In working through my collection of foreign canned goods and dried produce, I came across these canned cherry tomatoes that I brought back from Italy two years ago.
Canned cherry tomatoes are vastly superior to any other canned tomato, even San Marzanos. They have a pulpy intensity and balanced sweetness, where the big guys tend to fall mainly in the acidic, watery part of the spectrum. A little cursory googling suggests that canned cherry tomatoes aren’t totally unknown on these shores, but I have yet to see them on the shelves. Why they haven’t quite caught on here is a mystery to me.
I don’t remember where I picked up the Lina cans. When I was living in Italy, I used the Coop house brand, which were especially good for bucatini all’amatriciana. (Above, a weeknight variation that includes pork shoulder, sliced and sautéed with guanciale before being stewed with tomatoes and onions.)
I suppose part of the reason I’m no longer holding onto all these treasures is that I’m headed back that way in a couple of months, empty suitcases in tow. And perhaps this is also the year that I’ll can some of my own.
Update: I stopped by BuonItalia tonight on the way to Molly‘s booksigning, and saw that they carry La Valle canned cherry tomatoes. I didn’t pick up a can since I was traveling light, but I know where to find them now. I bet they would be good on pizza.