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San Marzano or Plum tomato bushels for sale?

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JoePando Jul 25, 2011 11:44 AM

I'd like to find a store that sells bushels of quality tomatoes. Preferably San Marzano or good plum tomatoes that I can can myself and use throughout the year for sauce. Any help is appreciated!

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  1. SeaSide Tomato RE: JoePando Jul 25, 2011 07:27 PM

    Try a farmers market--you can certainly get plum tomatoes hereabouts. Often a farmer will sell you a bushel of "sauce tomatoes" for a very good price. as they may be a bit too ripe or slightly bruised--just fine for sauce if you cook them right away. Talk to the farmer ahead and they'll bring them for you or meet you next market with them.

    I just recently finished up last year's "summer sauce." It lasted just until this year's tomatoes started coming--phew!! What a treat in deep February!!

    1. opinionatedchef RE: JoePando Jul 25, 2011 09:39 PM

      Verrill farms in West Concord. I usually buy a case at the end of the season- in Sept.- and make enough marinara to last the year. They sell cases(bushel baskets) sorted by san marizano or mixed; i can't tell the difference when the sauce is cooked. Call and ask them to hold them for you, or you may arrive and find them sold out. Other tips> if you make the journey, their red tomato gazpacho and choc.walnut biscotti are both excellent products made by them.

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      Verrill Farm
      11 Wheeler Rd, Concord, MA, MA 01742

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        EmmaFrances RE: JoePando Jul 26, 2011 05:31 AM

        Russo's usually sells crates of tomatoes in August. Unfortunately I can't remember what kind of tomatoes.

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          cpingenot RE: JoePando Jul 26, 2011 07:35 AM

          It's a bit early, especially since the spring was so cool. Wilson farms sells #2's plum tomatoes from New Jersey by the half bushel in late August/ early September.
          That's what I've been doing for canning tomatoes the last couple of years.
          They're not San Marzano, but I'm skeptical about the superiority of san marzanos unless they're actually grown on volcanic soils which isn't really a possibiliry locally.

          9 Replies
          1. re: cpingenot
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            JoePando RE: cpingenot Jul 26, 2011 07:42 AM

            Yes I understand that real San Marzanos (the D.O.P. ones from Italy) most likely wont be a possibility here, but I thought I would ask anyway.

            Wilson's farms sounds like what I'm looking for. I grew up in NJ so "Jersey tomatoes" have been the staple canning tomato since I was a little kid.

            Thanks for the suggestions. Please keep them coming!

            1. re: JoePando
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              emannths RE: JoePando Jul 26, 2011 07:52 AM

              I appreciate the fun and control of DIY, but if you're planning on canning the tomatoes, would you consider good commercially canned tomatoes? Costco sells Nina brand San Marzanos, which are excellent and reasonably priced (something like ~$3.50 for a 108oz can I believe).

              1. re: emannths
                yumyum RE: emannths Jul 26, 2011 07:56 AM

                Canning canned tomatoes? That's a new one on me.

                1. re: emannths
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                  JoePando RE: emannths Jul 26, 2011 08:09 AM

                  Well, I have a bunch of tomato plants in my garden, but if I had another bushel of loose tomatoes, I could can all of them and have enough left over for the year to make sauce and other tomato dishes. Plus a few jars to give away as gifts. If I am going to can, I'd like to supplement my garden tomatoes with the highest quality farm tomatoes possible.

                  As far as the real San Marzanos in a metal can, sure why not? I can save those for some special occasions or for when I make pizza napoletana. Thanks for the Costco tip, will have to try.

                  1. re: emannths
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                    cpingenot RE: emannths Jul 26, 2011 08:23 AM

                    ummmm- why on earth would the OP buy canned tomatoes to open and re-can them?

                    1. re: cpingenot
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                      emannths RE: cpingenot Jul 26, 2011 08:27 AM

                      Sorry for the confusion. I was suggesting OP consider buying tomatoes that have already been canned as opposed to buying tomatoes and canning them himself. Costco's Nina brand are both high-quality and inexpensive, which I imagine are two of the goals of sourcing and canning one's own tomatoes.

                      1. re: emannths
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                        bear RE: emannths Jul 26, 2011 11:59 AM

                        The Nina tomatoes are quite good, and a terrific bargain at $3.89 for a #10 can. Even better are the Supremo Italiano tomatoes at Restaurant Depot, and still quite reasonable at $6 and change for the#10 can.

                        Wagonwheel Farmstand in Lexington near the Waltham border usually has San Marzanos later in the season. I haven't tried them. They are quite large and not that red so I've been skeptical. I haven't seen them yet this season.

                        1. re: emannths
                          Science Chick RE: emannths Jul 26, 2011 12:24 PM

                          I still find this an odd response....no offense emannths! But surely the OP knows that canned tomatoes exist, and wants to put up their own. Hey, its a zen thing....... ;)

                          1. re: Science Chick
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                            emannths RE: Science Chick Jul 26, 2011 12:38 PM

                            No offense taken! When I turn to DIY, it's due to one (or more) of these factors: cost, quality, and fun. I just figured that if high-quality, low cost canned tomatoes were the goal, it's a reasonable shortcut. In my experience the Nina tomatoes obliterate anything in the grocery store, especially when price is taken into account.

                            I certainly appreciate the zen of taking the DIY route even when a commercial route exists. Lord knows I've done it enough...

                2. steinpilz RE: JoePando Jul 26, 2011 08:14 AM

                  I've bought bunches of tomatoes for sauce at Haymarket.

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                  Haymarket
                  Blackstone St, Boston, MA

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                    treb RE: JoePando Jul 26, 2011 08:28 AM

                    San Marzano's can only be found in Italy. As far as the roma plum variety, most farm stands will sell bushels of over ripe and/or seconds designed for making sauces, soups etc. Actually, I like them when they're ripe, as they tend to have a deeper flavor.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: treb
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                      emannths RE: treb Jul 26, 2011 08:32 AM

                      San Marzano can also refer to the cultivar, which is distinct from the roma cultivar. So it is possible to grow "San Marzano tomatoes" in America.

                      1. re: emannths
                        junescook RE: emannths Jul 26, 2011 12:32 PM

                        Indeed, they sell them in those green, white and red cans branded San Marzano Tomatoes and grown in California.

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