January 19, 2022

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Canned Tomato Paste Review

When making your culinary creation that calls for tomato paste, do you make it from scratch or do you rely on a can?  While some cooks may frown at the idea of using a canned product of any kind in their recipes, others may not give it a second thought.  Sometimes, when in a pinch, even the experts will rely on the rescue of a canned product in order to prepare a dish.  In commercial and industrial kitchens, sometimes the canned route is the only way to go if the time and manpower simply aren’t there to do it all from scratch.

What makes tomato paste what it is coming from cooking down the tomatoes, later removing the seeds and juices until all that’s left is a high concentration of a pasty tomato remnant that’s supposed to carry a bold tomato flavor.  Normally, a canned tomato paste product typically sells in four-ounce cans or six-ounce cans.

It is understandable when some cooks frown at the idea of using canned tomato paste.  The cheap, low-quality stuff tastes metallic as it seems the aluminum properties absorbed itself into what’s supposed to be a tomato-based flavor.  Some companies load the canned tomato paste with so many chemicals and preservatives that all one can taste is the artificial gunk.


Among The Worst


Great Value Tomato Paste

Walmart is more than just some department store that carries a variety of different brands in just about anything and everything that can be fit into a superstore.  The definition of a superstore is an outlet that is a grocery store and department store combined as one, along with a number of services so that a visiting shopper can take care of every need there is at one convenient location.  Most superstores like this also have a private label that lets shoppers know it’s the store’s own product line.  In Walmart’s case, the product line is Great Value.

What stores like Walmart do is contract another manufacturing company to bring forth what’s usually a recipe-altered version of whichever brand they’re working with to have this done for them.  So, who is doing this for Walmart and why?  According to The Breakdown with Luke, it is suspected Green Giant is the big name behind the production of not just this product, but all the canned goods that are sitting on the shelves of Walmart that have the Great Value label.

Great Value has a number of different canned tomato paste products and the reviews, can for can, vary.  Regular Walmart shoppers seem to like it, but among foodies that have a more refined taste, they’d rather avoid it.  Great Value claims these tomatoes go from field to can in five hours, but how this is done is questionable.  They’re not the ones really making it.

Regardless, this isn’t a recommended brand of canned tomato paste.  It has more in common with a tinny can of tomato juice that has an unhealthy dose of salt and sugar.  If you really want a can, they’re super cheap to buy at Walmart, but don’t say we didn’t warn you.


Casa Generosa Organic Tomato Paste

At fifty cents for a 6-ounce can, the Casa Generosa Organic Tomato Paste is part of the reason why sometimes consumers frown at organic products, especially when it comes to a can.  The product has a horrible bitter taste and is among the lowest quality canned tomato paste products there is.  It doesn’t matter at this point if it’s organic or not.  It’s just simply gross!  If Casa Generosa wants this product to be taken more seriously, they need to take what they’re doing to it more seriously.  Maybe there’s a good reason why they’re among the cheapest canned tomato paste products on the shelf.

The manufacturer behind this trademarked label is Buona Fortuna Foods, LLC., a Florida-based limited liability company, which has rather limited information about them, aside from what Justia Trademarks provides on its website.  This may explain why this product has become increasingly hard to come by, even in reviews.  That’s probably a good thing because none of those reviews have been favorable.


Raley’s Purely Made Organic Tomato Paste

There is way too much of a tinny taste in Raley’s Purely made Organic Tomato Paste that adds a reason why the best cooks prefer to make the stuff from scratch instead.  There is too much sodium and sugar in the product.  Organic or not, this stuff is gross!  Although it says non-GMO as a product, one has to wonder about the quality of the can they’re packed in.  Is that maybe part of the problem?

They’re sold for $1.19 for a six-ounce can at Raley’s website if you really want to try the product out for yourself.  Not everybody has the same taste in everything, but this is one canned tomato paste that doesn’t have the best reviews going for it, no matter where you go.  This gives good reason to spend that money elsewhere.  Raley’s is another one of those chain stores, like Walmart, that has privately labeled products just for them.


Sprouts Organic Roma Tomato Paste

For starters, somebody needs to make a friendly suggestion to Sprouts to stop overcooking their tomatoes when making their Organic Roma Tomato Paste.  This is shooting them in the foot because it takes away the fresh flavor that would vastly improve this product.  The concentration from the rich Roma tomatoes is obvious, but its quality is reduced by spending too much time in the cooking process.  It also wouldn’t hurt to back away from using so much sodium and sugar.  The price is decent at 99 cents for a six-ounce can and you’re not really getting a bad product.  You’re simply getting one that has room for improvement.

Sprouts is a grocery chain store that likes to support the local community.  However, Sprouts has its own privately-labeled lineup of products, which means they are dealing with another brand to bring forth a cheaper priced product.  Is it possible the slightly overcooked tomato paste is being canned with the Sprouts label instead of wasted?  That, of course, is just speculation at this point, but that is what the product tastes like.


Goya Food Tomato Paste

Spaniards Don and Carolina Prudencio Unanue founded Goya in 1936 in their quest to turn their American dream into reality.  Fortunately for them, it worked.  It has become the largest Hispanic-owned company in the United States and has become one of the most trusted brands in packaged goods.  While this is no doubt a good thing, in some ways it’s not always a great thing.

For a canned tomato paste product from Goya Food, it’s not the worst, but you can certainly do better.  At $1.98 a can and only a three-star rating on Amazon that has mixed reviews about the product, you can definitely do better.  While the company has no trouble boasting the content is made from real tomatoes and that there’s nothing artificial, it has a higher sodium level at 25 mg and a higher sugar level of 5 grams than most of the other canned tomato paste products on the market.  It is advised to let it sit on that shelf and go with a more respectable brand.


Among the Best


Mutti Double Concentrated Tomato Paste

The fascinating story behind Giovanni Mutti https://mutti-parma.com/can-en/ as the Italian farmer who seemed to be ahead of his time as he already practiced the art of crop rotation, which was a practice not very many production fields were doing.  Although more are doing this now, there are many who don’t.  With Mutti, starting in 1950, that art of bringing forth the best lineup of canned tomato products money can buy shows with the canned tomato paste offered here.

The size of the cans are small at 4.94 ounces each, but this GMO-free, vegan-friendly canned tomato product comes from Italy’s top brand of tomatoes.  The Mutti Double Concentrated Tomato Paste is usually sold as a twelve-pack on Amazon at $23.75, but sometimes the prices have been known to be higher.  This is not a cheap product, but the company feels you get what you pay for.  Is this stuff worth the price?  It’d definitely be recommended to give it a try, especially if you’re favoring a diet that has no gluten, nor any unwanted ingredients that are typically found in cheaper products.  Among the reviews it has received on Amazon, it’s definitely been mostly favorable.


Kirkland Signature Tomato Paste

Costco’s private label product, the canned Kirkland Signature Tomato Paste, is adequate enough to deliver a decent taste to whatever dish you’re preparing that calls for this ingredient.  Is it the best?  Probably not if you ask some of the fussier cooks who use canned tomato paste products, but there will be many who will agree they’re not bad either.  It’s always subject to taste as not everybody will share the exact same opinion about something.  However, with a near five-star rating from Amazon reviewers and a number of review sites on the internet, you will find this product mentioned in the list as among the better tomato paste in a canned product to buy.  If you don’t have a Costco membership, Amazon has these on their website.  For a case of twelve six-ounce cans, it’s $16.99.

The Kirkland label is also another one of those private-label store brand items that were made by somebody else.  Whoever Kirkland is dealing with for the canned tomato paste, is getting a good deal, which means whoever is buying this stuff also benefits.  Although the real makers behind the Kirkland label of this tomato paste are not listed on Yahoo! Finance, the reveal alone is enough to clue in it’s made by somebody else.  Speculation has it Hunt’s might be the supplier, but without further evidence to go on, that’s just speculation.


Cento Tomato Paste

When you go to Amazon looking for Cento Tomato Paste, you will find an impressive five-star rating from over three hundred reviewers who’ve already tried this canned product.  Is it the best money can buy?  At $13.64 for a pack of four 6-ounce cans on Amazon, it’ll do.  This is a nice, thick, and rich paste that has that Roma tomato flavor that is such a hit.  Most of the Cento products are highly favored among many restaurants that specialize in Greek, Italian, pasta, and pizza menus.


Hunt’s Tomato Paste, Keto Friendly

It seems when it comes to tomato paste, Hunt’s has this mostly down to a science.  The keto-friendly version of Hunt’s Tomato Paste has a rich blend of concentrated tomatoes that have been strained so that extra-thick texture can load up that can with all its goodness.  This Non-GMO’d Project Verified product is gently seasoned with salt and natural spices that does away with the artificial preservatives.

With a five-star rating from over two thousand ratings on Amazon, it’s definitely proven to be a favorite, and for good reason.  A 24-can box on Amazon goes for $19.99.

Among many restaurants that specialize in cooking with goods that are Non-GMO based, it is this particular Hunt’s product that is considered the favorite to use for two key reasons.  The first is it’s among the least expensive when it comes to a no preservatives allowed ingredient put into the restaurant’s recipes.  The second reason is that it’s actually one of the few canned tomato paste products that actually taste good.


Red Gold Tomato Paste

The non-GMO verified Red Gold Tomato Paste is definitely a good choice for a canned tomato paste product.  They’re easy enough to find at the local grocery store, as well as giant shopping outlets like Walmart.  They’re usually cheap enough at about 98 cents per eight-ounce can.  This family-owned company from Indiana has been in business since 1942 when Grover C. Hutcherson and his daughter, Fran, purchased the old Orestes Cannery located in central Indiana.  This father-daughter team originally got into the business of canning tomatoes as their part to contribute to the war effort for the American troops abroad.  Along with the help of local farmers, the previously tornado-ravaged cannery building was brought back to life and has since revolutionized the canning industry as we know it.  This also includes the family business purchasing the Red Gold label in 1970, which then became the company’s official name.


Contadina Roma Tomatoes Paste

For the diet that wants to stay away from artificial anything, this Non-GMO, Non-BPA Contadina Roma Tomatoes Paste is the perfect choice ingredient to put into any recipe that calls for it.  This product has been gently seasoned without junky ingredients to best preserve the product.  It also maintains the best possible flavor so that it’s the Roma tomato you’re tasting and not the aluminum can that it’s been packed in.  Normally, six cans, go for $15.99 when buying them from Amazon.  Sometimes, you can luck out and get an even better deal.

Among many premium quality restaurants that have a loyal fan following, Contadina is often a staple product that is found in almost every dish that calls for something tomato-based.


Pastene Tomato Paste

On Amazon, Pastene Tomato Paste costs $12.99 for six cans and is worth every penny.  Pastene already has a solid reputation for making quality canned tomato products as it is, so it comes as no surprise as a tomato paste they would not disappoint.  Although this one isn’t listed as organic, it does refrain from jumping into artificial preservatives, preferring to go all-natural.  This is a good thing as it’s the rich and sweet tomato flavor you want and not the tinny taste lesser quality canned tomato pastes are known to have.

Pastene has been in the tomato business since its humble beginnings in 1874 when Luigi Pastene went from selling fresh fruit from a pushcart in Boston, Massachusetts to what has now become North America’s oldest specialty company.

Did you know that Pastene and his sons were also the first to trek California wine all over the United States of America during the prohibition?  Well, now you do.


Muir Glen

Among the canned tomato paste products, Muir Glen Organic Tomato Paste comes across with a heavier roasted flavor, but not by much.  The coloration is slightly darker, but this is because it has less chemical content than most of its competitors and it goes from field to can within eight hours.   Yes, this does make a difference. The sweet and tangy savor of the tomato paste is what a good, sweet tomato should taste like.  It’s rich enough without the need to add preservatives to it to enhance flavor.

When a product claims to be organic, then it needs to uphold the promise that there’s nothing intentionally chemical added to it.  With Muir Glenn Organic Tomato Paste, you get exactly what your money paid for and nothing else, aside from the organic sea salt that’s used to not just season the product, but preserve it for longer shelf life in the pantry.

This is a USDA Organic product easy enough to come by and decently priced for its quality.  A 12-can case typically runs for $13.88 on Amazon, but sometimes you can luck out and it’ll be on sale.  Did we mention the part that it is also Non-GMO Project Verified, too?  Well, we did now.


To Each Their Own

Not everybody shares the same taste, but there are definitely some products that are so horrible that it truly is a head-scratcher why somebody would think it’s good enough to sell to people.  However, some companies aren’t always in business to make quality products.  Some do it for sheer profit.  This shows, even among canned goods, including tomatoes.  Giants like Hunt’s have a broad spectrum of lower-quality products, including in their canned tomato paste products, all the way up to higher-quality.  Companies like Red Gold and Pastene operate more like independents, who aren’t so eager to chase after big bucks just to make a sale.  They actually care enough to sell to you what they’d be willing to put in their own family meals.  This level of care makes a difference.