Author Topic: Solania Tomatos anyone?  (Read 8249 times)

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Offline ihavezippers

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Solania Tomatos anyone?
« on: June 16, 2006, 03:18:27 PM »
Anyone ever heard of Solania canned tomatos, from Naples, Italy?
I contacted an Italian importer about Escalon and he said he had never heard of Escalon, nor could he get it, but told me Solania is a really great product and "you can't go wrong with [it]".
Anyone had it and can compare it to Escalon and/or Stanislaus?


Offline ebpizza

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Re: Solania Tomatos anyone?
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2006, 09:59:12 PM »
never heard of 'em, but here is their website

http://www.solaniasrl.it/pagesENG/home.htm

Offline scott r

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Re: Solania Tomatos anyone?
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2006, 03:38:20 AM »

I am very happy to know that these tomatoes are available here in the US.

I have a can in my pantry, but I thought that they were only sold in Italy.  They were a gift from a friend.

Ihavezippers, could you tell us where we could pick up some of these fine tomatoes?

Offline PizzaBrewer

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Re: Solania Tomatos anyone?
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2006, 10:16:19 AM »
Man does not live by bread alone.  There's also tomato, cheese and pepperoni.

Offline ihavezippers

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Re: Solania Tomatos anyone?
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2006, 12:53:30 PM »
I am very happy to know that these tomatoes are available here in the US.

I have a can in my pantry, but I thought that they were only sold in Italy.  They were a gift from a friend.

Ihavezippers, could you tell us where we could pick up some of these fine tomatoes?


ScottR,
you are a long time poster on this board and I completely trust your tastes with such matters.  You are saying Solania is a good product?  How does it compare with Escalon/Stanislaus, and for that matter, other Italian tomatos?
I found an Italian food importer in Seattle who I inquired to regarding Escalon.  He has since sent me several emails telling me he has Solania, and how good they are, etc...I didn't know if it was just a sales pitch.

Thanks for your advice.

Offline scott r

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Re: Solania Tomatos anyone?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2006, 02:08:32 PM »
ihavezippers, I actually have not tried these tomatoes yet.  I have been saving them because they are a brand that I am told is excellent by a trusted source who lives in Naples, and I thought this was the only can I would ever have.  My guess is that if they are used in Naples they are probably pretty special when compared to our American brands, even Stanislaus and Escalon.    I love those California tomatoes, but they do give a very different flavor to my pies then the better Italian brands.  When I am making 550 degree pies I use the California tomatoes, and when I am doing cleaning cycle Neapolitan pies I use the Italian tomatoes.  I am not sure there is a clear "better" tomato when comparing the best of the Italian and the best of the California, they are just different flavors that you can use to create your own special recipe.

Next time I make pizza I will open up the Solania can and tell you what I think.  Right now my favorite Italian tomatoes are the La Regina SM, the Ital SM, the La Bella SM, and the Cento Italian (not SM).  I will let you know if the Solania is up there with the quality of those other Italian tomatoes.  I actually think they should beat them.  When I was in Naples I tried a few brands of tomatoes sold in regular grocery stores that were far superior to anything available here in the states.

Offline ihavezippers

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Re: Solania Tomatos anyone?
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2006, 11:08:19 PM »
In general, how do Italian tomatos taste differently than American, or atleast Escalon/Stanislaus (actually, I still have yet to taste Escalon, but am very familiar with Stanislaus, and ofcourse the run of the mill Hunts, Contanida, etc)?

Will the texture/thickness be affected?

I am not sure if I've ever had a Neopolitan-styled pizza, but am primarily interested in making the best American-style pizza I can...however, that doesn't rule out Italian tomatos I guess if it gives me an even better taste than Stanislaus.

Thanks for your advice.

Offline scott r

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Re: Solania Tomatos anyone?
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2006, 11:45:06 PM »
Ihavezippers,  obviously the best thing to do is try both side by side on your pizzas to see what works best for your taste. 

I don't think texture is that different between Italian and California tomatoes.   I have noticed a huge difference in texture between cans that have been sitting around for a long time and cans that were just formed.  A few months ago a brand new line of La Regina tomatoes came out and I was given a test case to sample.  These tomatoes had a really firm texture.  I have already noticed that the cans I now open from the same case, but a few months later, have fruit in them that is starting to soften.  With a freshly canned sample of California tomatoes and a freshly canned sample of Italian tomatoes I think they would be about the same texture.  It is possible that the Italian varieties are a little more meaty. 

I can't say that thickness is different between Italian and California canned tomatoes.  I have had cans of whole peeled tomatoes that were very soupy, and cans that were very thick from both Cali and Italy. You may be referring to a measurement called NTSS (Natural Tomato Soluable Solids).  This is the amount of tomato (vs water) in a can of tomatoes.   All brands, and even lines within a brand have different amounts.  I think that in general, Italian tomatoes (especially san marzano's) have less water in them, but really the canning process dictates the final hydration more than the type of tomato used. 

If I had to generalize I would say that California tomatoes have a brighter and maybe even sweeter flavor, while Italian tomatoes have a richer more complex flavor, but I have found examples of both that deviate from this generalization.  I think you really have to taste them for yourself to know what I mean.  When you are trying both side by side make sure you realize that every brand of tomato also uses different amounts of salt, and that must be evened out to do a valid comparison.  In general I think the Italian tomatoes have less salt in the can.  The Italian tomatoes I have found also tend not to add citric acid, or as much of it, and this definitely makes for a different flavor profile.  Because of this I have found Escalon products with their lack of citric acid to taste a little closer to Italian tomatoes than Stanislaus brand tomatoes.

Offline ebpizza

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Re: Solania Tomatos anyone?
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2006, 10:49:04 PM »
scott r,

Have you ever tried Joseph Russo brand? Not official San Marzano, but pretty good Italian Peeled tomatoes.





Offline scott r

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Re: Solania Tomatos anyone?
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2006, 12:59:30 AM »
That's a new one to me.  Let us know what you think!


Offline ebpizza

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Re: Solania Tomatos anyone?
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2006, 09:44:12 AM »
Best value / quality ratio. Most Market Baskets in Massachusetts stock them for $1.50 for a 35oz can.
You can also find them in other stores for a bit more money. According to the label they are "packed in San Marzano" and we all know that's a marketing ploy ;-)

Take a look at this pic, they are the Blue cans on the right.


http://www.bobsfood.com/images/impfood2med.jpg

Offline scott r

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Re: Solania Tomatos anyone?
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2006, 11:36:15 AM »
That is an excellent deal!  I think there there is a market basket fairly close Boston in charlestown.  I usually do my shopping here in the city at whole foods,shaws,stop and shop,star market, or a number of small Italian specialty stores, but next time I have a chance I will try a market basket.  So far my experience has been that the brands that try to fake you out by saying things like "san marzano style" or the like are usually sub par.  Also it seems like you get what you pay for.  Usually the better tomatoes cost a lot. I would love to find an inexpensive alternative, so thanks for the tip!!!


Offline ebpizza

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Re: Solania Tomatos anyone?
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2006, 12:18:05 PM »
The nearest Market Basket to Charlestown is located over the bridge in Chelsea. In general these tomatoes are usually $2.60 + a can, but at Market Basket, these tomatoes and all other products are less expensive.
I too have had bad experiences with the "San Marzano Style", but I think these are worth a try.

Other locations include: Woburn, Danvers, Salem

Offline scott r

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Re: Solania Tomatos anyone?
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2006, 06:51:30 PM »
thank you so much for the tip!

I will try to get some to do a shoot out with the solania next time I make pizza.

Offline scott r

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Re: Solania Tomatos anyone?
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2006, 09:25:18 PM »
Ok,  Did a shoot out.  I opened cans of  Sclafani Italian whole peeled,  Cento Itialian whole peeled, Luigi Vitelli imported Italian peeled tomatoes, and The Solania San Marzano. 

While the Slolania definitely had the cleanest clearest flavor, they lacked depth and character that I found in the Luigi Vitelli and the Cento which were my favorites.  The Sclafani was my least favorite from a flavor standpoint by far.  They were almost bitter.  I was very surprised by this because it was the only can that had the ceramic? plastic? white can lining. 

At first I thought I prefered the Solania because I could detect no metallic can taste like I could with all the other tomatoes.  I did various tests, whole straight from the can, blended into puree, cooked, and uncooked.  Once the tomatoes were cooked for a few seconds in the microwave the favorites changed and the solania dropped to the bottom of my list.  Another tricky thing about doing this test was that each type of tomato had different amounts of salt.  THe Luigi Vitelli seemed to have the most, so I tried to add the right amount of salt to all the other brands to bring them up to that amount.   Once this was done, and the sauce pureed, slightly cooked then cooled, it was a toss up between the Luigi Vitelli and the Cento.

Another problem with the Solania is that they had the most liquid consistency once pureed.  They would require too much draining and or addition of paste for my tastes.  I think the Cento and the Luigi were about the same thickness.

Offline deb415611

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Re: Solania Tomatos anyone?
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2006, 09:34:35 PM »
The Sclafani was my least favorite from a flavor standpoint by far. They were almost bitter. I was very surprised by this because it was the only can that had the ceramic? plastic? white can lining.





I haven't tried the Sclafani whole tomatoes but I did try the ground tomatoes and they were bitter also.   

Offline ihavezippers

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Re: Solania Tomatos anyone?
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2006, 12:53:32 AM »
Thanks for your work on this.  I was on the verge of buying a case of Solania, but based on your description, I am not interested.  I like thicker sauces, and the thin, watery texture you describe is defintely not what I am into.
I appear to have lost my Sysco-Escalon connection too.  Looks like it is either back to Stanislaus or ordering direct from Escalon.
Ok,  Did a shoot out.  I opened cans of  Sclafani Italian whole peeled,  Cento Itialian whole peeled, Luigi Vitelli imported Italian peeled tomatoes, and The Solania San Marzano. 

While the Slolania definitely had the cleanest clearest flavor, they lacked depth and character that I found in the Luigi Vitelli and the Cento which were my favorites.  The Sclafani was my least favorite from a flavor standpoint by far.  They were almost bitter.  I was very surprised by this because it was the only can that had the ceramic? plastic? white can lining. 

At first I thought I prefered the Solania because I could detect no metallic can taste like I could with all the other tomatoes.  I did various tests, whole straight from the can, blended into puree, cooked, and uncooked.  Once the tomatoes were cooked for a few seconds in the microwave the favorites changed and the solania dropped to the bottom of my list.  Another tricky thing about doing this test was that each type of tomato had different amounts of salt.  THe Luigi Vitelli seemed to have the most, so I tried to add the right amount of salt to all the other brands to bring them up to that amount.   Once this was done, and the sauce pureed, slightly cooked then cooled, it was a toss up between the Luigi Vitelli and the Cento.

Another problem with the Solania is that they had the most liquid consistency once pureed.  They would require too much draining and or addition of paste for my tastes.  I think the Cento and the Luigi were about the same thickness.

Offline Kidder

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Re: Solania Tomatos anyone?
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2007, 07:12:23 PM »
I bought a can of Solania San Marzanos at Williams Sonoma a few months ago but haven't tried them yet. They were $5 for a 28oz can. I also bought a tube of Mutti tomato paste for $4 and it's pretty good.

Hopefully they are a step up from Red Golds, which a think are really good tomatoes for the price.

Offline widespreadpizza

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Re: Solania Tomatos anyone?
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2007, 10:44:36 PM »
hey all, just wandering around tonight and came across this thread.  I wanted to chime in on the gusseppi russo tomatoes.  I have been using these on and off for a few years now.   They have been very good for the price all along.  Heck I think its the only brand my wife acknowledges now that I think of it.  Thickest puree surrounding the whole tomatoes that I have seen over the years.  Something I saw on the forno bravo site a while back led me to believe they might be the real deal.  http://www.fornobravo.com/pizza-ingredients/san-marzano-tomatoes.html they are really good,  you should try them scott.

Offline Kidder

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Re: Solania Tomatos anyone?
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2007, 10:15:13 AM »
I opened up the can of Solania tomatoes last night and there was an extreme metallic taste to these tomatoes. I ended up trashing them. What a waste of $5. Is this common among canned San Marzano tomatoes, if so then why do people rave about them so much? Or I should say, why do people gamble with their tomatoes if they don't know what to expect? Is there a way to get rid of that metallic taste?

I would really like to try some good San Marzano's but until then I'm sticking with my staple Red Gold's, they have yet to let me down.


 

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