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Old 05-24-2011, 12:55 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
San Marzano is both a denomination of origin and a variety.

Like GB said, the reason the real canned SM tomatoes grown in the San Marzano region of Italy are so special is because of the soil they grow in. Sandy, volcanic soil from Mt Vezuvius (sp?). Like grapes (or reallyanything you grow), soil has a great deal to do with the flavor and texture you get from tomatoes.

You can grow them from seeds anywhere, but they don'e have the same taste as the real deal from Italy.

I have started to grow them every year in my garden and there's really no comparison beween mine and a high quality canned SM.

Mine are getting planted this weekend.
In China, it is said that 2 kinds of mandarin oranges can grow on the opposite sides of a river, and have such difference in quality that they have different names
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Old 05-24-2011, 03:52 PM   #22
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The difference between San Marzano and standard romas is like the difference between Prosciutto san Daniele amd Prosciutto de Parma. That is in Europe and not what is shipped over here. USA that is. You folks in Canada can probably get the real stuff. Stupid FDA!

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Old 05-24-2011, 05:35 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by CraigC
The difference between San Marzano and standard romas is like the difference between Prosciutto san Daniele amd Prosciutto de Parma. That is in Europe and not what is shipped over here. USA that is. You folks in Canada can probably get the real stuff. Stupid FDA!

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So we can't get the real thing in the US? Why does the FDA have a problem?
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Old 05-24-2011, 06:43 PM   #24
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There is a difference between San Marzano tomatoes that you grow yourself and ones grown in the San Marzano region of Italy. That is not to say that your tomatoes will not be delicious. The reason San Marzanos from Italy are so prized and different is because of the soil they are grown in.
Terroir?
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Old 05-24-2011, 06:54 PM   #25
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Terroir?
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Old 05-24-2011, 07:17 PM   #26
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The canned San Marzano tomatoes in my local stores are not iwth the rest of the canned tomatoes. They are in the special "Italian" section next to the "Mexican" section and across the aisle from the "Chinese" section.

They cost about twice as much here.
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Old 05-24-2011, 07:34 PM   #27
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The canned San Marzano tomatoes in my local stores are not iwth the rest of the canned tomatoes. They are in the special "Italian" section next to the "Mexican" section and across the aisle from the "Chinese" section.
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Old 05-24-2011, 08:27 PM   #28
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San Marzano Di California...???

Yes, I'm inclined to say there's something about the Napolitano terroir (I know it's pronounced like TareWah but it's got me thinking about a little mean doggie). The little tag on the label, the DOP thingy (denominatizonne originale proctectionatto???) is supposed to designate that they are from the area on the slopes of Mt. Vesuvius near Naples and therefore, AND ONLY THEREFORE, can they be called San Marzanos. I've ordered a brand called Strianese (sp?) which is yummy as pizza sauce --just smashed and with a tiny bit of oregano and salt. But they are wicked good in Mexican food or anything else that takes kindly to proper 'matery goodness. The sweet/acid/matery flavor balance is Cirque de Solieil tightrope walker perfect. I ordered a dozen or so cans a while back from some place called Taylor's Market in the Stockton/Sacatomatoes area of California. I've tried to grow them in my little 20-miles-from-from-the-ocean So Cal yard (which is a pretty similar climate to where the Real San Marzano's are grown) but didn't find them too productive. I was only able to directly smash one or two "San Marzanos" from my garden last year to sauce a pie to cook in our pizza oven -- great idea but once again, didn't work as envisioned. But the Strianese maters were there as was the basil in pots. Put a Basil pot on the counter -- plant was hose rinsed in the morning -- and pull leaves to put directly on pizzas moments before hitting the oven. Yum. Either way, San Marzano maters have a unique, very pizza sauce friendly, flavor which, if you can't grow them, can be purchased in an acceptable canned form. Once again, I've bloviated more than I've informed. Take this away from my post: Check out the Strianese brand and Taylor's Market somewhere in Central California. And... enjoy.
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:28 PM   #29
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i most often use cento brand canned tomatoes, and even they have 2 types that you have to look closely at the lable to differentiate between. the domestic grown ones, and the certified imported from san marzano ones. i've found cento has the best imported san marzanos i've ever tasted. la fede brand is a close second.

i was just at my local plant nursery last week and was about to buy a pack of plum tomatoes grown from certified san marzano seed, and the owner told me not to bother. she suggested i buy the roma variety of plum tomatoes. they supposedly taste better grown in the soil of new jersey as compared to san marzanos.

so i guess it's a two way street. the soil and the variety of the plant has to be match for the best results.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:53 AM   #30
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Good morning, as a horny handed son of the sod I like to experiment. This year I have tried to re-create two areas of soil for Potatoes and Toms.
In Europe as you now food from certain regions are protected by law.
The famous Jersey Royal new potato is in fact the International Kidney, I grew them last year and although they were good they neither had the shape or flavor of the Jersey Royal. The J/R is grown on the south facing slopes next to the sea and mulched and fed with seaweed, so last summer we collected seaweed washed it and composted it with grass cuttings. I then dumped it in south facing cold frame and planted the International Kidneys, I will also starve them of water (this is the clue to San Marzipano) using the glass covers to recreate the slope and soil Lanzarote
Lanzarote is a volcanic island with little rain, the soil is poor and the King Edward pots they grow there are also very small but they have an intense flavor. I had to burn a lot of old conifers and the branches of 4 fruit trees that we cut down, so we had huge bonfire in the bottom paddock, this sterilised the soil and killed the grass.I then used my Merry Tiller to work the huge amount of ash into the soil and about 7 weeks ago I planted it with King Edwards, and three weeks ago I added some Roma's, the Roma's are about a third smaller than the toms I planted in the "normal" soil in the main veg plots.
Commercial growers of toms in Holland grow them in huge hydroponic greenhouses, they grow quickly are full of water and have no flavor, Toms turn red not because of the sun but because of ethylene gas so they are picked unripe for transportation the hit with ethylene gas in a dark local distribution warehouse.
The structure, drainage and climate, not the minerals in the soil is responsible for unique.
Ps my normal compost is made the Bob Flowerdew ( famous UK gardener) way, I pee on it, this increases the nitrogen content and aids the organic break down
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