I’ve had that one. Mezzetta’s sauces are pretty good. Years ago they had wine in them, but I think they’re better now without that. Mezzetta seems to fiddle with their recipes or maybe it’s just the labeling they fiddle with. My favorite Mezzetta sauce was one called Italian Plum Tomato Delicate Marinara that came in a smaller jar than their other sauces. I don’t see that one in their product line up anymore, but maybe it’s this one now.
I don’t usually like truffle in jarred pasta sauces, but I even liked Mezzetta’s Truffle, Porcini, & Cream Marinara.
It used to be Rao’s, but since I tried Paesana, I rarely buy anything else. I’ll try Mezzetta if I ever see it.
Bringing up Costco makes me wonder how it is that Rao’s can source enough ripe tomatoes year round to make enough sauce to feed the country through Costco that’s consistently “better” than their competitors. Is there not variation in the harvest quality from year to year? Is tomato sauce for the year all generated and bottled in the summer? Does Rao’s have a corner on the best tomatoes? Is it so easy for them to scale up their quality product to feed the masses because of a superior recipe alone? It doesn’t seem they have a superior proprietary process or access to better starting materials. How much of the adoration is in the name brand? I’d like to see someone like serious eats do a large scale masked taste test. Or I can just do that with my family members. We’ve done this not long ago with coffee makers, which proved effective.
It’s not a direct answer to your question but this article sheds some light on Rao’s as a brand and a business. I’d think that getting enough good quality tomatoes isn’t as much of an issue if you can afford to pay for them. From the day I first used Rao’s my wife has said she prefers it over any other jarred sauce.
I agree Rao’s is preferable to many sauces at regular grocery stores. I have been enjoying tryint the sauces sold at Eataly. I’ve determined I don’t like mushroom or truffle -flavoured sauces, so I stick to Marinara, Arabbiata, Sicilian (with olives), Tomato Basil or Vodka, occasionally Norma.
I haven’t been too scientific with my ratings, but the sauces at Eataly (Toronto) that I’ve bought have been at the same level as Rao’s. Nanu, Lidia’s off the top of my head.
I think it is just the labeling. The jar I posted the photo of used to be “Napa Valley Homemade”… now it is labeled “Family Recipes”. Exact same stuff.
Sorry. Here’s the article about the company that makes Rao’s.
I tried this La Molisana Arrabbiata tonight. We liked it. I’d say 8.5/10. Around $5 Cdn for a 12 ounce jar.
Accidentally deleted my post my screen muat be really sensitive.
So here goes, I have a few of jars of this Marinara on hand:
OK, I’m probably done with Rao’s in 3Q '22 then. Did the same when Elysian sold to InBev.
I tried Rao’s pasta sauce. It was good . But tasted to much like mine . Will I buy it again. Probably not . Though good
I wasn’t wowed
I haven’t tried Rao’s and find it over priced. the imported one from Italy pictured above is priced much more reasonably.
There is another one I think that it is Sicilian that we really like as well.
I don’t remember the name it might have started with a T ?
Well that’s a pity. Will have to wait and see if product quality suffers.
That’s the point, no? If I can buy something that tastes as good or better than what I can make myself, that’s a win in my book.
It was simply a can of plum tomatoes with a couple of additional ingredients. Almost nine dollars compared to 5 . And just as easy as opening a jar .
Like others here, I find Rao’s overrated (and overpriced for what you get).
Personally, I prefer Il Mulino, pricey but worth it.
Il Mulino is pretty good, a couple of bucks more expensive than Rao’s in nyc.
They used to have a pretty hexagonal bottle when they started — I saved them because my immersion blender fits into the wide mouth
But now I’m curious about the Carbone sauce that popped up when I looked up the Il Mulino price.
I still think Rao’s is one of the best sauces that is widely available, but I do think Rao’s is living a little bit on the reputation they built up when there weren’t many good sauces that were widely available. I buy the 2-pack of Rao’s marinara from Sam’s Club. It’s less than $10, although if you’re not paying attention, you might not notice that the jars are only 22 ounces instead of the 24 ounce jars that are sold elsewhere. Still, less than $5/jar for Rao’s is pretty good. I also like Rao’s Tomato Basil sauce and Rao’s Vodka sauce, but alas, Sam’s only carries the marinara. I’ve been less satisfied with the other varieties of Rao’s sauces I’ve had.
A fairly inexpensive brand when it’s on sale that I like is O Organics. It’s a Safeway store brand, and even at regular prices it’s about $5/ jar here. IMO, best of that brand are vodka, marinara, and tomato basil (basil flavor is almost too strong.)
Just note that the sale occurred in 2017.