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May 25, 2011 12:01 PM

Vanilla bean paste and D.O.P. San Marzano tomatoes in MTL???

Hi all,

I'm looking to buy both a jar of vanilla bean paste and several jumbo-sized cans (NOT the 28 oz/796mL size - the ones 3-4x that size) of D.O.P. San Marzano tomatoes. Not to use in the same recipe, mind you, but I imagine the results would be interesting...

Can anyone recommend some spots either downtown or on the West Island where I could find these two items? I've searched extensively and had no luck...

Thanks in advance for any leads!

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  1. I have seen the large cans of San Marzanos at the Costco on the West Island. Not sure about the vanilla bean though.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jonhall

      The tomatoes at Costco, as well as the ones at Aubut sold under another name, are not DOP San Marzanos. They are knock-offs using the words "San Marzano" in their name, probably to mislead consumers. Mind you, they are very good tomatoes at a very good price. I use them regularly for pizzas and pasta dishes. They are not, however, real San Marzanos.

    2. For the vanilla paste, I have bought NoMU brand at Douceurs du Marché at Atwater Market, a few years ago. I've also seen some Nielsen-Massey vanilla products at Cuisine Goumet (5683 Monkland, can't find a website) a while ago, but not sure if vanilla paste was among them.

      2 Replies
      1. re: stak

        Just an update that I found my vanilla bean paste! They had it at Alexis le Gourmand (on St. Jacques near Guy). $11.99 for a 4 oz. jar from Nielsen-Massey - not bad!

        As some background info, the paste is needed for a recipe I found for vanilla rhubarb coffee cake here - looks wicked!

        Meanwhile, I am still on the hunt for those big 3L jars of D.O.P. San Marzanos... As SnackHappy mentioned, traditionally what you'll find in those sizes may indeed be the San Marzano varietal, yet without the D.O.P. certification. Thanks to all who have helped (or may continue to help) with the search!

        1. re: liquidrawhide

          Have you tried Milano on St-Laurent for the tomatoes? I don't know if they have the big size you're looking for but maybe you could call?

      2. I just saw 100 oz cans of san marzano tomatoes at la mer on rene-levesque. $5.99/can or $6.99/can, i think - great price!

        6 Replies
        1. re: kimberleyblue

          That's either the best price in the world for San Marzanos or they're not really San Marzanos. Did the can look like this or similar?

          Those are the ones from Costco that I was talking about upthread. The ones at Aubut have a different name but the can is almost the same.

          1. re: SnackHappy

            Yes - they looked like that can. I only saw them in passing (was there for the madeleine lobsters and rock shrimp). If they're not san marzano tomatoes, then that's pretty offensive false marketing. I've paid a lot of money in stores for that same brand, but in the smaller can c\version, thinking they were san marzanos.

            what does the real labeling look like?

            1. re: kimberleyblue

              > what does the real labeling look like?


              See info about San Marzano labelling in the section called "Imported Italian San Marzano Tomatoes."

              1. re: kimberleyblue

                There's no specific label, but it should say "Pomodoro S. Marzano dell'Agro Sarnese-Nocerino" as well as having a European Union D.O.P. emblem.

                1. re: kimberleyblue

                  Here's the website of the company that makes these tomatoes.


                  Like I said above, I think they're pretty good tomatoes. For the money, they are hard to beat.

                  1. re: kimberleyblue

                    The thing is, they could be San Marzano tomatoes, as they are produced within the area. There are two possibilities: (1) tomatoes from anywhere in Italy, but packed in San Marzano by a company that uses San Marzano as its title.
                    (2) tomatoes from San Marzano, packed in San Marzano, but the company does not want to spend the extra for the departmental designation required by European Union..

                    This quandary has been ongoing for two or three years since Costco started selling the can for $3., but no one has ever said they taste like an inferior product.