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Sep 6, 2012 06:15 PM

Where can I buy San Marzanos in bulk now?

I would like to can some tomatoes this coming Sunday. Last year, we canned beefsteaks but they turned out watery. This year, I'd like to try San Marzanos or maybe another meaty Roma-type tomato. Anyone seen large quantities of these kinds at the farmers' markets or elsewhere on the Peninsula, hopefully at fairly low prices? Thanks!

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  1. Mariquita Farms' San Marzano delivery is sold out this week. But dry-farmed Early Girls are still available for pick up in SF on Saturday. It is having a tomato u-pick in Hollister on Saturday, but no San Marzanos.

    I've been tasting tomatoes for the last couple weeks, thinking about canning too, and I'm going to wait another week or two for more ripeness.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      Thanks, Melanie. We were going to go to Mariquita's U-Pick on Saturday, but I saw on their site today that San Marzanos are not available. Thus, the change in plans. :-(. Yes, we may end up waiting a couple of weeks, too. Or maybe if we can find a sufficient amount, we'll roast a bunch of tomatoes for freezing.

      1. re: goodeatsgal

        There is a farmer at Ferry Plaza that has San Marzanos. I don't know how much they are. Everything Under the Sun.

        1. re: wally

          The Peach Farm at FPFM (in the front near the info booth) has them for $15 a flat. Great roasted!

          1. re: little big al

            Lucerno has them at the Berkeley Farmers market (and maybe Full Belly too). The problem is that they are really small and (Lucerno especially) not dead ripe. Monterey Market used to get these ripe and large San Marzanos right about this time of year, but they now have small, not fully ripe ones, and I can't bring myself to buy them.

            I used beefsteaks from Pinnacle Farms (at the Temescal Sunday market) for my spaghetti sauce this year, and they worked out fine. They are dead ripe and full of flavor. to cut down on the water, I skin them, cut them in half and squeeze out as much water and seeds as I can, then just crush them in my hand and throw them into the pot.

            1. re: TopoTail

              You might be able to get a flat of dead-ripe plum tomatoes by advance order.

              1. re: TopoTail

                Just a small correction for reference: it's actually Lucero (no 'n').


          2. re: goodeatsgal

            I bought a couple of flats of the Mariquita Momotoros the other week and they're excellent. They are part of the upick but, in truth, it's only marginally more to have them bring picked, washed to SF, so that's what I've done. They cook down wonderfully, and I've found it easier to can tomato sauce than whole ones (takes up less space, process time is less, etc.). Not quite as much yield as the San Marzanos but they'll keep you busy until those ripen. Earlier in the season they had Monica paste tomatoes which were also great. Not sure if we'll see them again.

        2. Just rec'd emails from Mariquita: San Marzanos available for order with pick up in Santa Cruz on Wed, SF on Thurs, and Palo Alto on Saturday of next week.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Melanie Wong

            I canned 40 pounds of their San Marzanos a couple of weekends ago. I very highly recommend them.

            1. re: absc

              I haven't gotten my hands on any yet. In past seasons, I've been very happy with Mariquita's. They're picked ripe with no orange-colored shoulders.

          2. For anyone closer to the East Bay than the Peninsula, Smith Family Farms in Brentwood (Knightsen) has U-pick San Marzanos $1/lb. Picked are $2/lb. Open daily.

            1. Thanks for all the recommendations, everyone. We ended up going to the Palo Alto Farmer's Market. We picked up 15 pounds of organic San Marzano's from a farm based in Pescadero (I think; I forgot to write down the name). They were $3 a pound, but he gave them to me for $2 a pound (probably because we were there 1/2 hour before closing and we took all he had). We also bought 10 pounds of Romas from another vendor who has fields down towards San Juan Bautista. We did lots of roasting today and are very happy. The roasted San Marzanos turned out sweeter than the non-San Marzano Romas.

              2 Replies
              1. re: goodeatsgal

                All's well that ends well! Glad you found some for your weekend project.

                Another tip: I learned after the fact that Mariquita had extra boxes of San Marzanos on Saturday. In the future, it might be worth showing up at the drop point in case someone doesn't pick up his/her order or there are extras.

              2. Happy Boy had flats for $20 at both the Grand Lake and Jack London Square farmers' markets this weekend. They were small and shy of peak ripeness- I'll be trying again this weekend.