The Produce Exchange announced the immediate availability of Tesoro – the food lovers tomato – a functional no-gel tomato for retail and foodservice. Tesoro tomatoes have been proven a better ingredient in any kind of recipe including sandwiches, salsas and sauces. Tesoro tomatoes are changing the way Americans view tomatoes, by encouraging functionality and diversity.

Tesoro means treasure in Italian and the tomato variety was selected by Nunhems in Italy in 2004 and commercialized in Almeria, Spain under the name Intense™. In 2007, this natural hybrid immediately began to win awards, including Fruit Logistica’s Innovation Award in Berlin, Germany, and the Produce Marketing Association’s Buyer’s Choice Award in 2008. The Produce Exchange and Nunhems collaborated to grow and bring to market the tomato in North America after successful commercial and retail trials in 2010.

“We are proud to share this tomato treasure with consumers and tomato users across the U.S.,” said Marty Mazzanti, founder of The Produce Exchange. “The tomato category is made up of varieties focused on salads and snacks. We have all been shooting for sweet and juicy for decades. Tesoro is the first tomato developed as an ingredient in a recipe. Diced in a salsa or bruschetta, or baked and grilled as a side dish it will open a whole new world of eating experiences and recipe opportunities. Sauces and sautés will spoil you for all others. A sandwich made with Tesoro the night before won’t be soggy for lunch the next day.”

Tesoro, grown from Nunhems seed variety Intense, is a full-flesh tomato with a higher density that does not lose its juice. Since 2008, foodservice tests have shown that the tomato is the go-to ingredient, with no gel and more meat. Statements independently evaluated and supported with research conducted by Scientific Certification Systems show that the high density of Tesoro makes it the best tomato to use in a recipe. Its performance in slicing, dicing, sautéing, baking and grilling makes the best tasting salsas, sauces, baked and grilled dishes. When used in a recipe, Tesoro offers quality, flavor and shelf life that exceed its conventional cousins. Its deep red color also makes a beautiful and appetizing presentation.

In-house consumer testing indicates that Tesoro was overwhelmingly preferred when used for a sauce or salsa. In west coast retail store tests in 2010 and early 2011, Tesoro quickly rose to be the best-selling non-grape packaged tomato in the category. It did this without cannibalizing sales of other varieties, resulting in an overall increase in tomato sales for retailers. Packaged in high graphic zipper convenience bags, Tesoro has quickly developed a following with consumers.

The current cycle of Tesoro tomatoes for the U.S. market are all grown in Mexico, and will be available year-round to grocery retailers, foodservice professionals and consumers. The fresh tomatoes are sold in 22-ounce grab-and-go packages of six to eight tomatoes; suggested retail price is $3.99. Tesoro tomatoes are hot house grown and will ship from both McAllen and Nogales for nationwide distribution For additional information and recipe ideas please visit