We don't buy a lot of canned tomatoes in our home. Still I was intrigued by the Sara Bonisteel article from the New York Times that was reprinted in today's Union Tribune,The best canned tomatoes. They blind tested a dozen different 28 oz. cans of tomatoes. The cans ranged in price from a dollar to seven dollars. The tomatoes were judged and evaluated by seven judges.
Target's Market Pantry
The results were surprising. The California grown tomatoes did great, the Italian varieties, not so good. The second most favorite can came from Target. The can costs a buck. Pleasing shape, forward, bright and fresh. We are going to try them.
I like some of the descriptions of the tomatoes.
Organico Bello - Tomatoes grown in southern Italy and packed in purée. "These tomatoes were sour and I detected the smell you get when you're walking in the woods and catch a whiff of the bones of a decaying animal." Ouch. Whoops. Bella Terra Organic Italian - Grown in San Marzano region. "Something was off with these tomatoes. A flavor that should not exist in nature." As in otherworldly bad. Whole Foods 365 - Grown in California. "Flat, bland and poorly peeled, these were 'a cardboard cutout of a tomato.'" Don't think they will be using that in the advertising. The winner was another California canned tomato, albeit with an Italian name, Bianco d'Napoli. The judges found it to have the best acid sweet balance and it also had basil added to it which they liked. Blind taste tests are good. The rubber meets the road. For years they said that southern California Pinot Noir sucked. Then a local friend of mine won the large and blind Sharpshooter shootout against about a hundred expensive northern and central California and Oregon pinots. Showed everybody. Trust your own taste.