The Canned Tomato Brand Ina Garten Swears By

You say to-MAY-toh, Ina Garten says San Marzano. She's not trying to be mean (Ina Garten is never trying to be mean), it's just that a regular canned tomato will never do. Garten is known for using the best quality ingredients she can source. In a recent virtual conversation with The New York Times, Garten explained her approach: "It means think about the ingredient. It doesn't mean buy the most expensive one if you can't afford it. Buy the best ingredient you can buy," (via Insider).

While Garten made it clear that "a canned tomato is not that interesting," she relented that if it has to be canned, it has to be San Marzano — a tomato with a more "interesting flavor." The chef lists the brand on her website among other favorite products; and if you want to replicate an Ina Garten tomato soup, you're going to want the right tomato, right? Well, Garten might be using her — er, garden — to source produce for most dishes, but she swears that if she's making bolognese in the middle of a snowy, East Hamptons winter, San Marzano is her go-to can.

If it's not D.O.P., it's not the OG

According to Martha Stewart, San Marzano is both a region in Italy (near Naples) and a type of plum tomato that grows in said region. True San Marzanos have a D.O.P. stamp — they carry a protected designation status, á la Parmigiano-Reggiano, or a properly-vetted balsamic vinegar. But as Kitchn recently pointed out, there are plenty of knock-off San Mar-zees out there tryna front. Plum playas gon' play, after all. Unless you see that D.O.P on the can, you're probably not getting the real deal, and we're guessing Garten doesn't mess with imposters.

Discerning taste-testers, like the ones at Epicurious, would have you believe that San Marzano tomatoes might not even be worth the hype. They point towards the many tasty (less pricey) alternatives in the canned tomato world. However, the can they test-tested was indeed an import, containing San Marzano tomatoes that were grown and packed in the U.S., so take those tomatoes with a grain of salt. Somewhere, Ina Garten is clutching her pearls.