San Marzano Tomatoes, meet organic California tomatoes, and get ready for a high-end tomato throw-down where the winner is our homemade pizza...
I admit that I’ve been something of a chauvinist when it comes to pizza tomatoes. I’ve always stumped for San Marzano—and the REAL ones, not the ones that have no DOP seal. But...have I been making a mistake?
I’ve never said, “Oh, you HAVE to use San Marzano tomatoes!” I’ve merely recommended them as personal favorite. And I admit that a price of five to six bucks for a can of tomatoes is a hefty figure. But they taste great. They’re bright and flavorful and really bring a zing to your pizza sauce.
And if you know anything about Free The Pizza, you know it's an exercise in creating from scratch. That includes making your own sauce from the best tomatoes.
We normally use San Marzanos, or else a premium domestic product like Bianco DiNapoli. Always a scratch-made sauce from great tomatoes. But when Bianco DiNapoli introduced a New York-style pizza sauce, we had to know...
You say you don't know Bianco DiNapoli? They've got great cred: it’s a venture between Chris Bianco of the famous Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, and Rob DiNapoli of a multi-generational California produce-packing tradition. I've been using the Bianco DiNapoli tomatoes for years. They're excellent.
Anyway, as part of the ongoing New York Pizza Project, we recently made two 14-inch New York-style pizzas for a crust taste test comparison. While we were at it, we substituted Bianco DiNapoli's New York Style Pizza Sauce for a batch of homemade San Marzano sauce that was already in the fridge.
Without actually doing a side-by-side comparison between the sauces, we agree: this Bianco DiNapoli product tastes every bit as good as our homemade sauce. It's a winner.
But I was also wondering if I was fooling myself. So I dug into some Pizza Social threads where Bianco DiNapoli tomatoes were under discussion.
Lo and behold, I am not the only one who tastes a difference. The threads are loaded with experienced homemade pizza geeks who are now using Bianco DiNapoli instead of San Marzano.
It pains me just a little to admit that I am now recommending a pre-made product. Bianco DiNapoli's New York Style Pizza Sauce is now a pantry staple item in this household. We love it.
If you're interested, this is the sauce description from the Bianco DiNapoli website: "Made from just four, locally sourced organic ingredients (Organic Tomatoes, Organic Garlic, Organic Basil, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil) plus Pacific Sea salt, our sauce is ready to go as you craft your pizza at home or feel free to add any ingredient you taste desire!" (I realize that there is no such place as the Pacific Sea, but 'm willing to overlook the challenges of geographic accuracy here.)
Be still my heart. Because of the New York-style pizza sauce, I’ve been looking at the entire Bianco DiNapoli line in a new light. I’ve got more of them in my pantry and I’m realizing just how much I enjoy them.
Interested in learning more? The NY-style sauce and the other Bianco DiNapoli tomatoes have been added to the Free The Pizza website alongside the DOP San Marzano tomatoes. Click on the "Pizza Tools" page and scroll down until you find them with the other pantry ingredients.
All hail Chris Bianco and Rob DiNapoli. All hail the organic California tomato.
Are you baffled by the journey through basic pizza preparedness? All kinds of pizzamakers (even some experienced ones) are enjoying the guidelines in the fast and funny pizzamaker’s manual, Free The Pizza! (A Simple System For Making Great Pizza Whenever You Want With The Oven You Already Have), which you can find at Amazon by clicking here.
Blaine Parker is the award-winning author of the bestselling, unusual and amusing how-to pizza book, Free The Pizza. Also known as The Pizza Geek and "Hey, Pizza Man!", Blaine is fanatical about the idea that true, pro-quality pizza can be made at home. His home. Your home. Anyone's home. After 20 years of honing his craft and making pizza in standard consumer ovens across the nation, he's sharing what he's learned with home cooks like you. Are you ready to pizza?
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