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From Cooks Illustrated (may need an account to view this article):

  • 1 lb fresh tomatoes = 1 14.5-oz can of drained diced tomatoes + 1 T of drained juice
  • Calcium chloride added to some canned tomatoes helps tomatoes retain firm texture, so may need extra smooshing to break them down
  • 28-oz can of diced tomatoes = 2-1/2 cups of drained tomato solids
  • 28-oz can of whole tomatoes = 1-3/4 cups of drained tomato solids

San Marzano tomatoes

  • A type of plum tomato grown near Naples, Italy -- supposedly in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius
  • Canned Marzanos grown in Italy in compliance with Italian law will have the EU "DOP" emblem on the label.
  • Read the label carefully and look for the EU "DOP" (Denominazione d'Origine Protetta) emblem; even tomatoes labeled as "San Marzanos" may not be the real deal.
  • Brands of canned San Marzano tomatoes include LaValle, Francesconi, La Bella, Coluccio, Sclafani, Cento, Cirio, and Vanita.
  • Apparently, Food & Wine magazine named LaValle San Marzanos the best in a taste test.