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Nov 18, 2007 10:06 AM

Canned Israeli tomatoes in GTA

I've been to Israel several times and not only do I love it there, but the food is spectacular. If any of you are familiar with shakshuka, you'll appreciate this. I had some in Israel, and I can't stop thinking about it. So I thought what every true foodie would think... If I make some shakshuka (recipes are welcome), shouldn't I use Israeli tomatoes? I'm not looking for fresh, but canned... The Italians are known for their San Marzano tomatoes. Does anyone know of a very good canned Israeli brand, and where may I purchase it in the GTA? Are they expensive? I'm willing to go to the burbs if necessary. Toda!

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  1. Don't know of any specific brands of good canned tomatoes but try Nasr Foods at Lawrence and Warden

    6 Replies
    1. re: Finnegan

      I agree, Nasr has an amazing selection of foods from the entire Mediterranean (except fresh fish!) on up to the Balkans.

      1. re: jayt90

        I have no idea if the no-frills at Bathurst and Wilson sells the canned tomatoes, but they have isles of Israeli products, so if anyone would, it would be this store.
        I went there last week because someone here said that they carry Breakstone Cottage Cheese, and they had Breakstone products,... but not the cheese.
        Still, it was fun .

        1. re: erly

          The No Frills at Bathurst/Centre in Thornhill also has a lot of kosher/Israeli stuff (1054 Centre St., (905) 508-4077)

          So does the Clark Ave Sobeys. I can't swear that either has the tomatoes but if anyone does, they would...

          1. re: fleisch

            The Dominion at Bathurst & Lawrence has a large kosher food section. There's also Kosher City on Bathurst.

        2. re: jayt90

          I'm not sure, but I would guess that Nasr does not carry products imported from Israel. I COULD BE WRONG, so it may be wise to call and ask. If they do, I would be very pleasantly surprised.

          1. re: acd123

            I've never seen any Israeli products there. They are catering to a very different market, despite some culinary overlap.

      2. I just posted a Shakshuka recipe on the Home Cooking Board. It seems like a fairly elaborate version, but it looks like a really good one. I haven't tried it yet, so let me know how it turns out! Shakshuka one of my favourite meals when I'm in Israel (along with many others). I particularly like the one at Pinati in Jerusalem, near the intersection of King George and Jaffa.

        7 Replies
        1. re: acd123

          The owner is an christian arab from Israel...was there last week and he had canned pickles from Israel.

          1. re: Finnegan

            I didn't know that. I've shopped at Nasr (and Arz) many time. I should have looked for the Kfar Darom and Kvutzat Yavneh olives and pickles, but I usually just head for the olive bar (I can't get enough of those pickled turnips!!!!!) and the pistachios.

            Also, I was surprised to hear the owner of Burger Shack speaking hebrew the other day. I thought he was Lebanese, but it turns out he's a christian arab from Israel too.

          2. re: acd123

            Was it the recipe from the New York Times?

            1. re: Moimoi

              Yes. I posted it the other day on the Home Cooking board. Here is the link:


              Looking forward to hearing how it turns out. And if you find somewhere in Toronto for great shakshuka, please let me know.

              1. re: acd123

                Okay, made the recipe tonight... Suddenly found myself wondering how close it was to the version I had in Israel, because suddenly I found that I couldn't remember... but regardless, it was delicious. I did make some minor modifications, but stuck pretty close to the instructions. Thank you. :-)

                1. re: Moimoi

                  You've motivated me to make that Shakshuka recipe for brunch this weekend. I think I may add some Harissa du Cap Bon for heat.

                  There is a place in Jaffa, Dr. Shakshuka, that is supposed to have the best shakshuka in the world. I've got to get there sometime.

                  1. re: acd123

                    Mine turned out really nice, but nothing like eating it in Israel. Not sure when I'll be back there, but I'm noting your reco for the next time.

          3. I don't think this quest is necessary. Any good brand of tomatoes should do just fine. My favourite brand has long been Muir Glen organic, but I've heard that these once widely available tomatoes are being withdrawn from Canada over a French labelling dispute.

            Israeli tomatoes can be very good, but they aren't a special variety that I know of. The fresh ones we sometimes get here are typically just the normal hothouse varieties that survive long shipping.

            4 Replies
            1. re: embee

              Muir Glen is still in my Loblaws, so I should get some. They also have Thomas Utopia organic, which is grown by Kerr Farms near Chatham, and excellent at $1.89

              1. re: embee

                It's funny, but as I was reading your post, I had to chuckle to myself. You're probably right about it not being necessary (Is this my mother writing this post?), but I got kind of sentimental about using product from the country where I first sampled the recipe. Haven't had much luck anyway in the way of finding any canned israeli tomato products. I did try No Frills at Wilson/Bathurst - nothing. Will still try Dominion @ Lawrence/Bathurst just for fun. Thanks.

                1. re: embee

                  Also see my earlier note two down from this one... By the way, just discovered Unico San-Marzano-TYPE tomatoes. Large 28 oz can for 99ยข at No Frills. Ya can't beat that! Would still like to see if there's a difference if I do find those Israeli tomatoes. p.s. in the recipe recommended, I used smoked paprika instead of sweet - didn't have sweet.

                  1. re: Moimoi

                    I saw these at my Loblaws, but I have to wonder...they say they are "San Marzano type" which worries me. Plus they have salt in them, and I usually prefer buying unsalted Italian tomatoes and then adding my own salt. Have you tired them yet? How are they?

                2. Try Sababa at Yonge & Steeles. On Steeles north side west about 3-4 blocks west of Yonge. I'm not positive that they would have what you're looking for but they do have quite a variety of canned vegetables.
                  And if nothing else, it's worth the trip just for their Turkish coffee.