Saturday, October 17, 2009

One grower, two lines of tomatoes

Have you tried those delightful, greenhouse-grown Campari tomatoes -- small, deep-red orbs on the vine that are bursting with flavor? They taste so good year-round, you may not miss Jersey's famed beefsteak. But if you read the label carefully, you'll discover that not all Campari tomatoes are created equally.

These beauties are grown in Mexico, distributed by a Canadian company, Mastronardi Produce Ltd., and sold under the Sunset brand, whose motto is "Goodness Grown Naturally." That motto is true for the Campari tomatoes you'll find at Fairway Market or ShopRite, but not for those in a special package sold by Costco.

The 1-pound package I picked up at Fairway for $2.99 this week is "greenhouse-grown, vine-ripened and herbicide-free" (look for a two-tone green label). The 2-pound package I bought at Costco yesterday for $4.49 says only, "Greenhouse-grown, vine-ripened." That label is blue and tan.

The label's of both say the contents are "the tomato-lover's tomato." That's no hype, but I wonder why Costco is selling the lower-quality version.

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