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San Marzano tomatoes, a variety of plum tomatoes, are considered by many chefs to be the best sauce tomatoes in the world.[1]

History

The story goes that the first seed of the San Marzano tomato came to Campania in 1770, as a gift from the Kingdom of Peru to the Kingdom of Naples, and that it was planted in the area that corresponds to the present commune of San Marzano. They come from a small town of the same name near Naples, Italy, and were first grown in volcanic soil in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. Compared to the Roma tomatoes with which most people are familiar, Marzano tomatoes are thinner and pointier in shape. The flesh is much thicker with fewer seeds, and the taste is much stronger, more sweet and less acidic. Many people[who?] describe the taste as bittersweet, like high-quality chocolate. Because of their high quality and origins near Naples, San Marzano tomatoes have been designated as the only tomatoes that can be used for Vera Pizza Napoletana (True Neapolitan Pizza).[2]

The name denotes both a point of origin and a variety of tomato. Canned San Marzanos, when grown in the Valle del Sarno (valley of the Sarno) in Italy in compliance with Italian law, can be classified as Pomodoro S. Marzano dell’Agro Sarnese-Nocerino and have the EU “DOP” emblem on the label.

Though commercial production of the San Marzano variety is most closely associated with Italy, seeds for the variety are available worldwide, often labeled as an heirloom variety, frequently imported from Italy, and sold at a premium over more common varieties. The San Marzano vines are indeterminate and have a somewhat longer season than other paste tomato varieties, making them more suitable for warmer climates. As is typical of heirloom plants, San Marzano is an open-pollinated variety that breeds true from generation to generation, making seed saving practical for the home gardener or farmer.

Brands available in supermarkets include Cento, Nina, La Bella, Solinia, Vantia, La Valle and Strianese. Most San Marzano tomatoes sold commercially are grown in Italy, though they are produced commercially in smaller quantities in other countries.

Because of San Marzano’s premium pricing, there is an ongoing battle against fraudulent product. On November 22, 2010, the Italian carabinieri confiscated 1,470 tons of canned tomatoes worth €1.2 million of improperly labeled product, some branded with names mentioned above.

Stats
Maturity 85 days
Type Heirloom
Vine Indeterminate
Plant height 6 feet
Fruit Weight 4 oz
Leaf regular leaf
Color Red (pink)
Shape Plum
Written on June 4th, 2012 , Food Crops Tags:

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