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Dec 19, 2011 10:43 AM

San Marazano Tomatoes

Any idea where I can buy San Marazano Tomatoes? I always hear them mentioned on cooking shows but can never find them in the store. Not even Central Market.

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  1. There are MANY fake producers/websites and shops willing to sell you overpriced canned goods. Even the poster has misspelled the name which all it takes. they are called San Marzano tomatoes which are a specific variety of plum tomato grown in a SPECIFIC part of Italy. You can expect to pay $4 - $5 per can for them. I can't see paying that amount of money for a canned tomato when there are so many fresh available in the farmers markets or even the grocery store depending on where you live. I am not going to say which are the best because I do not know but I will enclose a couple of links for you to review. What you HAVE to look at is the label .The tomatoes are grown under very specific and strict rules and as such, authentic San Marzano tomatoes will have an official DOP (Denominazione d' Origine Protetta) on the can or jar. If you do NOT see that, they are a fraud and are being ripped off.
    I believe there is some litigation going right now about this.

    Gusti Blog offers a few tips from the Cosorzio San Marzano for identifying the real deal when buying San Marzano tomatoes. The tomatoes are only sold in cans, either whole or in fillets, so jarred tomatoes or those that are labeled "puree," "chopped," "diced," "sauce," or "organic" are fraudulent. (The Cosorzio does not regulate organic labeling.)

    On the can, look for the words ""Pomodoro San Marzano dell'Agro Sarnese Nocerino D.O.P." and the symbols of the Cosorzio and the D.O.P., the latter of which identifies European regional food products that are protected by law. The Cosorzio also assigns a number to each can, labeled as "N° XXXXXXX."

    If the tomatoes taste good, we honestly aren't picky about where they were grown, but we definitely don't want to pay more for a product that is claiming to be something it's not.

    4 Replies
    1. re: sghdr

      Wow thank you for all the information! I agree, nothing beats a wonderful fresh tomatoe, I was just wondering what the magical big deal was. And Sorry.......I can't spell.

      1. re: mrs.brownie

        I have seven cans in my pantry right now. A while back I stumbled upon them at a Costco in TN and I bought a case. Not to make everyone here cry, I think I tgot hem for less than a buck a can!!!!

        San Marzanos have almost a smoky depth to them that is hard to explain. Not sure if it is true, but I've been told it is due to the volcanic soil they are grown in. Can anyone confirm this? Much like Hatch chilis, the soil and altitude dictate a true Hatch chili.

      2. re: sghdr

        They're in pretty much every grocery, sometimes in the Italian section of the ethnic isle if not next to the regular canned tomatoes. I've found at least Cento brand SM at Kroger, Albertsons, etc. All for around $4 a can. Theres also a huge variety of DOP San Marzanos at Jimmy's, and they sell them in huge cans.

      3. All the major grocers including Central Market in Dallas DO sell imported Italian D.O.P. San Marzano tomatoes. Jimmy's Market does as well.
        Personally, I think the "San Marzano" brand tomatoes from New Jersey are superior in taste and quality. Both Central Market and Wholefoods used to carry them but not anymore, I noticed.
        However, they are stocked at the newly opened Bolsa Mercado in Oak Cliff.
        They're the can's (tomatoes) and jar's (sauce) with the tomato's printed going around the container's label.

        1. I've gotten them many times at Central Market. Lately I've been buying another Italian brand from CM that I quite like.

          1. Off topic but a newly opened restaurant (Next Wood Fired Grill) in my area noted one of their pizzas included a topping of "pomodori tomato sauce". Sounds pretty important?? Having long known of San Marazano, my curiosity piqued with this "new" pomodori tomato. Of course I had to google it.

            Well, from, the San Marazano tomato is a heirloom "grown on the flanks of Mount Vesuvius". It's of the "da salsa" class which differs from the "insalatari" class. All other tomatoes of the da salsa class? "Pomodori Perini" - a fancy way of inferring something about nothing!

            I know this hasn't helped with an answer to your question, but don't be dragged in, if you come across a "Pomodori" tomato reference!! :)

            As to Next, this liberty-taking will not deter me from enjoying future meals there. I thought it a hidden, though pretentious humor in menu stylism.

            5 Replies
            1. re: CocoaNut

              That's really interesting, and ironically, I live not to far from Next Wood Fired Grill and have been interested in checking it out. I love to laugh at pretention.

              1. re: mrs.brownie

                Pardon my ignorance, I feel stupid for asking but don't y'all mean, (Kenny's) Wood Fired Grill?

                  1. re: twinwillow

                    .... and it is excellent!!! even by "refined Dallas standards"!! ;) But I did mis-speak - it's Bistro, not Grill.... Nothing like plugging a place and getting the name wrong. ;}

                    Worth a drive from the big city!

                    1. re: CocoaNut

                      Thanks for clearing all that up for me.

              2. I was just in Market Street yesterday buying diced tomatoes and am very certain I saw the Cento SM.