Thanks to Tuttorosso for asking me to taste test their tomatoes against Hunts. I made a wonderful Roasted Tomato Soup out of them. All opinions are my own.
Taste tasting canned tomatoes – Tuttorosso versus Hunts.
My year has been made. Yes, it is only January, but I got to do something I always secretly wanted to do. Pretend to be Chris Kimball on America’s Test Kitchen and taste test some canned tomatoes. What? That isn’t a goal of yours. The taste testing segment on America’s Test Kitchen is my favorite part. I love the way they not only consider taste, but all the tests they do with the products. When Tuttorosso asked me to take their challenge and compare Tuttorosso peeled tomatoes to Hunts, I was in. This was it. The moment I could pretend to be Chris Kimball. Since this was not going to be a blind taste test, I needed to make sure I was objective. I have companies send me products all the time, and you don’t hear about it unless I like it. In this one, I was going to give the review whether it was good or bad. In all honesty I have had Tuttorosso tomatoes before so I knew I liked them. I had not ever taste tested them against another brand though.
So first things first. I had to empty out each can of tomatoes into their own tray. So exciting! I set the trays next to each other to properly compare.
Now the serious part. I got out my handy Tuttorosso Bloggers Cutting Score Card.
The first challenge was to compare the appearance of the two. This was in three parts. The first is color. The tomatoes should be bright red. The more orange/yellow the lower the score. Well Hunt’s was more red, so I gave a score of 4 to Hunts and 3 to Tuttorosso. Next up was uniformity. Here I was looking at whether the tomatoes were the same size. The more the tomatoes were the same size the higher the score. Hunt’s tomatoes were dented and a few had fallen apart. Tuttorosso tomatoes were very uniform in size. 5 points to Tuttorosso and 2 to Hunt’s. The next test is tomato integrity. That is a test of how firm they look. Are they mushy and broken or whole tomatoes? All of the Tuttorosso tomatoes were whole. None looked mashed but two had little dents. So they scored a 4. Hunts had multiple broken ones and one appeared mushy, 2 points for Hunts.
Next I had to look at the amount of peel and seeds present. I did not see any peel in either, but Hunts was loaded with seeds. It looked like some tomatoes had been pureed into the juice to make it look more substantial. I have no idea if they do that or not. 4 for Tuttorosso and 2 points for Hunts.
Next I was asked to move the tomatoes to one side of the tray so I could look at the media (new food term, that is the juice). I was supposed to score this based on the color and consistency. The thinner the media the lower the score. Hunts was thicker than Tuttorosso, so they scored 4 to Tuttorosso’s 3 points.
Time to cut the tomatoes. Now we are getting the nitty gritty, flavor! The first flavor challenge is tomato flavor. Duh! I would hope a canned tomato pretty much tasted like tomato rather than the can. The first test was about tomato flavor intensity. How much tomato flavor did I taste. Did it remind me of a ripe tomato picked out of our garden? First the Tuttorosso. It tasted like I would expect a canned tomato to taste. No it wasn’t as fresh as a home-grown just picked tomato, but I could definitely identify it as tomato and not metal. Next the Hunts. To be honest, it was all I could do not to spit it out immediately. There was no tomato taste. All I tasted was metal. Score 4 for Tuttorosso and 1 for Hunts.
The final challenge was the flavor attributes. Do you taste off notes like metal or do they taste stale? Tuttorosso tasted like a tomato and Hunt’s tasted horrible. I was looking for a glass of water. I gave them 1 point, but I think that might have been overly fair. There is not a chance I would eat the Hunt’s.
The verdict was 27 points for Tuttorosso and 16 points for Hunt’s. The differences did not stop there. Tuttorosso uses non-BPA/BPS lined cans and are non-GMO project verified. They are also made in the USA and have no artificial flavors or colors. I am guessing that is why Hunt’s looked more red. I’ll have to investigate that more. Tuttorosso also uses family owned and operated growers. They are also trying to be more eco-friendly and strive to be Landfill free by 2017. I had to look up what that meant. It was a new term to me, but one I am going to look for with other companies. What it means is that less than one percent of their process waste, including manufacturing, office, packaging, etc is being sent to a landfill as waste.
Try it for yourself. Buy a can of Tuttorosso and Hunt’s and take the challenge. You will be amazed at the difference. Then make this delicious soup recipe
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Happy Healthy Eating,