A San Marzano tomato is a variety of plum tomato originating from the Campania region in Italy. It is known for its flavour and quality as a canning tomato. San Marzano production is protected by a European protected designation of origin certification.[1]

San Marzano
San Marzano fruit
San Marzano fruit
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)
Maturity85 days
VineIndeterminate[dubious ]
Plant height1.8 metres (5 ft 11 in)
Fruit weight110 grams (3.9 oz)
LeafRegular leaf
ColorRed (pink)

Description edit

Compared to the Roma tomato, San Marzano tomatoes are thinner and more pointed. The flesh is much thicker with fewer seeds, and the taste is stronger, sweeter, and less acidic.[2]

The San Marzano vines are an indeterminate type[3] and have a somewhat longer season than other paste tomato varieties, making them particularly suitable for warmer climates. As is typical of heirloom plants, San Marzano is an open-pollinated variety that breeds true from generation to generation, making seed saving practical for the home gardener or farmer.

Commercial production and use edit

Heirloom plant conservationist Amy P. Goldman calls the San Marzano "the most important industrial tomato of the 20th century"; its commercial introduction in 1926 provided canneries with a "sturdy, flawless subject, and breeders with genes they'd be raiding for decades".[4] Though commercial production of the San Marzano variety is most closely associated with Italy, seeds for the variety are available worldwide. It is an heirloom variety.[5] Canned San Marzanos, when grown in the Valle del Sarno (valley of the Sarno) in Italy in compliance with Italian law, can be classified as pomodoro San Marzano dell'agro sarnese-nocerino and have the EU "DOP" emblem on the label.

Most San Marzano tomatoes sold commercially are grown in Italy, though they are produced commercially in smaller quantities in other countries. Because of San Marzano's premium pricing, there is an ongoing battle against fraudulent product. On November 22, 2010, the Italian carabinieri confiscated 1,470 tonnes (1,450 long tons; 1,620 short tons) of improperly labelled canned tomatoes worth 1.2 million.[6]

San Marzano tomatoes, along with pomodorino del Piennolo del Vesuvio, have been designated as the only tomatoes that can be used for "vera pizza napoletana" ("true Neapolitan pizza").[7]

Origins edit

San Marzano tomatoes originate from the small town of San Marzano sul Sarno, near Naples, Italy, and were first grown in volcanic soil in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. One story goes that the first seed of this tomato came to Campania in 1770, as a gift from the Viceroyalty of Peru to the Kingdom of Naples, and that it was planted in the area of San Marzano sul Sarno.[8]

In the United States, San Marzano tomatoes are the genetic base for another popular paste tomato, the Roma tomato. The Roma is a cross between a San Marzano and two other varieties (one of which was also a San Marzano hybrid),[4] and was introduced by the USDA's Agricultural Research Service in 1955.[9]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Rao, R.; Corrado, G.; Bianchi, M.; Di Mauro, A. (21 March 2006). "(GATA)4 DNA fingerprinting identifies morphologically characterized 'San Marzano' tomato plants". Plant Breeding. 125 (2): 173–176. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0523.2006.01183.x. Retrieved 13 April 2023.
  2. ^ Saveur Magazine (3 December 2008). Saveur Cooks Authentic Italian. Chronicle Books. pp. 90–. ISBN 978-0-8118-6574-6.
  3. ^ "Test Guidelines for Tomato" (PDF). International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants. International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants. Retrieved 13 April 2023.
  4. ^ a b Phelan, Benjamin (30 August 2012). "Awesome Sauce". Slate. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  5. ^ "San Marzano Tomato". bonnieplants.com. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  6. ^ Blechman, Nicholas (14 August 2015). "Opinion | The Mystery of San Marzano". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 30 August 2022.
  7. ^ "Regulations for obtaining the use of the collective trade mark 'Verace Pizza Napoletana'" (PDF). Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. Retrieved 30 January 2023.
  8. ^ Gattuso, Reina. "How Volcanic Soil Gives Us Tomatoes Primed For Neapolitan Pizza Glory". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 30 August 2022.
  9. ^ "History of Research at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Agricultural Research Service". Agricultural Research Service. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 11 September 2012.

External links edit