You are so right about brands! I have a bit of a problem in that I'm what's called a super taster. A certain percent of the population have 25% more tastebuds, and I'm one of them.
It's not all fun and roses, though, because it means that anything not really fresh, especially with dairy or meat, but also with produce, tastes bad to me, even if other people can't taste it yet. In that way, it's a bit of a curse.
On the other hand, I can tell you what's in food, and replicate things pretty well.
Anyway, for me, there's a big difference between brands of tomato products. I have always stuck with my favorites.
And, sometimes those change. Oddly, for a while, Safeway's own brand used to be really good, better than companies like Hunts. I used them all the time. Then, one day, they changed. Their quality control must have changed because their products became sour, etc. and I changed over to another brand after that.
So yes, I would say that it matters...a lot.
That's a good thought on his soup. You're also right about the adding of fresh tomatoes.
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