Best Canned Tomato Brand

Going through a heavy Audrey Hepburn nostalgia phase here, gonna try her pasta sauce recipe. You can use either fresh or canned tomatoes. I can’t stand the thought of going to the trouble of peeling not great store bought tomatoes (garden fresh is a different issue), so what do people here like? I usually buy whatever’s cheapest at Fairway. I’m thinking that TJ’s has good stuff.

Consistently Redpack (sometimes sold as Red Gold) has been voted #1 by Consumer Reports, Epicurious, and several other groups for decades. I use them more than most other brands and I tend to agree. I think I may put Cento as my #2. I also like Tuttorosso. I don’t like Muir Glenn. Totally inconsistent, and metallic tasting.


Cento or Tuttarosso at my house. Publix almost always has a special on one or the other.

I do love the fire roasted ones, though… Hunts makes one that’s much cheaper than Muir Glen.

Agree w/you about Muir Glen. I bought them on the recommendation of some food writer, forget who, and was underwhelmed.

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A friend who is an obsessive pizza baker once did an expansive taste test and named Sclafani the best. I haven’t found it in Houston but it is available on Amazon for a price.

Uh, like all my life. She has recipes???

Yes, tons of them.

It seems like her two sons are in competition on the internet to give mum’s recipes.

The younger son, Andrea Dotti, came out with a very nice book called Audrey at Home, which is a combination of memoir and recipes.

The pasta sauce in Andrea’s book calls for garden fresh tomatoes, but I don’t have that so I will use canned.

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My favorite, when I can find it, is LaValle. But make sure to get the green DOP can and not the yellow…which isn’t all that bad really, if that’s all you can find.

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The La Valle DOP are excellent. Very sweet and tender. Any DOP tomatoes from the San Nocerino region are wonderful. Cento certified are also very good. Avoid any that have a lot of calcium chloride, such as the San Marzano brand in the white, red and green can. They can be tough and don’t soften in cooking.

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I like Redpack. It’s a very good product and a very green & progressive company. I mostly use Sclafani which, although made by B&G Foods, I think is mostly a local brand. Sclafani labeled tomatoes are 100% New Jersey tomatoes.

I forgot to add Alessi DOP. They are also excellent. And, if you are near a Wegman’s, their house DOP are also excellent.

What is a DOP tomato?

Just what are DOP tomatoes? Good question. The short answer? DOP stands for the Italian phrase Denominazione d’ Origine Protetta (roughly, “protected designation of origin”).

It’s a certification from the Italian government that the tomatoes are San Marzano variety, grown in the San Marzano region of Italy and canned according to a particular process. Lots of people don’t find them any better than other tomatoes. I happen to find them consistently tender and sweet so I use them for my pasta sauce. For soups and other dishes where tomatoes aren’t front and center, I’m not as particular.

Me too. Sometimes they have it in a local Italian market here.

I used to get it at Fairway most of the time, but I do spot the yellow label cans in regular supermarkets occasionally too.

I also wanted to send some to my sister in Calif, and discovered Amazon has it for sale…good for special occasions anyway, they’re not cheap with the shipping costs added.

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Another good one is Vantia. And they make a wonderful plain tomato sauce, if you can find it.

I use crushed/ground tomatoes. I like Stanislaus Tomato Magic the best but they are sold mostly in #10 institutional cans to restaurants. I get them @ Restaurant Depot. If I don’t have those I use Tuttorosso crushed in the blue can, not the cheaper green can. If you prefer to use whole peeled Nina are pretty good but I’m still looking for a great San Marzano brand of whole peeled. I’ve tried at least fifty over the years. The best tomato product I ever had was San Marzano Cento Passata but it’s hard to find. Be careful they also make a non- San Marzano variety.

In my experience, crushed is almost like tomato sauce.

What about Trader Joe’s? They seem to have a few different brands - any favorites?