Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Review: Dei Fratelli Tomato Products

My family has been eating really well for the past week- thanks to the Family Review Network and Dei Fratelli! The Dei Fratelli brand is new to us, but we love tomatoes and tomato products, so we were happy to test out some of their products.  We received a big box from Dei Fratelli- packed inside was all sorts of tomatoey goodness- diced tomatoes, chopped tomatoes, Italian sauce, pizza sauce, salsa, Sloppy Joe sauce, pasta sauce... so many great things!

Here's a bit about the Dei Fratelli company, from its website:
Hirzel Canning Company was founded in 1923 by the late Carl R. Hirzel, a Brewmaster by trade. The Hirzel family began growing and canning vegetables. His first product was sauerkraut, sold only in wooden kegs and barrels. The next year he began canning kraut, with the help of his wife Lena and oldest son, Karl. The third year they packed their first fancy whole tomatoes.
As the company’s reputation for selective farming and canning grew, it wasn't long before Hirzel bought their first delivery truck and began taking orders. The company grew steadily and presently is operated by the third and fourth generations of the family. There are three processing plants located in northwestern Ohio, with extensive greenhouse and farming operations that produce some of the raw product requirements. In addition, over 30 independent growers supply fresh tomatoes.
All of the tomato growers that provide raw product for Dei Fratelli products are located within 20 miles of our processing facilities. The growers' close proximity to processing plants ensures that the raw product is of the highest quality when it arrives at the manufacturing plants. Nearly all of the tomatoes are processed within 6 to 10 hours of their harvest.
We started out our reviewing of the Dei Fratelli products by opening the jar of salsa. My husband took one bite, then put on his coat and went next door to 7-11 to pick up some chips so he could eat lots more salsa! I was impressed by how fresh it tasted, and loved the slight, but not too strong, level of spiciness. Yummy!  From there we moved on to other products- making homemade pizza with the pizza sauce, enjoying a simple dinner of sloppy joes, making spaghetti and tomato soup with the pasta sauce and chopped tomatoes, to name a few. Life has been very tomatoey around here lately!

Sloppy Joes (on Italian bread)

Spaghetti squash with diced tomatoes and onions- and a bit of feta cheese.
Yesterday I made my personal favorite dish- spaghetti squash with diced tomatoes. This is a must-have on my family's weekly menu. It's easy, healthy and delicious!  I'm always looking for great tomatoes to use in my sauce, and thought the diced tomatoes from Dei Fratelli were a fabulous choice.

We have been so impressed by all the products that we received from Dei Fratelli. All Dei Fratelli products are free of artificial preservatives or additives and almost all are naturally gluten-free. Everything has tasted nice and fresh- like a made from scratch product, rather than something coming out of a jar or a can. The seasoned products, like the salsa and sauces, have had a good amount of spices and seasonings and have tasted great.  In addition to the great taste, I liked that the products used sea salt, so they still had flavor, but weren't as high in sodium as some other canned/jarred tomato products that I've used in the past. I also like that the ingredient lists on these products are simple, without unnecessary artificial things thrown in. Even the sauces just had a handful of ingredients.  This is a brand that I look forward to buying in the future and serving to my family. 

We only reviewed a bit of what Dei Fratelli has to offer- the company currently makes over 100 items, so if there's a tomato need in your life, they probably have it covered. You can see a full product list here. Those of you who live in the Midwest, Central or Southeastern states can find Dei Fratelli products in grocery stores near you. Once you dig out from all the snow that you're currently buried under, of course.  :)  Those who, like me, don't live where these products are sold in stores, can buy online, at this link

Disclosure: This post was written for Family Review Network & Dei Fratelli who provided the complimentary products for review in exchange for my honest opinions.