Carmelina® in her most natural state is pomodoro perfection. Full-bodied, silky red San Marzano tomatoes have their skins removed through our pneumatic steam peeler and are packed in the tomatoes’ own succulent puree. There is no basil added to disguise the taste of our tomatoes. Carmelina ‘e… San Marzano® Whole Peeled Tomatoes are a sweeter, less acidic tomato with a meatier pulp which means less liquid in the can. Less liquid reduces cook time and protects the amazing flavor.
For years, I used the generic store brand canned tomatoes. And for years, I thought if you went canned instead of fresh it was acceptable for the canned tomatoes to taste like a mixture of crushed red bricks in lemon soap water and to smell like absolutely nothing, no matter how far you stuck your nose inside the can. I never dreamed the possibility that one day I might open a can of tomatoes that would smell and taste like fresh sun kissed tomatoes. I wanted so bad to open a can of tomatoes and smell the tomato smell that anybody whose ever grown tomatoes experiences everyday as they water and brush up against their plants. I wanted so bad to taste the fruity sweet taste of real tomatoes that makes you come to understand why tomatoes are fruits not vegetables.
It was because of all my disappointments and expectations above that I started my search for a great canned tomato brand. After much disagreement and uncertainty among canned tomato users, I found my way to Carmelina Italian Peeled Tomatoes in Puree. The reviews on Amazon were great and consistent. The fact that Carmelina does not use preservatives or any other flavors to disguise the true taste of their tomatoes was perfect. I thought I finally found the one great canned tomato that would finally let me create great pizza and pasta sauces. With that last thought, I quickly ordered them with 2day shipping.
They arrived about two days prior to making this review. I checked every single can and they were all in perfect condition. Two days later with a recipe and all my ingredients in hand I was ready to make an amazing Neapolitan ragu. I’m sure every one of you looking for a great can of tomatoes ALSO has great recipe that requires great canned tomatoes! Well this amazing ragu was going to be my great recipe. The Ragu uses fresh pork and italian sausages that are simmered in tomato sauce for 8-10 hours and then when the red sauce has absorbed every once of flavor from the meat it is slowly poured over perfectly cooked pasta and then topped with parmesan cheese. Sounds like heaven doesn’t it?
Today, the date of this review, I got all my ingredients ready and made sure to wake up nice and early to give this ragu plenty of time to make its magic happen. I prepped my meat, olive oil, fresh garlic, and thinly sliced onion. I took out three of the cans. I slowly opened the first one with a huge grin on my face. Just days before my whole family called me crazy for ordering canned tomatoes over the internet and paying $35 bucks plus shipping/handling. Whatever, I would have the last laugh when they are stuffing their faces and asking for seconds. I pushed the lid open with the last twist of the can opener and for a second I was hit with mild disappointment. NO SMELL. But I kicked that thought out of my head and plunged my fingers in the can, picking out a soft peeled tomato. I popped it in my mouth and let a big sigh of disappointment.
I opened all three cans to make sure I wasn’t going crazy. They all tasted the same. Watery. Tinny. Bitter. All three cans tasted exactly the same. I kept on tasting and tasting hoping that I would have one bite that would prove me wrong. Nope. There is absolutely nothing special about this brand of canned tomatoes. For three out of twelve cans to taste exactly the same means only one thing. I could cross off one more name in my search for a great brand of canned tomatoes.
GarfieldKissee Mills, MO
I would like to give this a better review but all 12 cans were badly dented to a point that I never would have purchased from a store. The case came inside another box so I don’t think it was Amazons fault. Disappointing.
MonroeColeman Falls, VA
these tomatoes look pretty in the can but lack flavor throughout. you are better off buying premium brands for less at the grocery store and buying organic canned tomatoes. all which will be under $3 a can at a good grocery store. Trader Joes are much better than these for a lot less. Do not buy or trust the other good reviews.
RaguelEast Andover, NH
OK but not the rich tomato flavor I expect from Italian variety. A reader commented on my review and pointed out that Carmelina does not add much by way of chemicals to enhance the flavor. He/she nailed me, I guess. And a little bit of salt brings these ‘maters up to snuff. My own chemicals being better for me than theirs.
i have not purchased this product. i am, due to the pics shown illustrating that these are genuine san marzano tomatoes. not all on this site do that. stated they were, but were not. i feel that if a company will go thru the trouble of showing its potential customers that it is genuine, i will purchase them. yes, the comments did help.
thanks for the pics, more should follow your example of course, i will reveiew again, after i use them
The tomatoes are wonderful, not acidic and watery. The bonus of being canned in puree makes it easy to put together a nice thick sauce.
Also, props to Amazon.com, as my first order arrived with most cans dented. I contacted customer service, and they replaced the case immediately, no extra charges. Definitely worth ordering, for the taste and the no-problems customer service.
Most of the cans inside the box were badly damaged. Will be very hard to open them. This is very disappointing since I signed up to receive this product as a subscriber.
KevinTarpon Springs, FL
The box of 12 cans arrived with 6 of them badly dented. Amazon very graciously replaced them! I did not expect that! That is great customer service! The tomatoes are, as advertised, very good! Thank you Amazon!
MarceleneKaw City, OK
After moving to the South from the Northeast, finding good products to cook food from my Italian heritage has been hard. I haven’t been able to find a substitute for my beloved Redpack tomatoes. We buy those by the box up North, but that company doesn’t distribute in the South. After some research I found the label difference was “packed in Puree”.
Most other brands are packed in tomato juice, and that makes a watery, inferior sauce. “Purea di Pomodoro” – that’s what I want to see! But when I saw this brand, I saw the magic words and gave it a try. In fact, last night I cooked up a big pot of sauce and brought it over to my Southern neighbors, and it was a hit!
It short, this Brooklyn born Southerner recommends this product, especially to those who are out of the area of the usual Northeastern brands. I just wish Amazon would put this on their subscribe and save – I use four cans each time I make a pot so getting this regularly to my door would be great.
I am a passionate home cook and have been canning my own tomatoes since I was a child. American canned tomatoes all contain a “firming agent” that prevents the tomatoes from turning to mush in the can. This agent also prevents them from breaking down nicely in a sauce, too! Thus, I always can my own. However, I will no longer be using my own tomatoes in pasta sauces after trying these Italian tomatoes. These tomatoes are rich, meaty and are packed in a thick sauce. They look and taste fabulous, and make an amazing pasta sauce! My husband and I kept “mmm-ing” as we ate the first sauce I made with these. I love the fact that they have no additives of any kind – no firming agents, no herbs/spices, not even any salt. You have complete control over how you season your dishes. I’m soooo glad I bought a whole case of these, and hope I will always be able to access them. The case price brings them down to well below supermarket prices for Italian tomatoes. I couldn’t care less that they are not DOP San Marzanos, just like I couldn’t care less that my champagne doesn’t come from France! These tomatoes are the same as San Marzanos, without the special government label of tomatoes that come from a small geographic area in Italy. American or home canned tomatoes are great for soups and stews, but no more American tomatoes for my pasta sauces! I encourage everyone to give them a try.
EttaSaint Louis, MI
I bought these for our weekly grilled pizza night. We just smash up the tomatoes and use them for our sauce, no spices or anything! My toddler and preschooler can’t get enough, and I’ve given cans as parts of pizza kits to friends and family. They are a huge hit around here. It’s not necessary to spend money on the certified pricier San Marzanos, in my humble opinion.
I understand that these aren’t organic tomatoes but the difference from the watery, thin horrible canned tomatoes one finds in the States is absolutely amazing. When I opened the first can I was actually startled to smell real tomatoes! They’ve worked out fine and been a wonderful addition to many dishes and that’s saying something from a woman who’s been all over Italy and eaten the best!
These tomatoes are so delicious – good price but miles above the flavor of other store brand tomatoes. I don’t know if they are ‘officially’ certified or not but I thought they were really good, as did my Sicilian husband. I noticed other reviewers had problems with badly dented cans. I had about 4 of them somewhat dented, but not badly enough to worry me. I can see where they could’ve been much worse depending on the shipper/delivery person (gotta love it when “this side down” is the side that’s upright and sideways on your porch). I used them for a new “Sunday Gravy” Sicilian/Italian recipe I tried that simmered for about 16 hours, and it turned out very well. It wouldn’t have been the same with regular canned tomatoes. One bit of advice, don’t toss the puree! If you don’t need that much liquid either save it for later, or simmer your sauce down until thick enough so you don’t lose it.
I am very particular about the type of tomatoes I will use for my sauce. The recipe I use came from my mother in law, who was born and raised in Northern Italy. Believe me, the tomatoes are important. These are about half the price I pay in the grocery store for similar items, provided I can find them in the first place! I would definitely recommend these to a friend.
We have an authentic pizza oven at home and make pizza regularly, in true VPN style. The first time I opened a can of these tomatoes, I could not believe these are the same thing that we call tomatoes! I use these exclusively on my pizza’s as well as for almost all of my sauce recipes. I do not believe there is a better product out there and at Amazon, they are a great price.
I LOVE these tomatoes!! My entire family LOVES these tomatoes!!
DeannaNew Lebanon, IN
I would have given them five stars but for the handful of seriously dented cans. That bothers me a little, but I’m using those cans first. The tomatoes themselves are pretty good. For our first taste, we drained one, crushed the tomatoes by hand, and used the crushed pulp for a flatbread base. Topped with sauteed garlic, prosciutto, fresh mozz and some fresh basil, I have to say it was pretty darn tasty. We didn’t do a side-by-side, but I’d say these were just as good as the “certified” San Marzanos we’ve had, and about $3.00 less per can. I’d also say they were far better than the Hunt’s whole peeled tomatoes, and only about $0.60 more per can.
ShirlyCave City, AR
I discovered the sweet taste of Carmelina San Marzanos at a local pizzeria!
The flavor of the tomato impressed me so much I knew I wanted them to use
on my own wood-fired pizza. I asked the manager what brand tomato he was
using and he told me! As soon as I got home I googled Carmelina and ordered
a case from Amazon.com! These tomatoes are simply the best and I just hope
Amazon will continue to carry and ship Free!
I love these tomatoes. They are perfect Italian tomatoes from the beautiful area around Mt. Vesuvius. The soil and climate make these tomatoes so much better than any American canned tomatoes. I just prepared the recipe for Pappa Al Pomorodo (Tomato Soup) found on the Carmelina website and it was like being back in Italy. When I poured the product out of the can, I could see and smeall the difference. The tomatoes were in a thick red puree and the soup quickly came together because these tomatoes do not have chemicals to keep them firm. These tomatoes are so good, that I returned to Amazon and got on the autoship list. I never want to be out of these tomatoes.
We were watching some cooking show when we heard about these tomatoes for the first time about a year ago. We found a “certified” brand at a nearby Wholefoods shortly thereafter but they were not available on a regular basis and we were absolutely hooked after having used them in several recipes. You notice this as soon as you open the can. It’s like having a handful of freshly picked tomatoes in your hands. And the taste is amazing.
Although these are not D.O.P. certified they are by far an excellent tomato and for the price an even better buy in comparison to what we can buy locally.
We love Love LOVE these tomatoes. I am only sorry that they are not available on a subscribe and save basis.
These are absolutely the best canned tomatoes I’ve ever cooked with. There are no seeds!! The tomato flavor is rich and low in acidity. I just pour into a bowl and squish with my hands before I make sauce. I especially like the fact they don’t add basil to them. If I can’t have my own home grown, these are second best!!
These are fantastic tomatoes !!! We love them !! I am waiting for them to come back in stock so I can order 2 more cases. I do not want my house to be without them !!! I am also sending a case to my daughter in Montana. She will be having a baby girl anytime, and I want them there when I fly in so I can make spaghetti and meatballs.
MabelNorth Hollywood, CA
I make all my sauces from scratch, and ordered these from Amazon. The tomatoes are peeled and packed in puree (not sauce), have a great flavor and consistency, break down nicely when cooked, and have a rich and meaty taste. So far, these are the best I’ve found.
The cans are good sized, one can made a great great sauce for 3-4 people (depending on appetite).
Not just for marinara, we’ve used them in curries, chili, and anything else that needs tomatoes.
Excellent Italian canned tomatoes. I have used 6 of 12 cans already and every can has been perfect. Big tomatoes, peeled very well. The liquid is a thick sauce, not a watery juice. Excellent for marinara. You can’t go wrong. Plus save all the hauling cans from the store. I am very satified and will order another box when I use these up…Plus free shipping…how can you go wrong?
DarlenaHoney Creek, WI
We’ve replaced canned tomato sauce in all of our favorite recipes with these ravishing red beauties from Italy and we’re never going back. Aside from being peeled and then pasteurized in the can, these San Marzano plum tomatoes are just about as fresh as when they were plucked off the vine in the Campania region of Italy. That means they aren’t cooked until you cook them, and what a difference THAT makes, especially with sauces simmered all day in a slow cooker or thrown together on the spur of the moment in a pressure cooker.
Amazon.com’s Free Super Saver shipping makes them a bargain compared to ordinary canned tomatoes and a steal versus the price of San Marzano tomatoes from the store.
Amazing San Marzano Tomatoes at an unbeatable price….try making a homemade pizza….Wow So Good!!!!
Remember to use salt, pepper and other spices as these are unadulterated unlike some other canned tomatoes
My father wanted Italian tomatoes for making home made pizzas. They are sold locally for $5 or more on Oahu. From Amazon, with subscribe&save discount, I can get them shipped for free for roughly $2.50 a can. Can’t beat that.
We have an wood burning oven imported from italy that we use to make homemade pizzas. The canned tomatoes just add to the uniqueness and flavor of the pizzas we make at home.
My wife uses San Marzanos in her tomato sauces. They cost a little more than the regular canned tomatoes, but we think there is more flavor. These are very rich and delicious. I don’t know what these cost in your store, but I figured it out to a $1 savings per can by buying them in bulk, and that’s off the CHEAPEST San Marzanos in the store that are actually grown in the USA. These are authentic from Italy. With Prime shipping and the amount of tomato sauce we make, this is a no brainer for us.
The cans arrived in good condition.
Carmalina’s paste is a critical ingredient in my pizza sauce and other Italian red sauces I prepare. It never disappoints.
I received my case of tomatoes today and every can was dented and some were even broken and leaking. It looked like someone dropped the case from a tall building! These are the best tomatoes it just is a shame they were all damaged so badly.
LavonaJamaica Plain, MA
Usually I buy a couple bushels of Roma tomatoes from a farmer and can them. This year in the midwest we had drought conditions and it was uncertain if I could get my order. I gave these a try thinking maybe they would be acceptable for this year, and they’re great. I made my standard pasta sauce I think I’m done canning. Buying these tomatoes is certainly much more expensive, but so far I prefer these tomatoes. Plus saves a lot of work and storage. Prime shipping by the case is great. I also like that they canned tomatoes only, with no salt or other seasons herbs basically what I’d do at home.
I did some research, and as other commenters indicated these seems to be legit San Marzano minus the DOP certification for export the US market. They’re imported to California and distributed domestically. Their website seems pretty upfront about their product. Check it out if you’re curious. My only concern is about the puree, as I’m unclear if the puree is made of the same San Marzano tomatoes or a cheaper tomato. Either way, it’s a fine product. I’m just concerned about getting what I’m paying for.
Anyway, this makes a great sauce. I just dump them into a work bowl puree and all and then crush them with my hands. Add to my ingredients and simmer.