The flavor of an Italian garden — in a can from California!
Today, the tomato is inextricably linked to Italian cuisine. From spaghetti al pomodoro to pizza margherita to pollo all cacciatora, it’s hard to imagine an Italian meal without the beautiful red color and bright acidity of the humble fruit (yes, it’s a fruit, not a vegetable). But in fact, the tomato is a fairly recent import — it was first brought to Italy from the Americas, by way of early Spanish settlers, in the 16th century. Cooking pasta and meat with tomatoes didn’t really gain traction until as recently as the 1800s, when the trend began in Naples and Tuscany and fanned out to the rest of the newly-unified country (Italy as we know it today didn’t become a single entity until 1861!).
Given that tomatoes emigrated to Italy from North America, it seems appropriate that the most authentically Italian canned tomatoes and tomato paste that we’ve tasted actually come from America — California, to be precise. Bianco DiNapoli certainly sounds Italian, but in fact it’s named after its founders, Phoenix based Chris Bianco and native Californian Rob DiNapoli. DiNapoli’s family has been growing and processing Californian produce for more than 80 years, while Bianco is a renowned chef, and the first pizza maker, or pizzaiolo, to win the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Southwest. In 2010, the pair teamed up to form Bianco DiNapoli and share with the world the finest organically grown tomatoes Northern California has to offer.
You’ll get to try Chris and Rob’s tomatoes two ways. Bianco DiNapoli Whole Peeled Tomatoes uses field-ripened tomatoes that are steam peeled and then packed with a light puree and a pinch of salt for added flavor. Each can is sealed, cooked, and cooled to keep that just harvested flavor locked in and ready to enjoy all year long. These tomatoes are incredibly versatile, perfect for everything from pasta sauces to minestrone soup, and even nonItalian dishes like shakshuka or chicken tikka masala. You don’t even need to cook in order to enjoy these tomatoes, as they’re delicious on a sandwich or even straight from the can.
You’ll find the same beautiful combination of sweetness and acidity in Bianco DiNapoli’s Tomato Paste, only in concentrated and intensified form. The same vine-ripened
tomatoes as you’ll find in the Whole Peeled Tomatoes are crushed and the seeds and skins removed. The remainder is then concentrated by cooking, straining, and recooking down to a fifth of its original volume. The finished product packs a rich, deep flavor — a little bit goes a long way. Use it to add intensity and texture in sauces, stews, braises, and soups, or add it to ground meat dishes like polpette (meatballs) or even meatloaf. In addition to its delectable flavor, it’s also a great source of lycopene, which can improve heart health and help fight certain types of cancer!
Short of growing tomatoes yourself, you’ll find some of the most delicious tomatoes you’ve ever tasted in each can Bianco DiNapoli produces. Have a look at all they have to offer at biancodinapoli.com.