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Apr 3, 2008 08:31 AM

Anyone tried the Cento imported San Marzanos?

I'm bummed that Costco stopped selling the big cans of my favorite Nina San Marzano tomatoes. They've been replaced by the big cans of Cento imported plum tomatoes. Anyone ever tried them?

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  1. I find Cento's tomatoes very tinny tasting. Do they have "real" San Marzano's though?

    2 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      Actually Ruth these are a slightly different looking can and say imported from Italy. I realize regular Cento products are from the US but this is a version canned in Italy and imported by Cento.

      1. re: Den

        Thanks - that's good to know - my comment was about U.S. ones - I'll have to keep an eye out for these other ones.

    2. I bought Cento tomatoes at Surfas. I also don't much like the taste, and find them mushy. Not a brand I will buy again.

      2 Replies
      1. re: mnosyne

        Yup, not a fan of Centos... This is my favorite brand:

        I get them the cheapest at Bristol Farms


        1. re: Dommy

          I use those a lot as my default tomato - interestingly though, they are from the US, not Italy. There are a couple of Italian DOP Marzono brands that I like, but are pricier.

      2. CI did a tasting about imported plum tomatoes they determined that the average American brand was better than the imported. ( I think they liked Hunt's). It turns out that imported ones are packed in sauce for tariff reasons (if in juice they are fruit and charged higher taxes). The sauce dulls the taste whereas the American ones were fresher, brighter, and there were more per can. I did an independent taste using my Cento italian san marzano's and agreed.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Super Salad

          I find the Centos tomatoes to be pretty flavorless and a little bitter. Frankly, I've bought better-tasting ones from the 99ยข store, though these were California-grown. For consistent ly good quality at a reasonable price, my default brand has always (so far) been Progresso. For diced tomatoes I go for Hunt's.

          1. re: Will Owen

            The Cento DOP San Marzanos have bene fine in my experience, but there is always great variability across and within brands. The LaValle line I find very dependable, and good. I also long for the day when the tomatoes were always packed in juice alone--I'd drink the juice it was so sweet and good. Some still are, but are scarce, and I usually separate fruit from puree before using.