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Jan 18, 2011 07:39 AM

Don't buy the 365 brand canned tomatoes from whole foods!

They are awful! I tried both the organic and the regular, and they were the worst canned tomatoes I can ever remember opening. I knew I should have just tossed them, but there were no other cans of tomatoes in my house, so I just went ahead and ruined my meat sauce with them. I thought cooking them might improve the nasty, fake lemon juice flavor to them that usually cooks out of canned tomatoes. Nope. The finished sauce had the same metallic, acid taste.

Go ahead and strain the juice from the solids. Come back in an hour. With most canned tomatoes, what you are left with is a strainer full of tomatoes and a bowl full of tomato juice. From these cans, that bowl was filled with a slightly thick, slightly yellowish "water" that resembled what you rinse away when you open a can of beans, and a thin layer of red sludge beneath that. The yellowish water tasted like nasty chemicals, and as soon as I lifted the bowl it stirred itself back in to the appearance of tomato puree.

I am the most ardent supporter of the 365 brand that I know, but this ruined my meal so badly last night that I felt the need to come here and post. I bought em at the union whole foods in NJ.

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  1. They'll give you your money back.

    1. You know, all the 365 tomatoes were gone at our branch, so maybe there was something amiss? I did wonder... I buy them all the time, mostly b/c they are cheapest and have always been good. Not as good as more $$ kinds maybe, but if you're trying to save a few dollars here and there, 365 is a good way to go. But, seriously, they were all gone, nary a can, so maybe a recall?

      1. I've never had a bad experience with those tomatoes, and I buy them frequently. And I've never encountered anything like the yellowish water you describe. Sounds like - as brownie suggests - there was something wrong with the can you bought.

        3 Replies
        1. re: small h

          America's Test Kitchen/Cooks Illustrated did a taste test on canned tomatoes - apparently you WANT the yellowish water. They found that a can full of tomato juice had less flavor, and surprisingly, the yellow water had the best tomato flavor. Of course, that's obviously not sufficient for a good can of tomatoes, hence your unfortunate experience, but ATK/CI found it to be a clear demarcation between "good" and "bad" cans. Their favorite canned tomatoes were Muir Glen, which had lots of yellow water.

          1. re: artemis

            The episode I saw sounds very similar, but, it was for crushed tomatoes and the top brand was Tuttorosso, IIRC. Muir Glen got an honorable mention (Season 8, Indian Favorites, Simplified).

            1. re: johnseberg

              I am less confident of what was recommended, after thinking about it a while. They have done many taste tests of various canned tomato products. Getting the ATK membership seems worth the money. I'd get it, except I'm trying to maintain a healthy weight.

        2. I always buy the 365 brand and find them comparable to Muir Glen and other reasonably priced brands. I just picked up a can today to use tonight so I will definitely be paying attention to what it looks like!