Weekly Tip: San Marzano Tomatoes – Getting What You Pay For


“A world without tomatoes is like a string quartet without violins.” ~ Laurie Colwin

Smart Shopping Tips for San Marzano Tomatoes


If you like Italian food, you have probably heard about San Marzano plum tomatoes.  Most chefs, such as Mario Batali, say that they are the best tomato to use in sauce.

Here are some of the reasons why:

  • They are grown in the rich volcanic soil found at the base of Mt. Vesuvius; and this gives the tomato a low acidic sweet flavor.
  • They have a low seed count which gives you much more pulp.
  • They are a deep red color.
  • The tomatoes are picked by hand. All of the above provides exceptional quality.

Canned San Marzano Tomatoes

When you have a product of high quality, it is more expensive.  So to be sure that you are getting what you pay for.

Here are some important things to look for when shopping for San Marzano tomatoes.

Look for the DOP (Designation of Origin Protected) seal on the can. This seal insures that you are buying certified San Marzano tomatoes.

If you can’t find the DOP label, be sure to buy tomatoes that have been grown and packaged in Italy.  There are many imposters that claim to be San Marzano tomatoes and they are grown in the USA. You will still be charged the high price just for the name.

Here’s to being an informed  consumer.

Patricia Rio
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