Toronto, May 17, 2022 — Whether you call it a fruit or a vegetable doesn’t really matter (scientifically speaking, its seeds make it a fruit, but in culinary terms, the tomato is most often used in savoury dishes, establishing it firmly as a vegetable—you say tomato, I say tomato, right?), but one thing’s for certain: tomatoes are a global dietary staple. Not only are they the most consumed fruit worldwide , but they also rank among the topmost popular vegetables here in Canada . But unless you take advantage of the (short) growing season to grow your own or make weekly trips to the farmer’s market, the tomatoes we have available to us at the grocery store from October to June, will make you crave for the sweet taste of summer. Enter Mutti, the 123-year-old Italian brand that not only provides Canadians with the finest canned tomatoes to use in their favourite recipes all year round, but with expertise when it comes to leveraging the various tomato varieties for maximum flavour in the kitchen.
Mutti’s range of canned tomato products have a robust flavour owing to the fact that they use only 100% Italian tomatoes that have the distinction of being one of the best in the world. The country’s Mediterranean climate and mineral-rich volcanic soil are integral to the superior taste and texture of Italian tomatoes, and Mutti’s location in Parma, Emilia-Romagna, in particular, puts them at the centre of the Food Valley, so-called for the unique microclimate that yields exceptional crops. But perhaps even more significant is Italy’s cultural attitude about food, whereby the emphasis is on eating fresh, locally grown foods, that are in season, rather than making certain foods available all year round. Mutti tomatoes, for instance, are naturally sun-ripened before they are harvested, which allows them to develop optimal flavour. Once picked, they are canned within 24 hours, resulting in a straight-from-the-field fresh taste in every can. Mutti knows that it’s the quality of their fresh tomatoes—their raw material—that has helped them become Italy’s #1 tomato brand, and as such, they pride themselves on a symbiotic relationship with their tomato farmers who adhere to company-wide best-practices when it comes to sustainability and protecting the biodiversity of the land. They work together to ensure the integrity and world-class quality that Italian tomatoes are known for, now and into the future.
Canned tomatoes are a time-saving pantry staple that no household should be without (because let’s face it—no one has the time to actually boil and peel fresh tomatoes before dumping them into a soup or simmering them into a sauce). But even more important than the convenience factor is that canned tomatoes provide consistency of flavour simply because there are more variables that can affect that of fresh tomatoes. Many tomatoes available at the market for instance, are picked when they’re still green and left to ripen in the truck, which means their natural sugars don’t develop, and even if they are harvested at their peak there is no control over the time between harvest and consumption, whereas canned tomatoes are typically preserved at the height of tomato season. Weather is also a factor because a wet growing season can yield watery tomatoes, which dilutes their natural flavour, but if the tomatoes are canned, water content isn’t an issue because it can be corrected during processing. Canned tomatoes also pack a powerful nutritious punch. Not only do adults who consume canned foods in general, consume more of the nutrients (including calcium, iron, vitamin D, and potassium) that most adults tend to under-consume, but canned tomatoes, specifically, also contain lycopene, an antioxidant that contributes to heart-health and cancer prevention. While the powerful antioxidant is a hallmark of both fresh and canned tomatoes, it is more bio-available (more easily absorbed by our bodies), in tomatoes that have been processed because the plant’s cell walls have been broken down .
So you’re at the grocery store ready to buy some canned tomatoes, and are wondering if they’re the same across the board. The answer is no. There are a number of factors that affect the quality and nutrition of canned tomatoes and Mutti’s commitment to both, sets them apart from the rest. Although products such as tomato paste are typically manufactured using the less flavourful parts of the fruit like seeds, skin and green parts, Mutti uses the finest Italian tomatoes in all their canned products—whether they’re whole, crushed, or in paste form. The fact that they process the tomatoes within hours of harvest also contributes to their ability to offer the freshest tasting, reddest tomatoes and especially, innovations like Polpa, a finely chopped tomato product that retains the taste and even the texture of fresh tomatoes so well, it can be used straight from the can in dishes where fresh tomatoes would typically be used, like bruschetta. While other brands in North America and Italy rely on preservatives like citric acid and thickeners like calcium chloride to maintain the flavour and texture of their canned tomatoes, Mutti is able to uphold their reputation as guardians of authentic Italian tomato flavour through their stringent cultivation processes and careful selection of raw materials.
Think you know your tomatoes and which one to use in a recipe? Take a quiz at @mutti_canada on Instagram for a chance to win a $5,000 trip for two to Italy!
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