February 06 2020
2 good reasons to use canned tomatoes
Discovered in America, tomatoes were not readily adopted as part of the human diet: they were believed to be an ornamental, poisonous plant!
The first known written tomato sauce recipe dates back to 1690. It wasn’t until 1839 that tomatoes were paired with pasta, and it took several more years before they became a topping for margherita pizza.
Why use canned tomatoes?
1. The taste
The “fresh” tomatoes available year round in grocery stores are overly firm and lack flavour because they are grown and harvested so they are easy to store.
By contrast, canned tomatoes are usually harvested at the peak of their ripeness or just before, and processed almost immediately at a nearby cannery. This makes them much more flavourful.
Scientists assess the sweetness in tomatoes on the Brix scale, which measures sugar (per 100 g) in a liquid. Generally speaking, the higher the Brix score, the more tomatoes are perceived to be fresh, fruity and ripe.
Just like salt, acidity enhances flavours and tempers bitterness. The “acidity-sweetness” balance, measured by a low pH and high Brix score, is important. It enhances the perception of freshness, fruitiness and ripeness.
2. The health benefits
Canned tomatoes are better for your health than fresh ones.
Tomatoes are an interesting exception to the rule. While cooking normally destroys precious nutriments, the lycopene contained in tomatoes is more easily absorbed by the body after it has been heated.
What’s special about our canned tomatoes?
- Favuzzi selects only perfect tomatoes. Major industrial brands then recuperate those that have been rejected.
- Our tomatoes are grown in the Tavoliere delle Puglie, a large Italian plain near the town of San Severo, in northern Puglia. The four families of growers behind our products cultivate and can the tomatoes themselves. The fruit is harvested and processed in under two hours! It is Italy’s fastest agricultural processing chain, ensuring unparalleled freshness.
- - In this case too, it is a question of balance. We favour tomatoes with firm flesh, but not too meaty, with large seed cavities and a substantial gelatinous core. Since the 70s, some producers have given their preference to varieties with thicker flesh, as they withstand mechanical harvesting better. These thicker-fleshed tomatoes are not as flavourful, since the flavour does not come from the flesh itself but from the jelly surrounding the seeds at the centre of the fruit.
- Washed, then selected based on their size and colour, our canned peeled tomatoes are steamed briefly to remove their skins, then heated just long enough to kill any microbes.
- The tomatoes are then put in cans and covered with tomato juice of an ideal consistency. After sealing, the cans undergo a steam heating process to fully sterilize them before they are labelled. Since tomatoes are acidic, they are vulnerable to contamination by chemicals. For that reason, we line the inside of our cans with a white polyester lacquer, protecting the tomatoes from any possible alteration.