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Old 12-30-2006, 09:41 AM   #1
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San Marzano and Muir Glen - worth it?

Okay, I've spent the extra money on both of them and I couldn't taste any difference in my finished dishes than when I use store brand.

I will admit, that Muir Glen has a lovely smoky aroma when you first open the can of the fire-roasted tomatoes, but by the time you get the plate to the table, it's gone, as well as any smoky flavor that may have been there.

So, honestly, are these things products of FoodTV's chef's brainwashing? Mario is particularly enamored. Wait, if you were brainwashed, you wouldn't know you were, would you?

Well, if you think they are better, tell me how come?

Lee

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Old 12-30-2006, 10:41 AM   #2
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I think it depends on the recipe. For a simple red sauce like I make (olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, basil, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper) I find that San Marzano tomatoes taste significantly better than the anything else I've tried (including Muir Glen). For the five-pepper chili* I make they would be completely wasted.

*The ingredients include canned green chiles, paprika, red pepper flakes, ground ancho chiles and black pepper. There isn't a lot of room left in the taste spectrum for the tomatoes.
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Old 12-30-2006, 10:48 AM   #3
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I've used both Muir Glen organic and Muir Glen smoked - I definitely taste the different with the smoked tomatoes, don't taste much of a difference with the organic.
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Old 12-30-2006, 01:06 PM   #4
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Make two batches of tomato sauce side by side using the same ingredients. You'll taste the difference the sauce made with San Marzanos and those made with say, Del Monte.
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Old 12-30-2006, 02:00 PM   #5
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Okay, Iron, you're on! Please post the recipe you would use for a side-by-side and I'll do it.

(I put everything but the kitchen sink in my sauce, so the tomatoes are a minor detail).

Lee
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Old 12-30-2006, 02:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSis
Okay, Iron, you're on! Please post the recipe you would use for a side-by-side and I'll do it.

(I put everything but the kitchen sink in my sauce, so the tomatoes are a minor detail).

Lee
Okay in that case, it won't matter very much. But in a basic tomato sauce which would just contain the tomatoes, garlic, onions, thyme or basil, carrots or celery, you would taste the differenc. In something like puttanesca sauce you probably wouldn't.
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Old 12-30-2006, 02:43 PM   #7
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Oooo! Puttanesca! Long time, no have! Excellent idea for a week-end meal this winter!

Lee
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Old 12-30-2006, 02:45 PM   #8
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My canned tomato of choice is San Marzano. I bought some Muir Glen plum tomatos once and used them in a tomato sauce. The sauce was so acidic that it was objectionable. I had to doctor it with some baking soda to make it palatable.
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Old 01-13-2007, 11:29 PM   #9
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Cool Ah yes, but where?

Great discussion, certainly elevated by the introduction of Puttanesca, which I make at least once a month.

However, does anyone know where in Metrowest I can find San Marzanos? I have not been able to locate them in the area.
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Old 01-13-2007, 11:48 PM   #10
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i think mine are better

I use canned heirloom tomatoes from my garden which i think blow both away :). I used cherokee purple, kellogs breafast, olpka, and german head tomatoes. I think it kills anything out there

Ncage
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