Friday, 29 September 2017

You like tomayto, I like tomahto...

Back in the summer something joyous occurred. Our local supermarket was selling tinned tomatoes for 10p a tin. 

They weren't dented and the best-before date was not impending. Word on the check-out  was that Globe tomatoes were a discontinued line and the Co-op was trying to shift them quickly. Naturally we were keen to help in the process. 

For a week it appeared that either we were the only ones aware of this incredible discount, or the supply of tomatoes was endless. As fast as we were loading up our cycle panniers and bags, the shelves were being replenished. We began doing crazy calculations to work out how many tinned tomatoes we eat in a year, or a decade, and wondering whether we could buy a lifetime's supply. Even though it's not difficult to multiply by 10p, I would still gasp with surprise when 20 tins trundled along the conveyor belt and the check-out assistant really did only ask for £2.00.

A small selection of my tinned tomahto collection

In the end we didn't hoard a lifetime's supply, and eventually the supply dried up. But we do still have a LOT of tomatoes  in the cupboard. 

And strangely enough (or maybe not so strangely), because they're there, our tomato consumption has gone up. I would never have imagined this happening, but I've fallen in love with tinned tomatoes on toast; gently heated and with a drizzle of chilli oil on top, or some marmite beneath, they're quite palatable.

And then there are all the usual uses - pasta sauces and bakes, curries, slow cooker dishes...

But is there some wonderful tomato dish that I haven't thought of? What's your favourite thing to do with tinned tomatoes? And what kind of a tinned tomato person are you - plum or chopped?! And crucially: tomayto or tomahto?!

Tinned tomato facts:

  • They are one of the best sauces sources of the carotenoid pigment lycopene which some studies suggest helps prevent prostate, lung and stomach cancer.
  • Tomatoes are an exception to the rule that food loses micronutrients when it is heated - the lycopene in tomatoes is better absorbed when heated.
  • They contain bone strengthening vitamin K.
  • And antioxidants vitamins C and E, which are beneficial in preventing heart disease.
  • One half cup of tinned tomatoes provides 20% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C.
  • Tinned tomatoes count towards your 5 a day.


  1. I use canned tomatoes in chili, and with pork or chicken in the slow cooker.

    I just use whatever is the cheapest. I stock up when they are 99cents a can.

  2. That is a brilliant find! You will be fine come the zombie apocalypse! I have switched from tinned tomatoes to passata because it is easier to just throw in everything. I have started shopping at our local wholesale supermarket and they have giant, cheap tins of chopped tomatoes - I have been wondering about buying them and whizzing up the tomatoes, then re-preserving them as passata or pasta sauce. I wonder if you can do that?? Do you like tomato juice? I imagine you could make that with tinned tomatoes.. what about tomato soup? Yum.

  3. You lucky thing. I stocked up when Aldi were selling their cases of tomatoes for less than 16p a can. There's an easy soup on the internet, oil or butter, an onion, fresh or tinned tomatoes (best to look it up if you're interested as it feels I've left an ingredient or two out). Cook it, whizz it together (some take the onion out before whizzing but that's just crazy talk) and you have something that tastes a little like Heinz Tomato Soup imo.

  4. I love tomatoes anyway--fresh, cooked, frozen, tinned. Plain, in a salad, mixed with cottage cheese, in soups, sauces, etc. That's a great bargain you found. I think. I'm not sure of the exchange rate these days.

  5. Be cautious because I have read that tinned tomatoes, because of their high acidity levels, leach more Bisphenol-A from the lining of can than do most other tinned goods. See here for info: