September usually evokes crisp school books and the first thoughts of fall – but our minds always go to tomatoes. Late August and September mark the peak of the tomato harvest season in Italy. The new crop of our Vantia tomatoes are being harvested and canned at the time of writing. We have been working with the same tomato producers for decades – this ensures the quality and consistency of our product year after year. We offer three different types of tomatoes under our Vantia brand:
- D.O.P. San Marzano Tomatoes: Tomato Royalty! Grown in the fertile volcanic soil around the Vesuvius, these much sought-after tomatoes have a beautifully sweet/acidic balance, and a firm yet tender texture. Many imitations can be found on the market. Seek out the San Marzano seal on the label to ensure you have the real deal.
- Peeled Tomatoes, “Gold Selection”: grown outside of Salerno, in close proximity to San Marzano and the Vesuvius, they benefit from the same rich volcanic soil. A little less expensive than D.O.P. tomatoes, they offer a similar extraordinary balance of sweetness and acidity.
- Peeled or Crushed Tomatoes with Basil Leaf: a glorious everyday tomato, made with tomatoes grown throughout the south of Italy. Keep reading to learn more about it!
While you may be familiar with canning or jarring tomatoes yourself, how does it happen on a larger scale? Keep scrolling for a deep dive on this pantry essential.
Step 1: The Fields
The beloved Vantia Peeled Tomatoes, and Vantia Crushed Tomatoes first start their journey in fields from Southern Italy.
Certified non-GMO, they are made with “Roma” tomatoes – plump and egg-shaped, this variety has the idea wall thickness to hold its shape during the canning process.
Step 2: The Prep Process
Once picked, the tomatoes undergo a first Quality Assurance verification, before being sent for a good clean.
Then come in an eagle-eyed crew of expert employees who pluck out any tomatoes that may look under ripe, or substandard. The tomatoes are then peeled, and undergo yet another round of quality control, to remove any tomatoes that may have been bruised or torn during the process.
Step 3: The Canning Process
The tomatoes are then placed in their tins (guaranteed free of Bisphenol A), which is topped off with a 100% tomato puree.
They are gently pasteurized and left to cool off and settle for three weeks …
After this gentle resting period, they are shipped to the Musco Food warehouse, and eventually land on your shelves.
Vantia D.O.P. San Marzano Gazpacho
Gazpacho is a traditional cold soup that hails from Spain. Incredibly refreshing, it makes a great addition to prepared foods cases, or catering menus when placed in small plastic verrines. We’ve chosen to use our San Marzano tomatoes here, but our classic Peeled or Gold Selection would work just as well.
One 28 OZ. tin Vantia DOP San Marzano Tomato (#801015) **including puree in tin**
2 TBSP Vantia Organic E.V.O.O. (#660017).
1 Medium Cucumber, Seeds and Skin removed, in small dice.
1/2 Green Bell Pepper, in small dice.
1/2 Yellow Bell Pepper, in small dice.
1 Large Shallot, in small dice.
2 Large Garlic Cloves, minced.
2 TBSP Sherry Vinegar.
1 TBSP Basil, Finely Chopped.
1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika.
1 tsp Celery Salt.
Salt & Pepper to taste.
- In a blender, puree tomatoes (with their puree), oil, cucumber, bell peppers, shallot, garlic, vinegar, basil, paprika, celery salt. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill soup, preferably overnight.
- Mix soup before serving and thin with ice cold water if need be. Serve in a bowl topped with basil or chive oil & mini croutons.