Author Topic: Question for scott r  (Read 2151 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Sacs

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 38
  • Age: 43
  • Location: Syracuse, NY
  • I Love Pizza!
Question for scott r
« on: July 01, 2007, 11:47:35 AM »
I finally found cento tomatoes at a local Italian food store and bought a case. They've made a huge difference to my pizzas. You wrote somewhere on this forum that they changed producers? Are they still worth buying? I can't find any of the California tomatoes here in Syracuse, but this same store sells a bunch of different San Marazano brands. Are there any you recommend? By the way, I've always used Gustosella buffalo mozz, and BelGioioso regular mozz. I recently found fresh mozz made by Antonio out of New Jersey. Have you ever tried it? The lady at the store said it is much better than BelGioioso. Thanks Scott. Your recommendations have saved me hours of trial and error! 


Offline scott r

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3060
  • Age: 43
  • Location: boston
  • I Love Pizzafreaks!
Re: Question for scott r
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2007, 02:09:50 PM »
sacs, I am so glad I have been able to help you.   Sometimes I wonder if people here are annoyed by my opinionated attitudes towards certain pizzerias/brands/etc, and your post makes me feel good! 

Up until a few months ago Cento had what I would consider to be the absolute best retail tomatoes sold in my area.  It was not the top of the line San Marzano tomatoes, but the Italian whole peeled tomatoes that were so good.  The old cans that I love have a code stamped on top that says ROA 1 PELATI.  That code tells you who the packer was.  The new cans have a different code on them, and are definitely not as good as the old ones.  Still, Cento is a quality brand and the new products are still far superior to most of what you can find in your grocery store.  I have to check, but the new italian whole peeled seem very similar to the old Cento San Marzano's, so it could be that they are now buying all their Italian tomatoes from the same packing plant that once sold them their San Marzano's.   I guess the answer to your question "are they still worth buying" would be yes, but they are not  quite as thick or tasty as they once were.  They are now more acidic.

This brings up an interesting point which is that many canned tomatoes I see are actually the same tomato with different labels on them.  The most common can code I see is STR, which stands for the Strianese packing plant.  Sometimes the tomatoes actually have Strianese label on them, but many other product names and brands can be on these same cans of tomatoes.  I would love to find out who ROA is, and if any other companies bring their products in to the USA.  If we can figure out who this is it is possible that they sell the exact same amazing Italian tomatoes that Cento once used.

I have a feeling your Jersey made mozzarella will outperform the Bel Gioioso.  I love the flavor of the BG, but the texture never seems right to me.  The best thing you can use would probably be the buffalo mozzarella, but you have to get it when it is fresh, and that is very hard to do here in the US.  The only brand of buffalo mozzarella that I don't like is what is sold at my local whole foods called Buffalus, or the American brands made from Buffalo in Vermont or California.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2007, 02:12:52 PM by scott r »

Offline Sacs

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 38
  • Age: 43
  • Location: Syracuse, NY
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Question for scott r
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2007, 03:07:16 PM »
I bought the Cento San Marzanos this week and the code on top of the can starts with RND1. They're still better than the Cora and Flora that I've been using for the same price. Its the first tomato I've used that actually makes a big difference in the taste of the pizza. The site for the Antonio cheese is http://antoniomozzarella.com.  As far as being annoyed by your opinions- not a chance!! I make it a point to always look for your posts. Maybe because I agree with a lot of what you post (love of Grimaldi's, Luzzo's, etc.), but probably because I appreciate the amount of time you've invested into perfecting your pizza.

By the way, the Italian import store I go to carries a bunch of different imported San Marzano tomatoes. Any that you would recommend looking for? Thanks again.

Offline scott r

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3060
  • Age: 43
  • Location: boston
  • I Love Pizzafreaks!
Re: Question for scott r
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2007, 03:23:26 PM »
Although the La Bella have a low yield of usable product per can, they are one of the best tasting brands I have found.

Let me know what else you can find.

Offline Sacs

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 38
  • Age: 43
  • Location: Syracuse, NY
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Question for scott r
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2007, 06:42:14 PM »
I just picked up a can of the La Bella tomatoes for next weekend. I think they were $2.39/can. They also had Bellino, Marinella, Sclafani, Vantia, and Coluccio. Anything ring a bell?

Offline scott r

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3060
  • Age: 43
  • Location: boston
  • I Love Pizzafreaks!
Re: Question for scott r
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2007, 07:01:02 PM »
Yes, I have tried them all but the Bellino.
I think you will really like the La Bella. 

I could make suggestions, but things have probably changed with this years crop.  I haven't had any of these in at least a year, maybe more.   I suggest buying them all.  Put them one at a time in your blender, then strain out the water so that they are all hopefully the same (fairly thick) consistency. You will be surprised at how much yield you get from some vs. others.  Try to adjust salt levels so they are all the same (they will all need salt, just some more than others).  Then it's time to do a taste test and report your findings to us!

Do me a favor and see if ROA is the code on any of these brands.

THANKS!


Offline Sacs

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 38
  • Age: 43
  • Location: Syracuse, NY
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Question for scott r
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2007, 11:29:22 AM »
I bought one of every brand of tomatoes they carry. They had 6 brands of San Marzano tomatoes: Coluccio, Gerardo Di Nola, Flora, Cento, Vanitia, and La Bella. There were also 5 brands of regular Italian peeled tomatoes: Cento, Sclafani, Montena Taranto, Marinella, and Merro. The only one with the ROA 1 stamp is the Cento's. I asked the owner (I believe he is from Italy) which he thought were best. He said the La Bella's are very good, but the Coluccio's and Gerardo Di Nola are the best. I'm no tomato expert, but I'll probably try one or two a week to see how they compare.

I'm trying to talk my wife into going to NYC this summer. I've been craving Luzzo's and Grimaldi's. I really want to try Il Brigante, Da Ciro and maybe even A Mano to see how they compare.


 

pizzapan