Do you get confused in the canned tomato aisle of the supermarket? I sure do. Canned tomatoes come in so many different forms—whole peeled tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, tomato purée, tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, etc.—that it’s enough to drive you crazy!
All I wanted to do was make a simple tomato sauce. But between the labeling nightmare I was facing in the supermarket this past weekend, and the hysteria of shoppers around me loading up on food with the impending arrival of Hurricane Sandy, I was getting pretty darn cranky.
For years, I’ve always bought canned plum tomatoes packed in juice, not in purée. What irked me was that so many brands today fail to specify that distinction in large type on the front of the label. Notice the two cans above. Both say peeled tomatoes, but La Squisita’s are packed in purée, while Sclafani’s are packed in juice. The only way to find out is to check the fine print on the ingredient list. It also seemed as though there are fewer brands that pack tomatoes in juice. Could canned tomatoes in purée be winning out over canned tomatoes in juice? Continue reading