San Marzano Tomatoes
This product is organically grown.
Specialty Produce is certified to handle organics.
Our California registration number is: 37-1293 Organically grown.
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San Marzano tomatoes are small with an elongated and thin, oval shape, similar in appearance to a roma tomato, but with a pointed tip. The skin is smooth, dark red, easy-to-peel, and taut with a slight give when pressed. Underneath the skin, the flesh is thick, dense, and bright red with a semi-firm consistency. Within the flesh, there are also only two seed chambers filled with a few small seeds, which is unique from other varieties that typically contain four to five chambers. San Marzano tomatoes have a low-moisture content with a mild acidity, creating a sweet, rich, and complex, jammy flavor.
San Marzano tomatoes are available in the mid to late summer. The variety can also be found in canned form year-round.
San Marzano tomatoes, botanically classified as Solanum lycopersicum, are an Italian, plum-tomato variety belonging to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. The elongated, fleshy fruits are named after San Marzano Sul Sarno, the town in Italy where they were first grown, and are celebrated by top chefs as one of the best tomatoes used for sauces. The variety has received so much recognition for its rich flavor, that similar to French Champagne, a Protected Designation of Origin, or DOP, was given in 1996 to San Marzano tomatoes grown under strict regulations. Valle del Sarno is the valley in Italy where the recognized and protected variety is grown, distinguished by its soil and a temperate climate that combine to give the San Marzano its distinctive richness and deep flavor. San Marzano tomatoes are also typically harvested by hand and are known as a paste, pear, processing, saladette, or sauce tomato. Although certified San Marzano tomatoes only come from Italy, San Marzano tomatoes are grown in other regions of the world, including the United States, and are marketed without the DOP labeling.
San Marzano tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, which are antioxidants that can help strengthen the immune system and increase collagen production within the body. The tomatoes also provide some fiber, potassium, and folate, and are known for containing the antioxidant compound lycopene, which gives the flesh its red hue and helps the body fight against free radicals.
San Marzano tomatoes are ideal for making sauces due to their elongated shape, minimal seeds, firm flesh, and lower juice content. The sweet and mild variety can be roasted or cooked on the stovetop for use in pasta, pizzas, lasagnas, or ragus. It can also be used fresh for sandwiches, bruschetta, and salads, sliced thin and baked into a savory tart, or drizzled with olive oil and roasted. Beyond fresh applications, San Marzano tomatoes are famously canned and develop a soft texture when preserved. It is important to note that authentic and certified, canned San Marzano tomatoes are found peeled and are in whole or fillet form, not diced. In addition to canning, San Marzano tomatoes can also be dried and ground into a powder or made into a tomato paste for extended use. San Marzano tomatoes pair well with herbs such as basil, parsley, and oregano, cheeses such as mozzarella and goat, rich meats such a beef, veal, or pork, garlic, onions, and balsamic vinegar. Once ripe, San Marzano tomatoes will keep 2-3 days at room temperature. Cooked or sliced fresh tomatoes should be stored in a sealed container and kept in the refrigerator for up to one week.
San Marzano tomatoes are considered to be one of the official varieties used in Italy for authentic Neapolitan pizza. The iconic, thin pizza was first created in the 1800s in Naples, Italy, and was a small pie created with specific, fresh ingredients to please the Queen of Savoy. Raffaele Esposito, the original Neapolitan pizza creator, used San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil to honor the colors of the Italian flag in order to impress the queen. Since its creation, Neapolitan pizza has become a favorite pizza around the world, and in 1984 in Naples, the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN) was established to identify, recognize, and certify authentic Neapolitan pizzas. The VPN abides by strict criteria that true Neapolitan pizzas are made with the freshest ingredients, including raw tomatoes, olive oil, mozzarella cheese, and basil. Neapolitan pizzas are also known for having more sauce than cheese and are cooked at very high temperatures to develop a slightly bubbled, charred crust. According to the VPN, there are only three tomato varieties approved for true Neapolitan pizzas, with San Marzano tomatoes revered as the best for a sweet, mildly acidic, and hardy sauce.
San Marzano tomatoes are native to the Campania region surrounding Naples, Italy, and are grown in a unique Mediterranean micro-climate with nutrient-rich volcanic soil from Mount Vesuvius. The variety initially became famous for pizza sauces in the early 1800s, and in 1875, the first cannery was built, allowing San Marzano tomatoes to be shipped throughout Europe. Despite their pizza fame, San Marzano tomatoes declined in popularity in the 1970s with the rise of variety hybridization, but by the 1990s, they regained the spotlight and became one of the most popular canned tomato varieties. Today San Marzano tomatoes are still found in select regions of Italy and are also grown in the United States and Mexico. They are also available through online national seed retailers for home garden cultivation. The San Marzano tomatoes featured in the photograph above were grown by Flora Bella Organics in Three Rivers, California.
Recipes that include San Marzano Tomatoes. One is easiest, three is harder.