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Sep 25, 2012 05:21 PM

Fresh san marzano tomatoes??

Hi I was wondering if there was anywhere that sold fresh san marzano tomatoes? Do they even get grown here? Roma are readily available but I would like to try making sauce with the san marzanos since I will no longer use commercially canned tomatoes...

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  1. I purchased a bushel of some Italian black tomatoes (oval shaped) at the Jean Talon Market this past Saturday - I was told that they are very similar in taste and fleshiness (low water content) to fresh Italian San Marzanos. A huge bushel (probably 15-20 lbs) cost $12 and they are indeed very sweet - perfect for sauces, tomato soup and even raw. They are a beautiful dark crimson colour with dark bits verging on purple-black. They make a lovely covered sauce. There may be yet one weekend to buy them at the JTM before the season ends.

    1. I bought what was touted as San Marzano 2 years ago at the Jean-Talon market. Where everyone else was selling (field or roma) at about $10-$12/bushel, this guy was selling the San Marzanos at $15, I think.
      I was skeptical, but they were the best canned tomatoes that year (of 4 different batches).
      Last year, I bought more from the guy and his tomatoes were again the best of what I canned.
      I was there 2 weeks ago and bought just from him. Somewhat expensive @ $18/bushel, but EVERY tomato in the bunch was good (no rotten ones), nice, clean skin - overall very good looking tomatoes.
      He advertises insecticide free and "all-natural", which I guess, helps him sell at a higher price. I don't care too much about the "all-natural" branding - I just want the best product available for canning.
      I got 9 liter jars per bushel, or $2 tomato cost per liter jar, which is about $1.59/796ml (cost of a large "can" of tomatoes). Do I save money? No, but come January/February I cherish those jars - they're better than any store-bought can - and for me, thats the point.

      He was saying this year's crop was finicky - too much heat, not enough rain.
      Wensite here
      picture (from the website) of the San Marzanos here
      The guy is passionate about what he does. Maybe you can call him to see what he has left. He does roma as well, maybe others.

      3 Replies
      1. re: porker

        Oh cool, glad you did the math because I was just debating whether to can tomatoes this year again, is it worth it? etc. They do taste so much better than other jars. And I gather time is running out for the season. Have you tried freezing the tomatoes whole and using them throughout the winter? I did that with some last year and they added a lot of flavour to everything in February and March. I'll look out for Pascal's kiosk!

        1. re: Plateaumaman

          Our friends chide us for going through the process and work of canning; they say peel & freeze in a ziplock.
          But for us, its more a labor of love followed by a great tasting product and a beautiful addition to the pantry.

          1. re: porker

            If I had a big freezer, that would be easy, although I peel them by running them under hot water when they frozen as that saves a lot of trouble. We borrowed someone's tomato press last year which makes it super easy to do the canning, plus they had instructions for sterilizing the bottles that were also very easy, 20 minutes in a hot oven. This year I should probably boil the sauce down a bit more as it was watery compared to the jars of Passata I bought. Although I gather it must depend on the tomatoes too? I had 11 jars of sauce from a bushel, perhaps because ti was sauce vs. whole tomatoes?

            Will head to the market before the weekend and report back on how many tomatoes are left there.

      2. I bought 2 bushels of Locally grown San Marzano's at JTM from the vendor on the south/west extremity of the market down fromNino's on the other side of the street. I use them for sauce and got a much thicker sauce than the regular Roma's last year.They cost $15 a bushel and I got 24 large Ball jars per Bushel.Due to the great weather this year the sugar content was up and boy does it make a great spaghetti sauce.Try Marcella Hazan's 45 min tomato sauce recipe its wonderful.

        2 Replies
        1. re: finefoodie55

          I also bought two bushels from this vendor and canned them whole. Used one jar last week and it was great. I'm thinking about doing more this weekend-- do you think there will still be more tomatoes?

          1. re: picklebird

            I just picked up a bushel of San Marzano's from Pascal, now at $18. There are still some left! They are delicious. Now I just have to get them into jars or the freezer within a few days.

        2. If you're talking about the variety rather than actual Pomodoro S.Marzano dell'Agro Sarnese-Nocerino, pretty much everyone is selling them but they call it "San Marzane".

          Potager Mont-Rouge also has « super marzano » that they sell at a premium, but I don't know what's the difference. San Marzane are actually a cross between the Roma and the Super Marzano. There seems to be an endless debate about which one makes the best sauce.

          As a side note, canned tomatoes usually contains high levels of BPA so this might add weight to the home canning argument.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Whygee

            I agree even the cans with linings still have leaching problems.Lets keep it "100 miles from home"

          2. Thanks.. I'll have to go back and look for some - and those dark tomatoes sound divine. I bought a bushel of romas earlier and canned them all - wish I'd thought of this earlier