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Jan 13, 2011 10:35 AM

REAL San Marzano canned tomatoes

Hello All,

Does anyone know why it is all of a sudden so hard to find REAL San Marzano canned tomatoes? I used to get them through Fresh Direct (Cento brand) but they seem to be harder to find now. Eataly doesn't even carry the real thing. Hmmmm......

200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

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  1. I buy them at Costco under the brand Name "NINA" I get the restaurant size can (Whole Peeled Tomato's in Puree) for about $3.50, I don't think you will every find a Cheaper San Marzano Canned tomato

    2 Replies
    1. re: GLAG

      You can't do any better than the Costco deal. You get a #10 can for the same price (or less) than most places charge for 28 oz.

      1. re: ferret

        Nina is not DOP. Not saying they're bad.

    2. You can get La Valle brand San Marzano tomatoes at Buon Italia in Chelsea Market for only $2.25 for the 28oz cans. It's my favorite brand and one of the more consistent ones. Buon Italia often has the best prices for various Italian goods.

      Buon Italia
      75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

      6 Replies
      1. re: BklynBlaise

        Are you certain that the LA Valle cans for $2.25 have the actual DOP seal on the can?

        Or do they merely say "San Marzano?"

        There are many cans that claim to be San Marzano, including some from California. Far fewer are the actual San Marzano DOP. I buy San Marzano DOP at Teitel in the Bronx for about $3.49 and have never seen them less expensive in Manhattan.

        1. re: erica

          La Valle has both, the real stuff has a yellow ribbon that says DOP on it. All canned in the Naples region though.

          1. re: coll

            Yes, I like their tomatoes, especially the cherry tomatoes. But I question whether Buon Italia can possibly be selling a can of the "real" ones, with the seal, for such a low price--sounds too good to be true. I think many people are confused by the labeling of these tomatoes--just the words "San Marzano" are no guarantee that they even come from Italy..

            Buon Italia
            75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

            1. re: erica

              I suspect BrooklynBaise is writing from prior experience, though I agree that price seems too low for the DOP version at any time. But within the past year (?) or so, the EU changed its regs and now only the DOP version can say "San Marzano" on the label at all. LaValle's, and other EU companies', regular lines are now called just "Italian peeled tomatoes", but a rose by any other name... is still a great tomato at a decent price. ;) I assume the EU reg won't change anything on US-made product labels, but I don't know how our labelling laws mesh, if at all, with others'.

              1. re: MikeG

                Interesting--I did not know that! I think it is a good move, as there was much confusion..

        2. re: BklynBlaise

          San Marzano Tomato Sauce Makes about 2 cups This is a quick, fresh tasting sauce, not the kind that has to sit all day long on the back burner

        3. I'm really surprised that you're having trouble finding them. I'm in a far more secluded area than Manhattan (Culpeper, VA), & can find them easily (yes, the REAL ones) in any of the higher-end markets. Around here that would be Whole Foods, Wegman's, sometimes even Safeway. In fact, sometimes even the regular markets have them because they've become so popular on all the tv cooking shows.

          1. In the same vain, Progresso was always the favorite tomato brand for making pasta sauce in our family. I think they originally used San Marzano and often included a whole basil leaf in the can. Progresso has disappeared, except for canned soup, and we've been searching for a good replacement.
            Any suggestions would be appreciated.

            3 Replies
            1. re: chimay5

              Progresso olive oil was all I and my family used until that too disappeared, at least 20 years ago. For some reason I think they were bought out by, I don't know, someone like Proctor and Gamble and that's when everything went bye bye. For tomatoes I only use LaValle, either DOP or regular. I seem to remember Mom using Tuttarosa way back when, I think that's still around.

              1. re: coll

                Olive oil was the first product introduced by Progresso in the early 20th century. The company was bought out by Pillsbury in 1996, which was later acquired by General Mills. Olive oil was a casualty of the mergers.
                Progresso soup used to be one of my favorites, but now it's like Campbell's with myriad varieties, slick advertising, and higher pricetags.

                1. re: Mayor of Melonville

                  At least they inspired me to learn to make nice simple homemade Italian soups. With little meatballs, tiny pasta and escarole in it.

            2. I'm having the exact same problem. I usually buy Strianese whole peeled tomatoes at Raffetto's and the last few times I've stopped in, they've been out of them. Prior to the past few months, they've always had Strianese tomatoes in stock. What gives?

              144 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012