Various Brands of San Marzano Tomatoes
I would like to hear CH's opinions on canned San Marzano tomatoes.
1) Costco carries the brand Nina and the label says San Marzano - are they true San Marzano tomatoes or 'San Marzano style'?
2) My other question is with regard to the Cento brand. I believe they are true San Marzano tomatoes...am I correct?
I notice one big difference between Cento canned tomatoes and the other brands (like Nina) that I've tried: The Cento tomatoes are of a softer consistency and packed in a thick sauce. I think they are nicer to cook with and make a very good sauce.
3) Many other brands have tomatoes of a harder texture and are packed in liquid.
What are your opinions are what brands do you prefer to use?
I'm using Simpson Imports San Marzanos, mostly.
These are not imported — the tomatoes are grown in California. They are the same cultivar grown in San Marzano. I buy them because they are domestic and because I like the result, not because they are inexpensive (they're not, where I get them). I just don't see any good reason to bring tomatoes from Europe to North America.
For certain recipes, I use Strianese D.O.P. San Marzanos, because that's a brand consistently available and because I like the result. These have a thicker purée than the others, and are available in a small can.