Every year I look forward to peak tomato season—the few glorious weeks each summer when the farmers markets and backyard gardens are full of the fresh, ripe fruit. During those golden weeks, I eat tomatoes constantly—chopped in salads, baked on chicken or fish, or my favorite, simply sliced with a sprinkle of salt. While tomatoes are best when eaten as close to harvest as possible—preferably still warm from the sun—the window for fresh tomatoes is limited.
In the winter, supermarket tomatoes are a pale imitation of the real thing, so when the days are short and the weather is cold, chefs and culinary experts turn to canned tomatoes. They're great for making comforting hearty winter dishes like stews and braises and can also be used in recipes calling for fresh tomatoes to bring that summer flavor to your table year-round. Muir Glen tomatoes are grown in sun-drenched California and picked at the peak of freshness to ensure great taste and flavor. They’ve always been organic, and they use jars or cans with no BPA in their lining to keep chemicals out of our bodies and our food system (acidic foods are especially known for leaching BPA from the lining, so be careful with tomatoes).
With so many options to choose from, it can get a bit confusing! Use this handy guide to help determine what’s best for your next recipe: