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How to use canned, whole tomatoes when making tomato sauce?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

Recipes very drastically on how to prep canned, whole tomatoes prior to using them in sauce.  I've seen recipes that say cored and seeded, other say just cored, some just dice or tear them (ignoring any cores or seeds), and often they are pulverized in a food processor (presumably this sufficiently breaks down any cores and seeds?).

 

So, how should canned, whole tomatoes be prepared for making tomato sauce?

 

Also, what is your preferred canned tomato product (or combination of products) for making tomato sauces? (like for pasta)

 

Thanks and happy new year! 

post #2 of 31

It's very simple. In summer I use fresh tomatoes, in winter canned ones.

Second, there are canned whole tomatoes but also canned chunks of tomatoes. Don't bother buying the whole ones, they will break apart when cooking anyway, so you might as well use canned chunks. Same taste but cheaper. I don't care for brands, when it says "made in Italy" on the back, they're mine.

 

Simplicity works best when making a tomato sauce. I sweat a shallot and some cloves of garlic, add canned tomatoes with the juice, s&p, pinch of dried oregano, fresh chopped herbes if available (and/or basil, parcely, savory...thyme). Let simmer for 30-45 minutes. Done. If you prefer smooth sauce, mix. Here's a dish made with tomatosauce like that. Tiny meatballs poached (...oh yes!!!) in water first; taste and digest 10x better than fried meatballs. Then add to the sauce and homemade mashed potatoes. What else tastes better?

 

balletjesTomatensaus.jpg

post #3 of 31

I've run a knife back and forth in the opened can. I've seen others use kitchen scissors right in the opened can. I've seen them poured out and a potato masher used to break them up. I've seen them squished and broken in the hand (best to drive a finger to center of the tomato first or it will squirt juice with this method).

 

They all work just fine.

 

I tend to buy crushed tomatoes for sauce purposes as the break up is already handled. I think you get more solids with the crushed tomatoes over whole peeeled tomatoes. And the crushed are usually packed in puree, not juice, again giving you more solids for the sauce.

post #4 of 31

Big US brand, canned, whole tomatoes, like Hunt's and Contadina to name just two, are quite good; certainly good enough not to hurt anything.  San Marzano tomatoes from Italy are better -- as good as you can get. If you're not using fresh or San Marzano, I agree with Phatch about using crushed tomatoes for sauces.  Phatch is a smart fellow.

 

If there's a lot of pulp and seeds in a canned tomato, pick it up in your hand, give it a gentle squeeze over the sink, and the pulp and seeds will shoot out.  If there are seeds in the juice, strain it in a sieve just fine enough to catch them.

 

The tomatoes available in US supermarkets -- even at the height of the season, which isn't very well defined in SoCal -- are often picked too firm and green; and while they're color might improve, texture and taste are another matter.  Some of "my" markets have good, fresh tomatoes nine months a year, and some never.  Great market or not, it's not much trouble to check.  I choose fresh tomatoes, one by one, by smell and by touch, and if they don't measure up I buy canned. 

 

BDL

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post #5 of 31

The only kind of canned (or bottled, as they often are here) tomatoes i don;t like are when they;re pureed so much they seem like babyfood.  I like a little texture in my sauce.  There's a type here called "vellutata" (velvety) and i find the sauce they make unpleasant. 

I usually use whatever they have in the brand i like (which is Valleverde, not sure if they import these), whole, chopped cubes, puree, just not their vellutata. 

They've already been cooked if they're canned and so they break down, as others have said, even if they;re whole. 

I don;t have any problem with the seeds, so i don;t remove them (but i never spit out grape seeds or even watermelon seeds, i just avoid chewing them, so i may be an exception). 

The only exception to this is canned tiny round tomatoes (pachino) which can be wonderful or can have VERY bitter seeds. 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #6 of 31

Not in any order, my favorite brands include these. I chose based on time, cost (who's paying), availability, and/or other such things. 

 

Muir Glen, Red Gold, Cento San Marzano, DeLallo San Marzano, Unico San Marzano, Costco's San Marzano, 6-in-1 All Purpose Tomatoes. 

 

They're all, in my opinion, high-quality products. On any given day, regardless of sales, there can be some serious price differences. 

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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post #7 of 31

San Marzano tomatoes from Italy are better -- as good as you can get.

 

What, exactly, makes them better, BDL? Taste? Texture? Proportion of pulp to sees & cores?

 

Or merely the fact that they're faddish?

 

According to the Consorzio San Marzano (which is the San Marzano Tomato Consotium), at least 95% of tomatoes sold in America that are identified as being San Marzano, aren't. So, have you been reacting to the taste and texture of what's in that can? Or just to the fact is says "San Marzano" on the outside.

 

When you can, in a blind taste test, tell the difference between any so-called San Marzano and other canned tomatoes, especially in something like a red sauce, then tout them. Otherwise, it ill behooves you to perpetrate these culinary myths.

 

 

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #8 of 31

San Marzano tomatoes are what they are, a product of a specific region. They look different and have a superior flavor. For that, you pay what you pay. Simple business. 

thumbnail.aspx?q=1438910125077&id=33409ea805aa7a03b5dc900837541299 thumbnail.aspx?q=1518062737833&id=c50a7b69be1977468c6e9f23908adb3b thumbnail.aspx?q=1521330820301&id=696704351bec351d414152b131531ce9 thumbnail.aspx?q=1518790121361&id=044a902ffbd52f5aacc161594eaa3253

 

San Marzano tomatoes, a variety of plum tomatoes, are considered by many chefs to be the best sauce tomatoes in the world.

300px-TomateSanMarzano.jpg tomatoes-001.jpg

"Red Alert: Tomato Recipes"

 

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply
post #9 of 31

I would rather pay for those tomatoes fresh than buy them in a freaking can after they have already lost their flavor... I will do what i do now and buy a decent brand since nobody can seem to tell the difference half the time if my product is a turd or phenomenal.. I would never serve a turd but I wonder sometimes what I could sell in this day and age.. If my geusts raved about it and noticed a difference I would for sure change but they dont unfortunately.. I struggled with this issue for so long wanting to make everything from scratch.. but in this area 80 - 90% of people really dont notice... Although I do make 90% of things from scratch I dont understand why I have never seen anyone with a real palette. even doing special requested dinners for people who have the money in this town and "Supposedly" know what their talking about.... maybe its the same all over though maybe its just a chef thing.

post #10 of 31

I like Red Pack or Hunts. But the commercial one made for food service. They come in #10 cans or  6 pound  pouches  only  and are different then the retail pack cans sold in supermarkets.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #11 of 31

 

Since climatically, Spain and Italy are quite similar to each other, I am able to get luscious Pomodoro fresh that is fresh aromatic Plum variety tomatoes. Nothing like a ripe juicy aromatic and fresh plum tomato ... I use a bit of canned sauce as a paste or thickener depending on the dish I am making and the same brand Siduri does or Barilla which also makes Italian linguini, macaroni etcetra.  

post #12 of 31

@ Iceman,

 

Awesome fotos ... Gorgeous pomodori ...

post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by inAweOfChefs View Post

Recipes very drastically on how to prep canned, whole tomatoes prior to using them in sauce.  I've seen recipes that say cored and seeded, other say just cored, some just dice or tear them (ignoring any cores or seeds), and often they are pulverized in a food processor (presumably this sufficiently breaks down any cores and seeds?).

 

So, how should canned, whole tomatoes be prepared for making tomato sauce?

 

Also, what is your preferred canned tomato product (or combination of products) for making tomato sauces? (like for pasta)

 

Thanks and happy new year! 


Any of the ways you mentioned works fine.  I doubt that you could get us into a heated debate over which way to prep whole canned tomatoes lol.  Me?  I stick them in the pan and use spoon, fork or masher to mash the daylights out of it.  More often than not I buy crushed or diced tomatoes and save myself the hassle.

 

Muir Glen is my favorite, especially the fire roasted crushed or diced.  I've never been impressed with cans of san marzano from the italian grocers.  I always regret buying them.  Red Pack is also a decent brand as is contadina or Hunts in a pinch.  But Muir Glen meets all my expectations in a canned tomato product.

 

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #14 of 31


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xerp View Post

I would rather pay for those tomatoes fresh than buy them in a freaking can after they have already lost their flavor...


Actually, Xerp, often the fresh ones, especially in places that haven't got the wonderful volcanic earth and the long days of sun of san marzano, are probably less tasty and even the real ones will only be at their peak in a REALLY short period of the year.  That's why they've been canned since canning existed. 

It may surprise many people to know that italians, especially those who are really concerned with good eating and "genuine" foods (as they call them) and usually those living in the country and raising tomatoes and other stuff, will can their own.  Actually they use beer bottles and do hundreds of bottles during the peak of the season when tomatoes are too good to be true.  They have a camping stove burner outside with gigantic pots and put newspaper between the bottles, and the old system was to put corks in the bottles and tie the corks down with strings.  But many have their own beer can top press (none of the beer cans here have screw on tops).  My mother in law used to pay this family in the country that worked a farm to make their bottled tomatoes, and i can tell you they were amazing.  Here's what the process looks like:

 

http://finefoods.ecodelgusto.com/joomla/sicilia-da-gustare/salsa-di-pomodoro-fatta-in-casa-una-tradizione-antica-e-gustosa-della-gastronomia-tipica-siciliana.html


In a sauce, you'll be cooking the fresh tomatoes anyway, and so cooking them to can them is not going to lose their freaking flavor any more than will be lost when you pick them green enough to transport. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IceMan View Post

San Marzano tomatoes are what they are, a product of a specific region. They look different and have a superior flavor. For that, you pay what you pay. Simple business. 

thumbnail.aspx?q=1438910125077&id=33409ea805aa7a03b5dc900837541299 thumbnail.aspx?q=1518062737833&id=c50a7b69be1977468c6e9f23908adb3b thumbnail.aspx?q=1521330820301&id=696704351bec351d414152b131531ce9 thumbnail.aspx?q=1518790121361&id=044a902ffbd52f5aacc161594eaa3253

 

San Marzano tomatoes, a variety of plum tomatoes, are considered by many chefs to be the best sauce tomatoes in the world.

300px-TomateSanMarzano.jpg tomatoes-001.jpg

"Red Alert: Tomato Recipes"

 


Not sure about the others but the last ones are definitely not san marzanos.  Not to be picky...

 

Koukouvagia, one more thing we have in common.  My mother had done an extensive research of tomato brands and ended up choosing muir glen as a first choice and red pack as a second.  Sometimes the best thing is to take the best of the local ingredients than the crappy stuff that is exported from countries that like to keep the best for themselves!

 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
post #15 of 31

The last pic of tomatoes in a bowl just goes along w/ the story. It's the dish from the included article. Now maybe if you had read the article before making your comment, you would have been aware of that. Then again, maybe not. 

 

Quote:

 

I doubt that you could get us into a heated debate over which way to prep whole canned tomatoes lol.

LOL. Stop yourself. This general crowd would have a heated debate over pouring a glass of water. 

 

Quote:

 

Although I do make 90% of things from scratch I dont understand why I have never seen anyone with a real palette.

 

palette may refer to:

  • Palate, the roof of the mouth
  • Pallet, a holder for goods for use with a forklift

 

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply

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I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by IceMan View Post

The last pic of tomatoes in a bowl just goes along w/ the story. It's the dish from the included article. Now maybe if you had read the article before making your comment, you would have been aware of that. Then again, maybe not. 

 

Quote:

 

LOL. Stop yourself. This general crowd would have a heated debate over pouring a glass of water. 

 

Quote:

 

 

palette may refer to:

  • Palate, the roof of the mouth
  • Pallet, a holder for goods for use with a forklift

 


A) Why must all your posts include creative text, graphics, and enclosed articles?  Am I supposed to read every article you post?  Why not just say what you want to say, a picture book and references is not always necessary when having a conversation. 

 

B) We might debate a little here but that's how this community is.  No reason to put us down.

 

C) Wow, you googled the word palate.  Impressive.

 

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #17 of 31

Q.E.D.!

Quote:
Originally Posted by IceMan View Post
...LOL. Stop yourself. This general crowd would have a heated debate over pouring a glass of water. 

 

 

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post #18 of 31

Well I am actually very fortunate to have local grown very good tomatoes almost all year round, only thing I used the canned stuff for is salsa, and cocktail sauce really... lol and thats about it. The only reason I use canned for the salsa is because its free on our menu.. (Owner decision not mine trust me) But I do Charge 8 Bucks for Fresh Pico, and 12 Bucks for fresh Guacamole. Which is made fresh to order so i can go cheap on the salsa.. I dont care though since I think its stupid considering we are American/New Mexico/French Influenced.. Casual Fine Dining... oh well pick your battles I geuss

post #19 of 31

Why must people entirely quote very large posts at all, even more so in the very next post?

 

My posts include "creative text, graphics, and enclosed articles" because that's the way I do it. Silly me though, that I would expect someone to read what I post before making any comment about the body of my post. Reading a post before commenting is just maybe a little bit necessary when having a conversation.

 

LOL. Why is it that some people have a hard time just having conversation in general? I've been here well long enough that regulars should be aware of how I speak. I wasn't putting anyone down. LOL. I WAS MAKING A JOKE.

 

NO, I did not "Google" anything. I just went directly to Palate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

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post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

San Marzano tomatoes from Italy are better -- as good as you can get.

 

What, exactly, makes them better, BDL? Taste? Texture? Proportion of pulp to sees & cores?

 

Or merely the fact that they're faddish?

 

According to the Consorzio San Marzano (which is the San Marzano Tomato Consotium), at least 95% of tomatoes sold in America that are identified as being San Marzano, aren't. So, have you been reacting to the taste and texture of what's in that can? Or just to the fact is says "San Marzano" on the outside.

 

When you can, in a blind taste test, tell the difference between any so-called San Marzano and other canned tomatoes, especially in something like a red sauce, then tout them. Otherwise, it ill behooves you to perpetrate these culinary myths.

 

 

 


Taste.  I buy the myth and do think I could taste test the difference and I'm generally a hard skeptic on snobby ingredients.  This one happens to be a little true.  San Marzano tomatoes that actually come from the area just taste more like a tomato to me.  Worth paying 3x more for?  Not going to touch that.

post #21 of 31

Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

What, exactly, makes them better, BDL? Taste? Texture? Proportion of pulp to sees & cores?

 

Or merely the fact that they're faddish?

 

According to the Consorzio San Marzano (which is the San Marzano Tomato Consotium), at least 95% of tomatoes sold in America that are identified as being San Marzano, aren't. So, have you been reacting to the taste and texture of what's in that can? Or just to the fact is says "San Marzano" on the outside.

 

When you can, in a blind taste test, tell the difference between any so-called San Marzano and other canned tomatoes, especially in something like a red sauce, then tout them. Otherwise, it ill behooves you to perpetrate these culinary myths.

 


Really? 

 

BDL

 

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post #22 of 31

It really is a matter of preference isn't it?  San Marzano from Italy vs San Marzano branded vs. other?

post #23 of 31

Posted by kuan View Post

It really is a matter of preference isn't it?  San Marzano from Italy vs San Marzano branded vs. other?


Well, it's tautological that any matter of taste is a "matter of preference." 

 

That said, "San Marzano tomatoes" means something as specific to me as "Vidalia onions."  When I say San Marzano, I mean grown in San Marzano. I do like them, and think, compared to nearly all the domestic, canned tomatoes, they're superior for most things you'd make with canned tomatoes.  That doesn't mean my preference approaches religious fervor or that I always go out of my way to buy and keep San Marzano canned tomatoes.  

 

We use several brands of domestic tomatoes, and probably prefer Muir Glen fire roasted to just about anything else; but they're expensive and not easy to find.  We don't always shop at the fou-fou supers, nor is our pantry kept perpetually and fully stocked.  We use a lot of Hunts and Contadina too; and both are pretty freakin' good as far as I'm concerned.

 

On a personal note, I resent KYH making my integrity and package labeling reading skills a focus of attention.  In the words of Bill the Cat,

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRF6VGYeXku_u8nGzC7H_UENN7gMmjfBzayOkFXkmhYawKrhJ7F

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 1/4/12 at 9:45am
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post #24 of 31

This is a very good point, and I'm gonna use it to go off on a tangent here. 

Quote:

"San Marzano tomatoes" means something as specific to me as "Vidalia onions."

 

On NYE I cooked for a vegetarian crowd that included a handful of carnivores. I made French Onion Soup, among other things. The onion content was 40% Vidalia onions. Now after all of everything was eaten, a good 6-8 people told me that it was the best F-O soup they've ever had. I kinda thought it sucked (way too sweet for me, and I didn't add any kind of sweetener). The point here is "palates are palates, tastes are tastes, preferences are preferences" ... "whoever is paying is correct" (that last part is just my idea, it's not all so relevant for the first part, or maybe it is, I don't know, I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'). Anyway, I like San Marzanos when the tomatoes are featured as tomatoes w/ not so much other seasonings to be included. As an example, when served as the most simple sauce or the most basic capri salad. I'm not spending the premium prices to put them in pizza sauce w/ a whole bunch of other seasonings that nullify their premium flavors. That follows my feelings about using EVOO. I think different tomatoes go with different dishes individually, not so much interchangeably. 

 

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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post #25 of 31

Sorry Ice man, but I had no idea you were posting a link.  I thought  it was just a page cut and pasted from internet, title included, but in any case, I'll rarely go check out a link unless it has an answer to a question i really want the answer to.  If i post a link, it's to answer a specific question or as an optional illustration of something i can't directly reproduce.  The real content is in the words I write.  If i was interested in generic internet sites, i would look for generic internet sites, not a forum where i "know" so many of the people.

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
post #26 of 31

In general, when I pop into a forum and say something general about a topic of contention, it's because it's been brought to my attention that it might be getting out of control.

 

Treat it as if I'm changing the subject.   So how about them Yankees?

post #27 of 31

Everything's "AG" (all good)

 

chc.gif

 

 

The Yankees suck.

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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post #28 of 31

I knew there was something Iceman and I agreed on crazy.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IceMan View Post

Everything's "AG" (all good)

 

chc.gif

 

 

The Yankees suck.



 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuan View Post

In general, when I pop into a forum and say something general about a topic of contention, it's because it's been brought to my attention that it might be getting out of control.

 

Treat it as if I'm changing the subject.   So how about them Yankees?



 

Ick!  I'm a Mets fan.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post



 

Ick!  I'm a Mets fan.



Good luck with that! Go Yanks!

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