


Thanks again for posting...I was getting really tired of buying tomatoes that didn't work for me.



The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.They say he acquired his size from eating too much pi.

Offline Lydia

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I went back to compare the FS with the GV tomatoes to see if I could detect any difference. Both at room temperature. The GV has "ever so slightly" more sweetness. I would still say that these are the same tomatoes though, just maybe different harvest.
The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.They say he acquired his size from eating too much pi.

Online jsaras

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Lydia, your tomato OCD is very impressive.  I have a Smart and Final a few blocks away, so it's good to know that for the time being I'm a stone's throw away from some good tomatoes.

xsosx, I've heard that Sclafani tomatoes are of excellent quality.  I'll have to get one of my friends who has an Amazon Prime account to order some for me.



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Online jsaras

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I came across the "5TPCG  OL" can code on these tomatoes at my local Ralph's market (a.k.a. Kroger).  The straight tomatoes are quite good and they were selling them for $1.27. 
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Offline bbqchuck

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You guys are good!  Some expert pallets and detective work.   

I have inadvertently driven thru many miles of central San Joaquin valley tomato farms on the back roads.  I saw Escalon signs everywhere. California may be a land of fruits and nuts when it comes to some of the residents,  but it is also the land of plentiful fruits and veggies when it comes to food.  I have a love - hate for living in California.

Offline Lydia

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Thanks Jsaras for the update. Really appreciate it.


I don't have a Ralph's chain out here but "do" have Kroger's Markets that I believe is the same company as the Ralph's generic brand. I will try to check out their tomatoes and post what find. I did noticed that the generic label at Kroger's Market's was changing from the one you posted, so we'll see what I can turn up.
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Offline Lydia

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I finally got the producer for these tomatoes confirmed. I don't know how this company flew under my radar.
They are from Pacific Coast Producers a premier producer of private label processed fruits and tomatoes in Lodi & Woodland California
The company, founded in 1971, operates three production sites and one distribution center in California.
The cooperative markets the apricots, grapes, peaches, pears, and tomatoes grown by its approximately 165 California-based members. It turns the produce into private-label canned fruit, sauces, and juices and sells them to the retail and foodservice industries
Red-gold and PC have also recently joined forces so not all the tomatoes are going to be the same.
Pacific Coast Producers typically serves retailers the likes of Albertson's, Ralph's,  Aldi, Kroger, Safeway, SUPERVALU, Whole Foods, and Wal-Mart, as well as the US Department of Agriculture.
I can also add that they have an organic line that tastes even better for about the same price.  I found these at Earthfare but PCP also supplies Whole Foods.
some good background info on the PCP company
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Offline Lydia

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The big clue for telling the difference between the red gold will be in the labeling.


"Fresh Packed in California"
"California Tomatoes"


for the organics the certifying will be done by Yolo Organics [size=78%]http://www.herspringgibbs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Yolo-Organics-Flyer.pdf[/size]




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaKEs2CzNoY


Food service brands are Gangi/Gangi Brothers and Granada and Harvest Red.
The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.They say he acquired his size from eating too much pi.

Online jsaras

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Wow!  Do you work for the NSA? :-D
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