* Prices may differ from that shown
I like spag bol, I like stir fry's and in fact I pretty much like any sauce, which involves the use of tomatoes. Actually I love tomatoes, on sandwiches, on their own, fried on a Sunday with my breakfast. Tinned tomatoes do have a slightly different taste to fresh, but it's not a bad difference. I guess it all depends on what you are going to use the tomatoes for which defines which you choose for your recipe.
Recently I have had just cause to praise the kind folk at ASDA for their excellent Smartprice range, unfortunately there was bound to come a time where this brand fell short. The ASDA tinned tomatoes are far far cheaper than Napolina, and once you taste both the reason becomes quite clear. The packaging of the napolina tomatoes is quite nice and eycatching, being that it is black and red and instantly attracts the eye.
I have found whilst making spag bol in particular that the Smartprice toms make my sauce a bit bland and tasteless, watery even and there isn't a lot you can do to make it any better. So I decided one fine day to pay the far bigger price for the Napolina toms and the difference was crystal clear. For different recipes I use the various different options of Napolina, they come with chilli, which is nice for the con carne and adds a little bit of kick although not that much. There is also the garlic version which is the one I alternate with the original for my spag bol. My sauce was thicker and had a bit of body, but mostly the taste. The sharp sweet tomato taste was shining through the spag bol and there was the added hint of garlic although again this was not overpowering. The whole experience was far more pleasurable, when I used the Napolina toms whether with or with the additives. They even looked better before I started cooking. They were a far deeper red, they looked fresher and they smelled like toms, which is something I cannot say of the Smartprice ones. The garlic was evident in the smell but it was subtle.
In an effort to prove what I basically already knew I used the Napolina toms in other recipes where previously I had used the Smartprice ones. It was now massively evident that sometimes you really do get what you pay for. Now when a recipe calls for tinned toms I have no hesitation is paying the significant extra, the difference in quality of finished product is rather large and obvious.
At about 4-5 times more expensive I'd say that that ratio carried on into the end product, and produced a dish that was far superior to the Smartprice one. Hence I have no problems recommending the Napolina tinned toms over the Smartprice and in fact other brands I have also tried. The quality is also very consistent they are the same every time, and it is a brand I now have on my trust list.
I usually use whatever tinned tomatoes are in the cupboard but the other day I needed some flavoured tomatoes to make a sauce to go on some chicken drumsticks. I would usually have got them flavoured with herbs but decided to have a change and get a tin of Napolina Chopped Tomatoes With Garlic.
They was about 80p for a big tin so that's loads more expensive than the supermarket own tinned tomatoes but they are delish and well worth the money I reckon.
You warm them up gently in a saucepan and the smell of garlic gets stronger as they warm through. There are shedloads of tomatoes in this tin and the sauce is mega thick and very red looking, I couldn't actually SEE any pieces of garlic so it must be mixed in with the juice.... thank God because I wouldn't fancy biting into a piece of pure garlic! lol
The over all flavour is wicked. The main taste is the tomatoes and they're majorly rich and FULL of flavour, the garlic is quite strong but deffo not overpowering and it gives the tomatoes a wicked taste. It's blended into the sauce good so that every mouth full has got the same rich garlic flavour that goes sooooooo nice with the juicy tomato flavour.
When I used it on the chicken drumsticks the extra cooking time in the oven made the garlic taste a bit sweeter and also stopped it having such a strong flavour. The garlic takes a bit of the tomato flavour off and that's good when you're cooking with chicken because sometimes a very rich tomato taste can make you lose a bit of the chicken flavour, this didn't though and I ended up with a delish and mega simple meal that tastes like it took more effort AND money than it did!
Recommended.... tinned tomatoes aren't the most exciting thing in the world but the addition of garlic makes them loads more interesting.