Produce Exchange turns meaty with Tesoro tomato

02/13/2012 07:44:00 PM
Mike Hornick

“Restaurants don’t often grill a tomato because it ends up being a blob and not very good looking.”

“At retail the formula works better,” he said.

“It’s $2.99 to $3.99 a bag. Most packaged tomatoes are 10-16 ounces and sell for the same as our 22. We’re at a price point that’s very acceptable, and we’re getting good movement. The baseline is continuing to grow.”

Mazzanti first encountered Nunhems’ Intense variety in Spain in 2006. A year later, The Produce Exchange ran a 600-plant trial in Baja.

In each of the past four years, they’ve run 2-hectare precommercial trials in Culiacan. Retail and foodservice tests were also done.

However foodservice business proceeds from here, Tesoro was definitely developed for cooking, or at least for applications beyond salads, like sandwiches or pico de gallo.

“Instead of disintegrating, it gets grill lines like a steak or peach and holds its shape,” Mazzanti said.

“When you slice or bake it, the first thing you notice is you don’t get a wagon wheel where the gel falls out of a regular tomato.”

Sandwiches without sogginess are the aim.

“You can have a full tomato sauce in 20 minutes,” Mazzanti said. “You can pull the skins out with your tongs.”


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