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Aug 10, 2007 06:14 PM

San Marzano Tomatoes

Are they really that much better than other canned tomatoes??

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  1. I have no idea since they are nowhere to be found in grocery stores around here. But I would like to know also.

    1. They really are better. But before buying a can of something labeled "San Marzano Tomatoes", check where it was grown and/or packed. It should say SA (Salerno) province, Italy. If not, they're some domestic fraud.

      4 Replies
      1. re: mnosyne

        You are absolutely right. And all I have ever found are the domestic, grown in the USA, fraud packaging. It's kind of discouraging and I wonder if the professional chefs are getting the real stuff or just what we see in the markets.

        1. re: feelinpeckish

          like the other said, look for the DOP sign. its a yellow & darkblue sign/logo.
          our local farmers market carries different ones every time. I like the Italbrand. Just bought Flora as well, even saw that our local Publix has the Flora S. Marzano ones!!!! was very impressed!
          Also Williams Sonoma carries them...
          They are all DOP imported from Italy!

        2. re: mnosyne

          The San Marzano is simply one variety of heirloom plum tomato. The seeds are easily available to commercial growers and home gardeners all over Europe, in the US and the rest of the world. They can be saved from year to year.
          Here's one company from which S. Marzano seed can be purchased. along with other varieties from Italy.
          There is no fraud if the heirloom is grown from seed, packed and labeled as exactly what they are: S. Marzano heirloom tomatoes.

          1. re: MakingSense

            It's not just the seeds but the soil you will need from Napels I heard. Due to the rich Volcanic ash in the soil the San Marzano tomatoes are far more superior. If you want to grow them in the USA you will need the volcanic ash soil as well.

        3. There was a segment of a recent NPR Splendid Table episode on these tomatoes. You can listen to it on the ST web site.

          1. If you're making sugo (sauce), these are absolutely your best choice; if you can't find them, just be sure to stick with plum tomatoes as they make the best sauce--makes a huge difference if you're using fresh.

            These are also the ones you'll want to sun (or otherwise) dry if you're into that sort of thing.

            My blog on life in southern Italy: http://www.bleedingespresso-sognatric...
            All about tomatoes:

            1. Of true San Marzano tomatoes, the best brand in my experience is Strianese (much better than Italbrand). They're much sweeter and more vibrant tasting than other DOP San Marzano canned tomatoes. They harder to find too. If you do get one, taste it right when you open the can (careful or you'll eat the whole thing). It's much different from domestic canned tomatoes.

              You have to carefully read the labels as some will say "San Marzano Style"...whatever that means.

              Here's a picture of the can below: