Author Topic: San Marzano Tomatoes - I don't get it.  (Read 8986 times)

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Offline telehort

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Re: San Marzano Tomatoes - I don't get it.
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2009, 06:26:32 PM »
I also agree with you Frankie..I am here in Sacramento and I use Stanilaus or Escalon.  I think the Escalon brand Bella Rossa with the Tuscan Herb tomato sauce is fantastic


Offline Frankie G

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Re: San Marzano Tomatoes - I don't get it.
« Reply #21 on: March 08, 2009, 01:19:54 PM »
Thanks for EVERYONE'S reply....  this one is fun.

As far as that pizzaiola sauce... isn't that a Stanislaus product??

http://www.stanislaus.com/products/real-italian-products/ready-products

I like the cacciatore sauce ... it's my favorite.

Frankie G

Offline Frankie G

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Re: San Marzano Tomatoes - I don't get it.
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2009, 12:54:42 PM »
to me... they're the best! ;D

Offline tdeane

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Re: San Marzano Tomatoes - I don't get it.
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2009, 03:50:13 PM »
to me... they're the best! ;D
I agree. The Stanislaus distributor came by recently and gave me a case of their Trattoria sauce to try. They knew I wouldn't use it in the restaurant but gave it to me anyway. Really nice guys and great service. I brought it home and gave it to my in-laws. It was definitely the best canned pasta sauce I have ever had. It was just ground tomatoes, onions, fresh basil, salt, garlic and extra virgin olive oil. I may be missing a couple of ingredients, but it was better than most restaurant sauces i have had. They are a great company.

Offline cranky

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Re: San Marzano Tomatoes - I don't get it.
« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2009, 01:08:19 AM »
There are two ways tomatoes are prepared for commercial canning, hot break and cold break.  With hot break the tomatoes are introduced to a 180 degree f, bath and 150 in cold.  The difference is the hot break destroys pectinase, an enzyme that destroys natural pectin present in the tomato.   Pectin is a thickener.  It is what makes fruit jell, or jelly.  With the pectinase destroyed tomatoes can be concentrated to higher concentrations.  Tomato sauces are measured in brix (thickness) as opposed to percentage of solids.   Brix are measured by doing what is called a slump test.  Concentrated tomatoes are put in a container kind of like a sleeve and when a door is opened on the bottom the contents run out on a table, slump.  The distance they slump determines the thickness or brix.   So you could have different levels of tomato solids in a paste or sauce of certain brix or thickness. 

Sauce is about 8 to 10 degrees brix, puree higher and paste can be about 30 brix , made from hot break tomatoes.  A 50 brix cold break tomato would be the same thickness as 30 hot break.  The level or percent of tomato solids in a can, not thickness, determines how tomatoey a sauce tastes.  Tomato sauces and pastes are made from hot break and tomato juice is made from cold break where the pectinase breaks down the pectin.  The juice solids are concentrated very high at harvest time and stored and water is added back at the time of canning.  The purpose is saving money.   Tomato concentrate, or the bulk of it is stored in aseptically packed gigantic black bladders that sit outside in lots.  Sometimes you can see them on the back of flatbed trailers going down the highway.  The higher quality solids are stored in drums at 33 degfrees f.   This is much more costly, but you get what you pay for.  The better brands (Campbells juice for example) do not store in plastic bladders at ambient temps, but store in drums under refrigeration. 

The best sauce brands do not repack from paste, but go straight into the cans from sauce.  This is costlier.  So if a label does not say paste you are getting a better can of sauce.

Some people don't like the idea that citric acid is added to the can.  The same people will open a can of tomatoes and add vinegar or lemon juice.  This is silly.  Citric or lemon juice or vinegar do the same thing, add some crispness to the taste.  It brings out flavor.  It is better to introduce it to the can, because the product will have longer shelf life.

I grow many varieties of tomatoes and have for years.  The pear tomato or San Marzano is prized, especially by commercial packers, because it is meatier.  That means it has less water to drive off when making a sauce.  That saves money.  This has nothing to do with flavor.  There are much better tasting varieties.   I have grown them all and the pear tomatoes are not tasty.  The variety that tastes best depends on location and climate.  I know what tastes best where I live, but that would change from location to location and soil to soil type.   Soil amendments also effect flavor greatly.  Different tomato varieties taste better in certain recipes.   There is no comparison to the tomatoes grown at home and picked by hand to the commercial brands available, if you know how to handle them in the kitchen.   

The reason Dom Pepino is a good product is it is made from Jersey tomatoes.  New Jersey has the best tasting tomatoes in the world.  I do not live there, so I am not prejudiced.  I live on the west coast, but tomatoes are a hobby.  The Scalfani family, last I checked, owns the plant that produces Dom Pepino and has since the 1940s or longer.  They know what they are doing.  Their equipment is ancient compared to modern evaporators.  They can other tomato products or labels there, but I think it is from tomato solids shipped in.

Freezing tomato is a good idea.  Canning is one option.  If I can tomato I reduce the volume by half, double the solids.  You can can tomato in beer bottles.  It costs next to nothing and works well.  Don't add anything, but some salt.  Add the spices later.   

While citric acid is not a problem, many packers use calcium chloride.  This harms flavor.     


 

Online JConk007

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Re: San Marzano Tomatoes - I don't get it.
« Reply #25 on: April 27, 2009, 09:40:44 PM »
Heres my 2 tomatoes on this subject
SOME sanmarzanos have no to little flavor, some are ok and most DOP certified are not worth the money. Thats just my opinion The cento DOPs nothing, the lavelle DOP even less shown here now the rega much fresher nice, bright, flavor. I did blind taste test as well as 3 others and no one picked the lavelle? I have about 4 others to try from fairway keepon tryin! :P
john
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