Panino’s Pizzeria wins Escalon’s “Tasting Is Believing” tomato pallet drawing

This year’s International Pizza Expo was a lucky event for one Illinois pizza operator. In a random drawing, Escalon Premier Brands selected the three-unit chain Panino’s Pizzeria as the recipient of a free pallet of the company’s fresh-packed California tomatoes. Show attendees were invited to sample the products at the booth and “become a believer” in Escalon’s fresher, better taste. Approximately 200 entrants entered the drawing for a chance to win a pallet featuring one or more of their favorite Escalon tomatoes and sauces. Lenny Rago, co-owner of Panino’s, is actually a long time customer of Escalon’s and says the Bontá® Tomato Purée and 6 in 1® Ground Tomatoes he uses make a big difference in setting his pizza apart. “We make both our classic and Neapolitan pizzas in an authentic Italian way with very fresh ingredients. We made the decision to go with Escalon tomatoes 17 years ago because the taste is really fresh and we like the yield the products provide.”

Dan Milazzo, Escalon’s Senior Manager of Sales & Marketing, says the primary difference in Escalon tomato products is in the processing. “If you start with a great fresh tomato right out of the field, the secret is to quickly but gently process it so it keeps as much of its fresh-from-the-field flavor as possible. That’s why we never add citric acid or process with harsh chemicals. And we use only gentle low-temperature processing methods to make sure a good tomato stays that way all the way to your door.”

About Panino’s

Since 1997, Panino’s Pizza has offered both homestyle Italian and American cuisine in three locations throughout Illinois. Panino’s is also a member of the U.S. Pizza Team. For more information, visit

About Escalon

A division of the H.J. Heinz Company, L.P., Escalon produces fresh-packed California tomatoes and tomato sauces made especially for operators with an abiding “passion for better.” Escalon’s complete line of more than 30 products includes formats ranging from whole peeled pear tomatoes to fully prepared sauce to organic and Hispanic-style tomatoes. For more information or to sign up for Escalon’s insight-packed Better Together newsletter, visit