Frank Pepe's selling canned tomatoes used to make famous sauce - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Frank Pepe's selling canned tomatoes used to make famous sauce

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Cans of tomatoes used to make the famous Pepe's pizza sauce can now be bought by customers (pepespizzeria.com) Cans of tomatoes used to make the famous Pepe's pizza sauce can now be bought by customers (pepespizzeria.com)
(CBS NEWS) -

Residents can now have a taste of a Connecticut landmark right in their very own kitchen.

Frank Pepe’s, the well-known pizzeria, is now selling the very tomatoes behind its famous sauce.

Their piping hot pies are world famous.

Now, the tomatoes behind the savory sauce can be yours.

“Over the years, people have been asking, where do you get your tomatoes, we say they’re imported from Italy and we thought by doing this we could expand the brand awareness and also bring a taste of Pepe’s to people’s homes,” said Gary Bimonte, owner of Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana.

While the original Pepe’s in New Haven goes all the way back to 1925, the famous pizzeria just recently launched a retail line, selling the exact canned tomatoes they use for their pizzas.

Bimonte says every year, those tomatoes are hand selected.

“We have specific regions we take our tomatoes from. My cousin and I, we do this taste test.  We’ll take 10 different samples, blind test, taste each one, narrow it down to four,” said Bimonte.

He says they then make pizzas with those tomatoes, which are then narrowed down to 2.

They judge the fruit on taste, texture, acidity and which ones would be perfect for their pies.

“When we just had the one location in New Haven, we used 1,000 cases a year, now we’re using 12,000 cases a year, so we want to make sure the consistency of the tomatoes is good for the whole year,” Bimonte said.

The cans sell for $3.50 a piece or 3 cans for $10.  

You can get them at all of the Pepe’s locations or on their website.

“We didn’t start selling necessarily for people to start making pizzas in their homes, actually it makes a great Sunday sauce, it’s great,” said Bimonte.

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