The Canned Tomato Taste Test Slideshow

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#11 — Cento
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#11 — Cento
Description

Average Score: 66.9/100

Price: $3.29 for 35 ounces ($0.09 per ounce)

Though this claims to be a "product of Italy," that doesn't do anything for the flavor, which editors commented was "very processed" and "chemical" in nature. The tomatoes' "mushy" texture didn't help matters either; all in all, a very poor showing.

Credit

Jane Bruce

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#10 — Del Monte
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#10 — Del Monte
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Average Score: 67.5/100

Price: $2.69 for 28 ounces ($0.10 per ounce)

This American brand was lambasted for its unnatural flavor; one editor complained that it tasted of chlorine, which is unsurprising since many American brands use calcium chloride to help retain texture when cooked. However, the "big and messy plum[s]" contained within probably wouldn't have held up too well to cooking anyway.

Credit

Jane Bruce

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#9 — Luigi Vitelli
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#9 — Luigi Vitelli
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Average Score: 70.6/100

Price: $2.19 for 28 ounces ($0.08 per ounce)

These were acceptable from a textural standpoint, but flavor wise, these tomatoes weren't great. These "large dark plum[s]" were "very juicy, but bland" and had a "very dull flavor." Leave these on the shelf.

Credit

Jane Bruce

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#8 — Rega Rega
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#8 — Rega Rega
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Average Score: 72.9/100

Price: $3.99 for 28 ounces ($0.14 per ounce)

A brand of D.O.P. tomatoes from the Sarnese-Nocerino area of Italy that made a mediocre showing. These "partly peeled, huge plum[s]" have a "mushy" texture and "no standout flavor." That's disappointing because at $0.14 per ounce, it's on the pricier end of our test suite. Not worth the money.

Credit

Jane Bruce

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#7 — Muir Glen
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#7 — Muir Glen
Description

Average Score: 73.0/100

Price: $3.59 for 28 ounces ($0.13 per ounce)

We were actually expecting a better showing for this popular, premium American brand, but these "plum shaped" tomatoes' "acidic and tangy" flavor didn't sit well with our editors, and their texture, which was "too mushy" meant that this brand scored in the middle of the pack.

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Muir Glen

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#6 — San Marzano
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#6 — San Marzano
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Average Score: 75.5/100

Price: $3.99 for 28 ounces ($0.14 per ounce)

The San Marzano brand, with its illustrated, elongated red tomatoes on a white background, has become nearly synonymous with "authentic" Italian home cooking, but these aren't Italian at all. They're American-grown, and they don't have the characteristic elongated San Marzano varietal shape; instead, they're round. Although one editor said that he "enjoyed eating it all on its own," others weren't quite convinced. They thought the tomatoes were "watery and bland," that they had a "stewed taste," and were "a bit mushy inside."

Credit

flickr/petit hiboux

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#5 — Tuttorosso
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#5 — Tuttorosso
Description

Average Score: 75.6/100

Price: $1.69 for 28 ounces ($0.06 per ounce)

These tomatoes were considered "firm" relative to the others, and these "full tomatoes that aren't soggy are good enough to eat alone" wrote one editor. They're "very juicy" with "good structural integrity" wrote another editor. If you're looking for a firm, round tomato with decent flavor, this might be it.

Credit

Jane Bruce

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#4 — Vantia
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#4 — Vantia
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Average Score: 79.1/100

Price: $4.99 for 35 ounces ($0.14 per ounce)

Another imported Italian brand, Vantia's "elongated plum shape" tomatoes did well thanks to "very meaty" texture and juiciness. One editor even went so far as to write, "Great balance across the board; now this I imagine in grandma's sauce."

Credit

Jane Bruce

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#3 — Hunt's
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#3 — Hunt's
Description

Average Score: 79.4/100

Price: $2.69 for 28 ounces ($0.10 per ounce)

These "small round tomatoes" have "good tomato flavor" and "good sweet-sharp balance" with a "meaty" and "firm" texture. A good all-purpose canned tomato.

Credit

Jane Bruce

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#2 — Ciao
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#2 — Ciao
Description

Average Score: 81.3/100

Price: $3.99 for 28 ounces ($0.14 per ounce)

These "small dark plum[s]" that "taste like [they] could go right into sauce" are D.O.P. from the Sarnese-Nocerino area of Italy. "It almost tastes like a homemade sauce in and of itself," wrote one editor. If you're looking for a "sweet, meaty" tomato with "perfect tang and sweet balance" this is the one to look for. It's worth every penny.

Credit

Jane Bruce

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#1 — Sclafani
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#1 — Sclafani
Description

Average Score: 82.9/100

Price: $2.59 for 28 ounces ($0.09 per ounce)

"Great texture" and "nice balance" with the right amount of salt and a fresh flavor (as close as canned gets to fresh, at least) helps Sclafani cinch the win.

Credit

Jane Bruce

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Recipe: Basic Tomato Sauce
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Recipe: Basic Tomato Sauce
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A good tomato sauce is an essential component of any cooks recipe repertoire...

— Colman Andrews

Click here to see the Basic Tomato Sauce Recipe.

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Colman Andrews

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Recipe: Bucatini alla Matriciana
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Recipe: Bucatini alla Matriciana
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This is a very important dish in Italian cuisine. It gives you a taste of pork from the guanciale, a shot of salt from the pecorino, and a touch of acid from the tomato. It is the quintessential example of a perfect combination that should never be altered.

— Mark Vetri

Click here to see the Bucatini alla Matriciana Recipe.

Credit

Kelly Campbell

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Recipe: Farro with Chicken and Chanterelle Ragù
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Recipe: Farro with Chicken and Chanterelle Ragù
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Delicious, nutty farro is the star in this recipe from the Culinary Institute of America's latest pasta cookbook.

Click here to see the Farro with Chicken and Chanterelle Ragù Recipe.

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Francesco Tonelli

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Recipe: Chicken and Smoked Sausage Jambalaya
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Recipe: Chicken and Smoked Sausage Jambalaya
Description

Chef Mitchell Rosenthal of Town Hall Restaurant in San Francisco builds layers of flavor the old-fashioned way: with slow cooking and lots of careful attention to the ingredients.

Click here to see the Chicken and Smoked Sausage Jambalaya Recipe.

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Paige Green

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Recipe: Pasta Alla Norma
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Recipe: Pasta Alla Norma
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Restaurateur Joe Bastianich, best known for his appearance on MasterChef and his food ventures in New York including Eataly and Del Posto, offers his take on a Sicilian classic.

Click here to see the Pasta Alla Norma Recipe.

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Tara Donne

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Recipe: Pollo alla Cacciatora
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Recipe: Pollo alla Cacciatora
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Pollo alla cacciatora is a classic dish that almost everyone in Italy makes...

— Manuela Zangara

Click here to see the Pollo alla Cacciatora Recipe.

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Manuela Zangara

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Recipe: Bobby Flay's Spaghetti and Meatballs
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Recipe: Bobby Flay's Spaghetti and Meatballs
Description

This is the recipe from one of Bobby Flay's throwdowns.

Click here to see Bobby Flay's Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe.

Credit

Ben Fink

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Recipe: Spanish-Inspired Wild Rice, Chicken, and Chorizo Casserole
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Recipe: Spanish-Inspired Wild Rice, Chicken, and Chorizo Casserole
Description

This dish is really arroz con pollo with wild rice. Wild arroz con pollo? Arroz salvaje con pollo? It doesn't make linguistic sense, but the dish is a complex meal, thanks especially to the wild rice.

— Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

Click here to see the Spanish-Inspired Wild Rice, Chicken, and Chorizo Casserole Recipe.

Credit

Tina Rupp

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Recipe: Cannelloni di Carne
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Recipe: Cannelloni di Carne
Description

Tired of lasagna? Try cannelloni instead. This version has two sauces tomato sauce and besciamella which makes for a rich and complex flavor.

Click here to see the Cannelloni di Carne Recipe.

Credit

Manuela Zangara