Author Topic: Canned tomatoes  (Read 8526 times)

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Offline Steve

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Canned tomatoes
« on: May 24, 2004, 08:04:33 PM »
I just contacted Escalon (the makers of 6-in-1 tomatoes) and they have agreed to send me three #10 cans of their Bonta brand tomatoes (pizza sauce, puree, and crushed tomatoes).

The Bonta brand is highly recommended by many pizza professionals, but it's only sold in #10 (one gallon) cans.

I plan to create a page on the main menu and review this product, as well as their 6-in-1 tomatoes.

I have also contacted Stanislaus, makers of 7/11 and Full-Red tomatoes, and have asked that they too send samples for review.

I'll let everyone know when I receive the samples and how they compare with 6-in-1 and regular supermarket tomatoes.
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Offline Foccaciaman

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Re:Canned tomatoes
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2004, 10:31:25 PM »
I will be checking with the escalon site after I leave the forum tonight, but I will ask anyway:

What is the make-up of the pizza sauce that they sell?

And have you ever personally added pizza sauce to your tomatoes to make the sauce like some recipes say?

Very good idea to test the product Steve I will be interested in your evaluation of them. :)
 
By the way I forgot to mention, I had ordered a number of cans of 6 in 1 and noticed that I had been over charged by escalon 3 times infact, I emailed them and was promptly called back by someone at escalon to solve the problem.
It actually turned out to be a bank error, my bank had repeated the charge 3 times but sent it to escalon only once.
I then called escalon back and told them of the error and thanked them for such impressive service as calling so quickly to solve the problem on such a small order.
 
Escalon gets a A++ Rating in my book for customer service. :)
« Last Edit: May 24, 2004, 10:37:14 PM by Foccaciaman »
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Offline Pizzaholic

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Re:Canned tomatoes
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2004, 10:04:05 AM »
Steve
I have no 6in1 in my area, but I do have DeNapoli and another brand that is a product of Italy called Pomi that comes in a box type container.
Do you want to trade me two cans of 6in1 for one of each of the others for your evaluation???? ;D ;D
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Offline Steve

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Re:Canned tomatoes
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2004, 10:53:33 AM »
Steve
I have no 6in1 in my area, but I do have DeNapoli and another brand that is a product of Italy called Pomi that comes in a box type container.
Do you want to trade me two cans of 6in1 for one of each of the others for your evaluation???? ;D ;D
Pizzaholic

You can buy 6-in-1 tomatoes online directly from the manufacturer. $2.50 per can and only $1.50 shipping (I think their shipping calculator is broken, but they honor that price nonetheless  ;D )

www.escalon.net
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Online Pete-zza

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Re:Canned tomatoes
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2004, 03:12:00 PM »
I recently received a list of all the products sold by Pennsylvania Macaroni Co., (PennMac), a Pittsburgh food product/foodservice company that sells to many of the pizzerias and other restaurants in and around Pittsburgh.  I had had discussions previously with a PennMac customer service rep, Rose McNeill, about the canned tomatoes they carry.  I learned that they carry the Escalon and Stanislaus brands.  They are not listed at the PennMac website but they are listed in the product list, along with several other brands.  Today I was told that, even though the Escalon and Stanislaus tomatoes are not listed at the PennMac website, they will sell those products at the retail level if one calls and speaks with Rose directly (at 1-800-223-5928 or 412-471-8330).  While she is not directly responsible for providing price quotes, she will check with the person who is and give a quote.  When I checked the product list, I saw that the Escalon tomatoes are offered in a #10 can (which I believe weighs about 6.75 pounds) and the 28-ounce size, and the Stanislaus tomatoes are offered in only the #10 can size.  There are different versions of the tomatoes, so for those who might be interested, it would perhaps be wise to ask which types and sizes are available before deciding.  

PennMac also sells San Marzano tomatoes, both with and without the DOP designation.  In a previous discussion with Rose, I was told that PennMac will discount these tomatoes if purchased by the case.  It's quite possible that PennMac will negotiate on price on larger-volume purchases of the Escalon and Stanislaus tomatoes also.  

Remember also that the Escalon tomatoes can also be purchased directly from Escalon, via its website at escalon.net.  I haven't done a price comparison between PennMac and Escalon, but my recollection is that the shipping charges at Escalon were quite low.  Hence, that might give Escalon an overall price advantage when shipping costs are taken into account.   For those who live in or around Pittsburgh, it may also be possible to save shipping charges by buying the tomatoes in the retail part of the company (which I believe is combined with the wholesale part to the business), at 2010 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh.  To be on the safe side, I would call first to be sure that you can do so and that they will have what you want in inventory.

Peter

Offline Lars

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Re:Canned tomatoes
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2004, 01:09:32 PM »
I've tried several brands and prefer Muir Glenn, although the others I've tried were also good - Contadina and Progresso, both of which make tomatoes packed in tomato purée, which to me is the main factor.  I also have a can of Conto Chef's cut tomatoes, which I will try next.  With the cheaper brands, I find I have to add sugar, but Muir Glenn tomatoes are sweet enough that I don't need it.

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Re:Canned tomatoes
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2004, 02:32:09 PM »
Lars,

Welcome to the forum.

Until I discovered and used the San Marzano tomatoes, I thought that Muir Glen was a good choice.  They had a nice taste and, for those who care, were organic also.  But when I did a side by side test, I thought the San Marzanos won.  Then I discovered the 6-in-1 tomatoes, from Escalon, which became my favorites.  They are especially good for deep-dish pizzas.  I still like the San Marzanos, especially for Neapolitan style pizzas.  And I often mix the 6-in-1s with San Marzanos when I have opened cans of both.  The San Marzanos are not particularly sweet, as they are sometimes described, but they are low-acid and serve as a nice counterpoint to the 6-in-1s, by taming the sweetness (they are the sweetest I have ever had) and intensity of the 6-in-1s.

I learned recently that the 6-in-1s are often available at some upscale food stores, especially in the Western part of the country, at per-can prices that are less than what Escalon itself charges.   The San Marzanos are also found at some of the upscale food stores, but more often have to be ordered via mail order or over the Internet.

If you haven't already done so, I highly recommend that you try the 6-in-1s and some of the San Marzanos (look for the ones with the DOP designation) if you are in a position to do so.  Then let us know what you think.

Peter

Offline Lars

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Re:Canned tomatoes
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2004, 03:09:46 PM »
Thanks, Peter - I will definitely take you advice, as I am rather new to using canned tomatoes.  I used to use bottled marinara sauce, but several people at my cooking forum told me that I could make a better sauce, and it turned out that they were right.  I still do like Vera Ranch Artichoke marinara sauce, but it's pretty expensive, compared to canned tomatoes.  I should be able to find the brands you in Los Angeles, I think.  There's an upscale market (Gelson's) close to my house and a gourmet supply shop across the street from me, where I can buy Mozarrella di Bufala at a good price.

I used to grow my own tomatoes (and still have a few wild ones left), and I found that the Dona tomatoes were best for Pizza Marguerita, but they are probably sweeter than you would like.

Thanks for the welcome!

Offline Lars

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Re:Canned tomatoes
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2004, 08:41:28 PM »
I found the San Marzano tomatoes at Gelson's, and I bought a can but haven't used it yet because I have other cans I need to use up first.  Right now I have two cans of Cento, one of Muir Glenn, and one of Rao's, which is the only one from Italy.

I guess you can only get the Escalon on-line, and I would rather find it in a store, but they do not have a store locator on their website.  I would expect them to sell in Los Angeles, since it isn't that far from where they are located.  It appears that they market only to restaurants, however, which is probably more lucrative for them.  I noticed that their shipping costs are minimal, and so I'll order from them when I'm about out.

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Re:Canned tomatoes
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2004, 09:03:12 PM »
Lars,

The Escalon 6-in-1s are sold in some stores in the western part of the country and also via the Internet.  You might take a look at Claros, a southern California Italian food retailer that has several local stores and an Internet based business at http://www.claros.com.  At the Website, look under tomatoes, then domestic tomatoes and you will see the 6-in-1s (ground peeled tomatoes) at $1.79 a can.  If one of their retail operations is close to you, then you are in good shape.  Otherwise, you will have to bear some shipping charges.  You might also take a look at local Whole Foods stores to see if they carry the Escalon products.

Peter


Offline Lars

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Re:Canned tomatoes
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2004, 04:35:55 PM »
Thanks for that link, Peter, but those stores are all more than an hour's drive from here, but I will keep the info so that I can drop by when I am in that neighborhood.  I'm also going to look at Sorrento Market in Culver City, which has a good selection of many items, especially Italian olive oils.

Saturday I bought a can of Monte Pollino whole peeled tomatoes, which says "Product of Italy" on the can.  It also says, "Monte Pollino, high atop the mountains in Italy, is the estate that cares for this land.  Acres of supreme farming conditions just right for growing vine ripe, plum, juicy tomatoes.  Used by the best chefs in Italy"   To me, that was a bit confusing.  I wish they had written it in Italian so that I could understand exactly what they are trying to say.  If you go to their distributer's website and click on "Product Catalog" and then "Tomatoes & Sauces", you can see a picture of the can.  However, this product has exactly the same product specifications (and item numbers) as their San Marzano tomatoes, which appear to be grown in California.  I guess I'll find out what they are like after I open them.  They were relatively cheap at $1.33 for a 28 oz. can.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2004, 04:36:44 PM by Lars »

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Re:Canned tomatoes
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2004, 06:02:34 PM »
Lars,

You are correct about the Lettieri website.  I think it is just erroneous information since I know for a fact that the LaValle San Marzano tomatoes shown at the site are grown either in the Agro Sarnese-Nocerino region near Naples (with the D.O.P. designation) or around Agro Sarnese-Nocerino.  (The can in the photo is the non-D.O.P. version).  Also, the AnnalisA and Geraldo diNola San Marzanos (to the extent they have the D.O.P. certification) are grown in the region of Agro Sarnese-Nocerino.  I have been building a list of the sources of the "true" San Marzano varietal and it now includes the following names: La Valle (which also has the non-D.O.P version as mentioned above)., Strianese, Famoso, La Regina, Italbrand, La Fede, AnnalisA, Cento, Vantia, Gerardo diNola, viviTALIA, and Pastene.  

I found your description of the Monte Pollino tomatoes amusing.  I have learned not to put much stock in what is said on a can of tomatoes, especially if the price doesn't match the hype.  Not too long ago, I bought a few cans of "Tuscan" tomatoes, at $0.77 a can.   The label said "bionaturae Organic Whole Peeled Tomatoes", with the tag line "Rediscover the Precious Tuscan Tomato."  Elsewhere on the label it said "bionaturae organic tomatoes are grown in sienna colored soil, ripened on the vine in warm Mediterranean sunshine and hand-picked and packed the old-fashioned way.  Taste these tomatoes and rediscover a flavor delicately preserved in time and unparalleled today."  After tasting them, I would put them just below the "fake", domestically-grown San Marzano tomatoes you mentioned the other day.   And recently, I saw them in an upscale food market for close to $3.00 a can.  I felt like putting a sign "Don't buy these" on the shelf.  

I'm always looking for a good price for good (D.O.P.) San Marzano tomatoes, but I have yet to find them at bargain basement prices.

BTW, if you buy the 6-in-1s from the Escalon website (at escalon.net), the price per can for a 6-can purchase is $2.50.  Shipping charges for the 6 cans is $1.50, for a total of $16.50.

Peter

Offline Trinity

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Re:Canned tomatoes
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2004, 06:35:04 AM »
After years of trying different brands of canned tomatos I like Hunt's products. ESP. The ketchup and paste.
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Offline dinks

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Re: Canned tomatoes
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2005, 02:15:14 PM »
TRINITY:

  Good Afternoon I am a newby, & this is the first time I am posting. I hope I am doing it correctly. Read your post on tomato favorites. I am with you.  I stronly feel that toppings will vary & as well in quality, according to a persons individual tastes. I do not feel anyone needs to make their comments on which is better. WHICH IS BETTER IS WHAT WE THE CONSUMER LIKES. The most important feature in a pizza is the crust (Dough-make-up & Manner of baking). What are some of your thoughts on this subject???
      ~DINKS.

Offline Lars

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Re: Canned tomatoes
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2005, 08:44:42 PM »
I never buy Hunts products, but this goes back to a boycott from the 1970s.  I never buy Ketchup, but of the brands I've tasted, I like Heinz over Hunts.  But back to tomatoes...  This week, I opened a can of San Marzano whole tomatoes, which were not Italian, but instead grown domestically, and distributed through NJ.  I have to say they were the worst tomatoes I've bought and had less flavor than the bland fresh tomatoes in the grocery store.  I was making a sauce for gnocchi, and I had intensify the flavor by adding some tomato paste, and I use Amore brand in a tube, which is my favorite tomato paste.  I think it makes a huge difference which brand of canned tomatoes you use and appreciate all advice on this topic.  After paying attention to the advice of others, I have started buying better brands of tomatoes, but I am still doing some experimenting of my own.  I've also learned which people to listen to, as some people have tastes more similar to mine than others, and when you find such people, they can be a great help.  I also agree that what the consumer likes is all that matters, and there are several different types of consumers with different tastes.  As far as crust goes, I prefer an in-between crust that is somewhat thicker than NY style, which might as well be a cracker as far as I'm concerned.  That's not to say I don't like crackers, because I do, and I even make my own crackers, but I don't put pizza toppings on them.  My favorite local pizza restaurant makes a cracker-like NY crust, and I like it mainly because of the toppings instead of the crust they make.

Does this make any sense, or is it more confusing?

Offline DKM

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Re: Canned tomatoes
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2005, 10:06:38 AM »
It makes sense.

I have basicly switched to 6-in-1 for all by tomato sauce based recipes.

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Re: Canned tomatoes
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2005, 10:47:58 AM »
Quote
As far as crust goes, I prefer an in-between crust that is somewhat thicker than NY style, which might as well be a cracker as far as I'm concerned.  That's not to say I don't like crackers, because I do, and I even make my own crackers, but I don't put pizza toppings on them.  My favorite local pizza restaurant makes a cracker-like NY crust, and I like it mainly because of the toppings instead of the crust they make.
Just to comment on this part--a NY-style crust should never be a "cracker" :)  If you're finding that's the case at your local pizzeria, it's not a true NY crust--not uncommon, as I wish I had a nickel for every pizzeria that claims to sell a "NY pizza" that isn't ;D  A classic NY crust is foldable, slightly browned on the bottom with just a hint of crispiness, and a bit soft and chewy on the inside....crust is maybe 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.

Dave

Offline Lars

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Re: Canned tomatoes
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2005, 08:20:54 PM »
Well, I haven't had enough pizza in New York to know what it is supposed to be like, but your description sounds good.  I just made another batch of dough, using recipe suggestions from Peter, and I'll see how it turns out.  Already the dough has a better feel to it.

I do like the kind of pizza that you fold over, like Sophia Loren did in Houseboat with Cary Grant.  She was showing one of his sons how to eat pizza Neapolitan style.  Speaking of Sophia - I just watched Marriage Italian Style again, which I had taped from Bravo.  No pizza in that movie, but a fair amount of refrigerator raiding.  I'll try to see if I can get a 1/4" to 1/2" crust, as that is really what I like.  The pizza restaurant down the street uses a bagel dough, which is why it comes out cracker thin.  I do like their pizza - mainly because of the toppings - but I would prefer a crust a bit thicker!

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Re: Canned tomatoes
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2005, 08:52:07 PM »
Lars,

While I was in Massachusetts recently, I visited a local pizza operator with whom I became friendly from a prior visit. I noticed that he sold not only NY style pizzas but also Sicilian pizzas and calzones. I asked him whether he used the exact same dough for all three products, and his answer was yes. When I queried him further on how he made his Sicilian dough, which is much thicker than a NY style dough, he said that he simply doubled up on the dough to make it thicker.

Peter

Offline canadave

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Re: Canned tomatoes
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2005, 07:33:01 AM »
Quote
While I was in Massachusetts recently, I visited a local pizza operator with whom I became friendly from a prior visit. I noticed that he sold not only NY style pizzas but also Sicilian pizzas and calzones. I asked him whether he used the exact same dough for all three products, and his answer was yes. When I queried him further on how he made his Sicilian dough, which is much thicker than a NY style dough, he said that he simply doubled up on the dough to make it thicker.

Hmmmmm.  Interesting...I don't think that's quite how it should work, ideally :)  I've had many a Sicilian slice in NYC, and the taste of the dough is fairly different, even in the same pizzeria, from that of regular slices.  I'm hard-pressed to characterize the difference in words, but from what I recall, I'd say the Sicilian is airier--certainly higher, almost an inch high--and has a slightly more "sour" taste to it.  It's interesting...I've mentioned how I used to like Joe's Pizza slices...once they started to go downhill, I switched to eating their Sicilian slices, and found that I liked the taste better than the "new", less tasty, regular slices.

Dave