Muir Glen Tomatoes: Product Review and a Giveaway!

A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by the nice folks at Muir Glen tomatoes. They offered me a free sample of their 2009 Reserve Tomatoes to review on my blog. The nice folks at Muir Glen, are really nice folks: they also offered to let me give away the same nice box of goodies to one of my lucky readers. (I’ll give you more details at the end of this post).

When I was corresponding with the representative from Muir Glen, I tried to appear really casual. You know, really savvy and cool. I let her know that by sending me and my readers freebies, she was not guaranteed a good review! Little did she know  the reality of the situation:  I use their tomatoes every time I cook (so she was almost guaranteed a good review, in fact, I was trembling with anticipation about receiving this kit!). I came across their products years ago and in my opinion, the canned tomatoes are the best on the market. They taste good. They don’t taste like the can they come in. Not only do they have tomatoes of exceptional flavor, but the tomatoes are organic which is important to me. Why? Because not only am I concerned about the pesticide residues in my food and in the environment, but tomatoes have been one of those foods that have been genetically modified quite often in the past. Although there is no proof (yet) that GMO foods are harmful to us, I have a gut feeling that I should avoid them. Certified organic foods cannot contain GMOs. After the box arrived, I started pouring through the materials included in the shipment. I learned that the high quality of the tomatoes has to do with careful handling from the farm to the can. I also learned that these tomatoes are grown in California which for me, makes them a local food (yeah!).

Now, let’s talk about the box I received in the mail. It is gorgeous! You get a wooden crate filled with goodies.

Inside the box is a packet talking about the two cans of Reserve tomatoes included within. There are also two recipe cards. Now… I was promised recipe cards and at first I was a little disappointed because I saw only two recipe cards and I didn’t yet realize what the book underneath these materials was.

It turns out that the book is a gorgeous cookbook, with all of the information about how they grow and package the tomatoes, but…it includes 50 pages of delicious sounding recipes with full color photos of the food. This is a gorgeous book, and in my opinion. it is  worth as much as the tomatoes themselves if not more. After perusing this book, I decided I would use the four cans of tomatoes to make two of the recipes from the book so that you can get an idea of what the recipes are like.

Below the books, nestled away, were the four cans of tomatoes. There were the two cans of reserve tomatoes: Yolo Red diced tomatoes and Brigade whole tomatoes. Also included were Fire Roasted tomatoes and Adobo Seasoned tomatoes.

I used the reserve tomatoes to make Braised Tuscan Chicken with Fennel and White Beans. Upon opening the cans of tomatoes, I took a taste of each. I was disappointed with my choice in recipes for a minute, because the Yolo Red tomatoes where so sweet and delicious, they would have been wonderful used in something fresher such as a bruschetta or in a salsa. (If you win my contest, take note of that). The Brigade tomatoes had good acidity and tasted like they would be perfect for this slow braise. The only surprise I had, happened when I poured the Brigade tomatoes out of the can. If memory serves me right, a 15 oz can of tomatoes usually includes about 5 or 6 tomatoes. When I poured, three perfectly gorgeous round tomatoes popped out of the can. I had to laugh, I guess they didn’t want to smash them, so they only include enough tomatoes to not get smashed in transit. Luckily, the can of diced Yolo Reds where packed full, making it so that I had plenty of tomatoes for the recipe. The braised chicken came out delicious. The sauce begged for bread to sop it up and was loaded with chunks of vegetables and beans and a hint of herbs, the tomato flavor was outstanding. The chicken was falling off the bone tender. I’ll be making this chicken dish again!

The next day, anxious to taste the Adobo seasoned tomatoes, I decided to make the vegetarian chili recipe. I tasted the tomatoes upon opening the cans. The fire roasted tomatoes are familiar to me. They have a good roasted tomato flavor with a hint of smoke from the charred tomato skins you see floating among the diced tomatoes. I tasted the Adobo Seasoned tomatoes. The flavor was strange and familiar at the same time. I had to taste again before I realized that it is a light version of the super hot adobo sauce you find in a can of chipotle with adobo sauce. It is like they added just a hint of chipotle to their tomatoes. I had a really good feeling about cooking with these!! The chili turned out to be a smash hit. I followed the recipe exactly, using the prescribed amount of jalapeno and chili powder even though I knew that half my tomatoes had a good kick already. The chili came out spicy with a hint of that good chipotle flavor. It was wonderful. I’ll be looking for the Adobo Spiced tomatoes at my grocery store, I can think of many recipes that would be improved by using them.

So… you are probably wondering how you can get a box of these tomatoes and recipes for yourself.  Please leave a comment on my blog between now and Monday December 7th. I’ll hold a random drawing and one lucky Delectable Tidbits reader will receive a Reserve kit from Muir Glen.  Unfortunately, Muir Glen can only ship the reserve kit to people in the U.S., Sorry.

If you are not the winner, you can still get a Reserve kit. Muir Glen has these Reserve kits available for $7.00 at this link. By my calculation, that price barely covers the cost of the tomatoes much less the shipping and you get a crate to recycle for storing CDs and the cookbook and… Muir Glen will donate money to the charity Chefs Collaborative each time we buy a reserve kit. They are donating $2 for every Reserve kit they sell and $1 for each person who becomes a fan on their Facebook page (My friend Kevin is laughing at me right now because I am anti-Facebook, but hey, it’s for a good cause! So stop laughing Kevin!)

So, all of my friends and lurkers, leave me a comment.  Good luck everyone!!



  1. Kevin said,

    December 2, 2009 at 4:26 am

    I would never laugh at you Mimi. I would just politely tell you about “new media” and how AWESOME it is.

  2. ronnie said,

    December 2, 2009 at 10:45 am

    That chicken looks delicious Mimi! I’ve tried the fire roasted tomatoes but not the others. They look good!

  3. Julia said,

    December 2, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    I adore Muir Glen tomatoes, and oh how I wished I could tolerate fennel (it’s the one vegetable I don’t like), because that first dish looks delicious. You’re so lucky, and I’d love to be entered in your drawing. 🙂

  4. Andreas said,

    December 2, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    I actually have a can of adobo chilis, which I bought on a whim like a year ago, sitting in my pantry. Now I have an idea about how to use them. 🙂

  5. cookiecrumb said,

    December 2, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Thanks for luring me over here, Mimi.
    Boy, Muir Glen is going all out with the lovely packaging, etc. Don’t they know we already love them?

  6. MC said,

    December 2, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    What a delicious post! Makes me want to go out and buy Muir Glen tomatoes right away (and of course to win the box!). Thank you!

  7. Natashya said,

    December 3, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    I hope they come to Canada soon, sounds tasty!

  8. Jeanne said,

    December 4, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Adobo seasoned tomatoes? Yum! I’d love to try that chili.

  9. December 4, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Dude, Adobo style? And I thought I already loved their stuff.

    But really, it looks like you did more than enough justice to the tomato products they sent you. Be proud. You have a knack for saucy stuff………

    Later ‘mater!

  10. Doris said,

    December 5, 2009 at 3:44 am

    Muir Glen products are the absolute best, and to sample the reserve product would be awesome. Thanks for sharing!

  11. drfugawe said,

    December 5, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Looks like Muir Glen is applying a premium wine approach to tomatoes – well, I guess if you make premium stuff, you treat it like premium! I wish them the best –

    Well done post, Mimi.

  12. Tim said,

    December 5, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    Hmm I’m really curious to see how Muir Glen’s “reserve” tomatoes stack up against our own home-canned ones…

  13. mindy said,

    December 5, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    this is just wonderful thanks

  14. Kathy D said,

    December 5, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    Make me want to make Chili and turn on the fireplace right know they the look and sound wonderful

  15. Carol said,

    December 5, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    What a wonderful prize for people like hubby and me, who adore cooking. Thanks for hosting this nice giveaway.

  16. Geri Nyland said,

    December 6, 2009 at 3:49 am

    I LOVE TOMATOES!! OMG!! I would so be in heaven with this win!!

  17. Diane N. said,

    December 6, 2009 at 5:05 am

    I haven’t seen this product locally but it looks good. I’m always up for organic products.

  18. zealandsmom said,

    December 6, 2009 at 5:05 am

    WOW…$7? I will buy if I don’t get chosen for sure! Thanks:)

  19. Victoria said,

    December 6, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    That vegetarian chili looks delicious! I’d like to try to make it. If I’m not selected, I think I’ll have to order…$7 is a steal!

  20. Jennifer M said,

    December 6, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Yum! Please enter me, and thanks for the chance.

  21. Lisa H said,

    December 6, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    I haven’t tried this brand before but they sound great.

  22. Shellie Seering said,

    December 7, 2009 at 2:25 am

    Thank you for telling us about this, I think it would make a great Christmas gift for any number of people!

  23. Sandra K321 said,

    December 7, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    That vegetarian chili looks real good. I use lots of tomatoes in recipes and it’s one of the things that my kids love.

  24. susan said,

    December 7, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    oh I would love to make a tomato stew… with rice it is so good!

  25. Nicole D. said,

    December 7, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    I would love to make some vegetarian chili of my own with these. Thanks!

  26. Kelly said,

    December 7, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    I am in LOVE with their fire-roasted tomatoes. I use them in a ton of recipes to give the dish extra flavor. They taste so fresh, and I’d love to try the other varieties. 🙂 Thanks so much for the giveaway!

  27. Erin said,

    December 8, 2009 at 5:31 am

    wow. looks delicious! my mouth is watering! thanks for the give-away!

  28. Mike said,

    December 8, 2009 at 5:32 am

    i love tomatoes, and these sound like the next best thing to our now out of season garden tomatoes. thanks!

  29. Deedles said,

    December 8, 2009 at 6:31 am

    I’ve never had this brand but I love anything made with tomatoes. Would love to try these recipes.

  30. Mimi said,

    December 8, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    The contest is over! Thank you everyone who participated, the winner is announced here:

  31. Nycole said,

    December 9, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    I still have some fresh basil, so these tomatoes would make a great bruschetta with it.

  32. dottie said,

    December 10, 2009 at 1:20 am

    what a wonderful, tasty and healthy gift this makes, considering the unemployment rate, etc.

  33. thatgirlinnewyork said,

    December 29, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    i’m giving up muir glen tomatoes this year–their cans are lined with bisphenol-A, and muir glen (owned by general mills) has no plans to change this because BPA is not yet banned in the U.S. buy jarred or tetra-pak tomatoes instead.

  34. March 5, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    […] couple of days ago I made the Indian Spiced Salmon from the Muir Glen cookbook that I got with the tomatoes I reviewed. The recipe is a knockout, full of garam masala and sweet from honey. The problem with this recipe […]

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