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Jul 25, 2011 11:44 AM

San Marzano or Plum tomato bushels for sale?

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. 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. 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.

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

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

        1. 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

            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

              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

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

                1. re: emannths

                  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

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

                    1. re: cpingenot

                      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

                        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

                          I still find this an odd 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

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

                  Blackstone St, Boston, MA