#1  
Old 03-21-2005, 05:08 AM
james's Avatar
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Location: Pebble Beach, CA
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Default Italian San Marzano tomatoes

Hello all!

I'm trying different varieties of tomato and just came across the
Precious Tuscan. Bionaturae (www.bionaturae.com) sells it. It's
apparently an heirloom variety that they're trying to bring
back:"Rediscover the Precious Tuscan Tomato!" says the label.

I found it to be very low in acid, like a San Marzano. It has
a fruity sweetness that does not appeal to my taste and tended to
disappear on a pizza. I used it straight from the can - no cooking, no
added salt, no spices... so it might improve with preparation. I don't
think I'll use it againg but if you're looking for something unusual
and different give it a try.

I also got several brands of San Marzanos to try. They're great but
one in particular - Carmelina brand - is a scam (!). 'E... San Marzano'
says the headline. When I got home I saw that the fine print says the
actual ingredients are just generic peeled italian tomatoes.

Mike Dash
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  #2  
Old 03-21-2005, 05:09 AM
james's Avatar
Brick Oven Merchant
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pebble Beach, CA
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Hi Mike,
I'm writing as a member of fornobravo forum and Iam italian.

Since (maybe) I should move to San Diego/Tijuana (but on Mexico side) border to open a small pizza place, let me ask if you have informations about GOOD pizza tomatoes and EXTRA V. OIL that are imported in USA from Italy. I think that you are the right person if you like to try many tastes.
Actually one of the most difficult things to do is to find good brand products in USA because there are many counterfeits. I know that maybe you think that it is easier to ask directly in Italy, but I already tried this way and it's a big headache.
Moreover I already have been in USA 5 years ago and I had similar problems since I was just for few months, with no car and it is quite impossibile to go around and ask. The italian restaurants didn't want to say, I had no knowledge of the San Diego area, and so i LOST lot of time going around as an idiot back and fort. In Italy if you call directly the brands, they LOSE your time because they say that have no time to check distributors since for a small pizza business they are not interested, or they put at the telephone and you wait an hour and who answer doesn't even know how to find the nearest distributor or they send you to order in Canada!

Sorry for the long email, anyway any good brands and distributor that you can have for pizza it's really welcome.

Thanks from Wally the italian. If I can help with any recipes or somethng else let me know.
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  #3  
Old 03-21-2005, 05:13 AM
Apprentice
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 239
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Hi Mike,

Are you using a food mill or a couple of forks to mash you tomatoes?
I've seen both. How blended do you like your sauce?

I've experimented with a stick blender, but you lose too much of the
texture that way.

James
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  #4  
Old 03-21-2005, 05:18 AM
Apprentice
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 239
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i have not found what i consider to be a really perfect pizza tomato
yet. but i found two brands of Pomodoro San Marzano tomatoes:

- Strianese brand: www.strianeseconserve.com
- Cento brand: www.cento.com

i got both of them at PFI: www.amasci.com/pfi/

as for the Precious Tuscan tomato, i don't like it but maybe you will.
it comes from www.bionaturae.com and is imported into the U.S. by
Euro-USA Trading Company in North Franklin, CT.

i hope that helps! and if you find some other importers i'd like to
hear about them.

Mike Dash
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  #5  
Old 03-21-2005, 05:18 AM
Apprentice
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 239
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i prefer mashing the tomatoes with a fork... though for a really good
taste test i put it in a blender (!) so the texture will be really
uniform. that way i know that any differences i pick up are just from
the flavor, not from the texture.

and so far, i have been staying away from prepared sauces. for
example, muir glen makes great tomato products but i don't like their
pizza sauce ("with extra-virgin olive oil and a delectable combination
of seven herbs and spices"). prepared sauces are generally too
heavy-flavored and completely overpower anything like a naples-style
pizza; i think they are made for deep-dish pizzas with a lot of meat
and cheese. have you found a good prepared sauce?

Mike
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