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San Marzano tomatoes [MSP]

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elle.eats Oct 26, 2009 10:03 AM

I admit it, I have an obsession with San Marzano tomatoes. They are much too expensive for regular use, but sometimes I can't help myself. Recently my regular grocery store (Cub- Roseville) stopped carrying them. I have checked Whole Foods and I thought I recalled seeing them at Lunds once upon a time, but I'm not sure if they're still there. Does anyone know where, in or around St. Paul, I might find these?

Thanks!

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    diearzte2 RE: elle.eats Oct 26, 2009 10:12 AM

    I know they are at the Lunds in NE Minneapolis, probably worth checking out.

    1 Reply
    1. re: diearzte2
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      elle.eats RE: diearzte2 Oct 26, 2009 10:28 AM

      Thanks - I plan on stocking up!

    2. Michael Florey RE: elle.eats Oct 26, 2009 11:52 AM

      Kowalskis on Grand Ave. stocks 2 brands of SM's, and the Cheese shop at Grand and Snelling has 1 brand.

      The very best place to get them, though, is at on-line retailer gustiamo.com. They sell the best I've ever had.

      After you get some, go to the NY Times website and get the recipe for Halibut with San Marzano's and Fennel. (I think they call it a soup, but it really isn't). A truly great recipe.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Michael Florey
        BigSal RE: Michael Florey Oct 26, 2009 06:51 PM

        I also get my tomatoes at Gustiamo.com. The Miracle of San Gennaro tomatoes. But locally, you can also find San Marzanos at Cosetta's and I suspect Broder's and Buon Giorno too. Not sure how the prices are compared to the supermarket.

        1. re: BigSal
          Michael Florey RE: BigSal Oct 27, 2009 10:44 AM

          The "Fantasia" tomatoes at Gustiamo are also incredible. Not sure they are technically SM's, but they are every bit as good and generally the same size/shape. (Also as a bonus you get a picture on the label of a gal with her skirt blowing up. Only the Italians would put cheesecake on a can of tomatoes.)

          1. re: BigSal
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            elle.eats RE: BigSal Oct 27, 2009 06:43 PM

            This is sort of unrelated, but I don't suppose either of you have tried the tuna from Gustiamo? I love Nicoise salad, but many of the recipes call for what I would call "fancy" tuna in olive oil. I can't recall the brands that are recommended, but I have really only ever encountered the typical supermarket varieties. I'd rather not spend an arm and a leg on tuna for one salad? Does anyone know of any decent and semi-affordable canned tuna options? I suppose I really should add this as a separate post....

            Thanks for all the helpful comments!

            1. re: elle.eats
              Michael Florey RE: elle.eats Oct 28, 2009 09:16 AM

              The best brands are line-caught Mediterranean tuna from Portugal, Spain or Italy. As do Mar, Ortiz, Serrat and Flott are what I usually get. Tuna has become way over-fished, and the good canned stuff is pretty pricey. Even the American stuff at Whole Foods is expensive. I think the answer is just spend the money. I made a Nicoise with everything from the St. Paul Farmers Market this summer. Simply incredible. I bought a small tuna steak at Coastal and pan seared it. (My wife likes fresh better than canned. I actually like the canned stuff.)

              1. re: Michael Florey
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                elle.eats RE: Michael Florey Oct 28, 2009 12:01 PM

                I also prefer the canned tuna - at least in Nicoise salad. Sigh. I guess it's probably worth the extra dough. I can't keep acquiring expensive food habits like this - I'll go broke :)

                1. re: elle.eats
                  Michael Florey RE: elle.eats Oct 28, 2009 02:23 PM

                  Then I won't even mention my Champagne addiction . . ..

              2. re: elle.eats
                MSPD RE: elle.eats Oct 30, 2009 07:46 AM

                I was at Buon Giorno yesterday and they have a couple brands of San Marzano tomatoes. They also have a few options for canned tuna (I noticed while looking for anchovies) -- tiny cans, I can't imagine they were very expensive.

                Bills Imported Foods on Lake has all kinds of canned fish...probably the largest selection I recall seeing anywhere. I don't know if they have the tomatoes though.

            2. re: Michael Florey
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              elle.eats RE: Michael Florey Oct 27, 2009 06:33 PM

              Thanks! I can't believe I missed the ones at Kowalskis. I haven't been to the cheese shop you mention, but I have been meaning to check it out.

            3. jfood RE: elle.eats Oct 27, 2009 05:30 PM

              be aware that there is a brand in the white can (you can actually see the can on the Giada shows) that state they are san marzano, but somehow they are grown in california (jfood must have missed california taking a flight to italy), In a side by side comparison three weeks ago jfood can attest that the white can san marzano are a pale imitation of those that are grown in italy.

              so read the can to make sure you are getting what you pay for.

              3 Replies
              1. re: jfood
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                elle.eats RE: jfood Oct 27, 2009 06:36 PM

                I've never even seen the ones in the white can. I will have to get out more :)

                1. re: elle.eats
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                  faith RE: elle.eats Oct 27, 2009 06:55 PM

                  I was shocked in a good way to find, at Cub, an organic brand of San Marzanos, from Italy, with a pretty yellow and red label, for a lower price than some of the non-organic brands! And they were good quality... this was the Rockford Rd Cub in Plymouth but likely would be at other Cubs....

                  1. re: faith
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                    elle.eats RE: faith Oct 28, 2009 12:03 PM

                    That might be the brand I used to get at the Roseville Cub...until I came in one day and was horrified to find it gone! I didn't think that particular version was too expensive either...and was very yummy!

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                stepawayfromthetable RE: elle.eats Oct 28, 2009 09:51 PM

                I have never tried these consciously, although I have an old can I've used as a planter for years...so I must have...
                are they that exciting? I saw them at the Midway Cub. I am going to grab a can for the pantry and when I get around to eating them, I will send in my verdict. I just moved to the Twin Cities and spent the beginning of this month canning tomatoes from the farmers market. $7 a basket. a big basket. I made sauce, whole, salsa and stewed. This is indeed the Grain Belt. Does anyone have a favorite salsa recipe? Thanks!

                1 Reply
                1. re: stepawayfromthetable
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                  elle.eats RE: stepawayfromthetable Nov 7, 2009 08:09 PM

                  Wow - you are way more industrious than me! I really do think the tomatoes make all the difference. I make the same pasta sauce recipe every couple weeks and one day I used San Marzano tomatoes and it tasted like a completely different recipe - much more flavorful.

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                  eatyourpeas RE: elle.eats Oct 29, 2009 10:03 PM

                  I have bought some at the St Paul cheese's sister store in Minneapolis. They carry the DOP kind so I suspect you should find those in St Paul as well.

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