Trusting the Tomato - Tracey reviews our San Marzano's
Over at our facebook page - Weapons of Mass Digestion, Tracey, one of the fans, questions what all the fuss is about with the San Marzano Tomato.
I'm pleased to say that I think the humble San Marzano Tomato has secured another convert.
Read her review below.....
We asked Tracey to review her San Marzano experience.
San Marzano Tinned Tomato - Reviewed by Tracey Lynch
Ok, I was asked by the good sirs at Kirk Food to do a review on the San Marzano tinned tomatoes.
My immediate thought was 'Jesus H Christ this guy thinks I know a little something about food'. Then I was reassured that the reason he was asking a me a layperson to review the product was that he wanted someone who was totally unbiased and knew nothing of the popularity of the product to give a opinion on the product he imports.
Willingly I accepted a package at the post office containing the 'prized' tomatoes. I checked out the tin... Nothing out of the ordinary there. The tins have a very distinguishable look to them; with what I can only imagine is every man from the 60's dream woman out collecting tomatoes for the evening meal touting a little cleavage depicted in it!
I ummed and ahhed about what I would cook with the sample tins and decided that the only fair way to compare them was to cook the same dish using all of the same ingredients except the tomatoes.
So I embarked on preparing two batches of a simple tomato pasta sauce. I have to add here this was much to the amusement of my husband who sat scowling at me asking how many people I thought were coming for lunch! Admittedly there were only 4 of us...
Upon opening the tin, the first thing I noticed was the liquid looked thick almost pulpy in consistency, unlike the rival can sitting next to it. I did a taste test... yep the old finger straight into the can and into my gob. The San Marzano tomatoes tasted a little bitter in comparison to the watery can beside it.
Ok, the ingredients used were basic, nothing special, olive oil, onion, garlic, tinned tomatoes, salt, pepper, bay leaf, fresh basil and fresh continental parsley. Onions and garlic softened in the olive oil, followed by the tomatoes being crushed then added to the onion mix. All simmered for about 40 minutes. Oh I can't forget the ubiquitous reggiano parmesan to sprinkle liberally over the top at the table.
As I was having a little cooking fun on a Sunday morning, I decided to make some fresh parpadelle to go along with it. Hmm, note to self, do not start making pasta an hour before guests arrive... I had flour from one end of the kitchen to the other!
Anyway, back to the taste test. With everyone present and accounted for at the table the two bowls were served family style in the centre of the table. Yes, my guests thought I was a little batty, but they played along.
We all ate from the green bowl first - the supermarket brand tomatoes. Now, we're all used to the supermarket tomatoes. Nothing new, just a simple sauce over some really great pasta (I'm not at all conceited!)
Then came the San Marzano tomatoes. The sauce was richer, denser, had real tomato flavour, was much sweeter and upon closer scrutiny had far less seeds than its counterpart.
Ok, so after my long winded saga about the San Marzano tinned tomatoes. I can say without a shadow of a doubt, they kicked butt on the supermarket tomatoes. The San Marzano tomatoes live up to the apparent following they have enlisted, and the following in my opinion is deservedly so.