Shopping for anything in this day and age can be an overwhelming experience. Not only are there way too many types toothpaste, but even choosing something as simple as canned tomatoes for making sauce can befuddle a consumer. Luckily, there are only two varieties that really matter. Photo by J. Kenji López-Alt.
There are whole tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato puree, but according to Monsieur Kenji of Serious Eats, the only ones you need to worry about for sauce making purposes are whole, peeled tomatoes and tomato paste.
Click the link below for the complete explanation, but it boils down to this:
So diced tomatoes are too firm, crushed tomatoes are too inconsistent, and tomato purée is too cooked -- which is why in my pantry, you'll only see whole peeled tomatoes packed in juice (I prefer Muir Glen and Cento brands) and tomato paste.
And just like that, shopping got a whole lot simpler. (Well, shopping for canned tomatoes did; toothpaste is still way too complicated.)
What Type of Canned Tomatoes Should I Use? [Serious Eats]