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Old 05-02-2008, 09:03 AM   #1
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Canned San Marzano tomatoes (merged)

I asked the DW to pick up a couple cans, and much to my chagrin, there were grown in the USA. Not that that's bad, but I wanted some 'authentic' San Marzano tomatoes.

Bought these



Should have bought these



I'm going to do a taste test on the two brands to see if there's a big difference.

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Old 05-02-2008, 09:05 AM   #2
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i made the same mistake once Jeekinz with the same brand. It was when I first heard of San Marzano tomatoes, but I had never seen them before. i saw that can and bought them only to really read the label when I got home
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:08 AM   #3
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I can't get any kind of San Marzano Tomatoes around here. But I do get Balderson Heritage 5-year aged cheddar, the best I've ever tasted.

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Old 05-02-2008, 09:12 AM   #4
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Cento puts out a great product. I may just limit my canned tomato products to that brand.

I will do the taste test though and post my opinion.

Edit: Actually, the san marzano is supposed to have more flesh than a roma. The ones in the white can looked exactly like a whole canned roma. I cooked the braise last night for tonights dinner, so I haven't been able to sample them yet.
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeekinz View Post
I asked the DW to pick up a couple cans, and much to my chagrin, there were grown in the USA. Not that that's bad, but I wanted some 'authentic' San Marzano tomatoes.

Bought these



Should have bought these



I'm going to do a taste test on the two brands to see if there's a big difference.
I made that same mistake, Jeekinz.. I buy fresh local San Marzano's at the greenmarket, but I think I want the Italian ones if they're canned. I haven't opened that can yet, so can't be sure.... however, I think they ought to state their provenance more prominently
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:15 AM   #6
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,,,I buy fresh local San Marzano's at the greenmarket...

I thought the tomatoes had to be grown in the San Marzano region of Italy to be correctly called San Marzano tomatoes.
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:17 AM   #7
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I thought the tomatoes had to be grown in the San Marzano region of Italy to be correctly called San Marzano tomatoes.
You would think so Andy. That would only make sense. Unfortunately it seems they can call them San Marzano regardless of where they are grown.
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:17 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I thought the tomatoes had to be grown in the San Marzano region of Italy to be correctly called San Marzano tomatoes.
Yes. There is alot of missing information on Wiki. Cento San Marzano D.O.P Tomatoes
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:21 AM   #9
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You would think so Andy. That would only make sense. Unfortunately it seems they can call them San Marzano regardless of where they are grown.

That's true. You can get Bugundy wine made in California too.
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:22 AM   #10
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Ive seen those California "San Marzanos" in the store. But you're right, they are not the real thing. The distinctive feature of real Italian SM's is the taste/texture they have from the soil they are grown in.

Does that can claim they are San Marzano tomatoes? Or are they claiming it is a brand name?
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:29 AM   #11
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Either way its decieving. The white can company alos makes a jar sauce that is sort of expensive for what it is. I am sure its not a bad product but if I am shelling out the dough for San Marzano I want San Marzano otherwise I will buy the $1 supermarket brand TUVM
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:31 AM   #12
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San Marzano is also the cultivar name of the tomato that is from there. I used to grow some plants for spring sales, although Roma was a better seller, even with my Italian customers.
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:44 AM   #13
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well, I'm shocked...I am growing the cultivar, San Marzano, and had no idea there would be so much prejudice against those poor 'lil plants
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
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I thought the tomatoes had to be grown in the San Marzano region of Italy to be correctly called San Marzano tomatoes.
The farmers I buy them from do not call them San Marzano, even tho they are the same strain. You are right. It is incorrect to call any tomatoes "San Marzano" that do not come from that region in Italy. The farmers I know call them simply "Roma Tomatoes."
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Old 05-02-2008, 10:37 AM   #15
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yes, you want the Italian ones ... sweeter, you can eat them right out of the can! The others will taste ok, but not the same. Look for the DOP or DOC on the lable. Cento, and Nina put out the #10 cans. THere are others found at specialty Italian groceries.

Cento sells from the website if anyone has no local purveyor.
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Old 05-07-2008, 06:01 PM   #16
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The Canned San Marzano Study

The start to this thread began here, a short talk about authentic San Marzano tomatoes. So, like I stated in the thread, I decided to examine them myself.

The two subjects.



The can on the left "Cento Canned San Marzano grown and canned in Italy". The can on the right "San Marzano tomatoes grown in the USA"

Here's some info from the two cans. Note the basil leaf in the Cento product.



Only certified San Marzano's get this seal.







Upon opening the containers, both looked identical. So I dug in there and took a tomato out from each can. Note: I actually dug around in the USA can to try and find a tomato that looked like the picture on the label but only found round ones the size of a Hacky Sack (like a kiwi fruit).



Here they are sliced open. 85% of the liquid on the plate was from the Italian tomato. Also, the juice from the USA grown tomato was quite watery.

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Old 05-07-2008, 06:13 PM   #17
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I am not an expert on tomatoes, but I do grow them myself and I'm a fan of tomato based dishes, etc. My final impression is as follows:

(tasted raw out of the can)

USA Produced - firm texture, the puree and juice from the tomato was a tad watery, the flavor of the puree was 'flat' (only word I could think of), all in all the tomato has very good flavor with nearly no acidity. I would question the "tomato juice" added to the product along with the variety of tomatoes used for the puree.

Italian Produced - soft and delicate texture, like a ripe tomato. The fresh basil is a nice touch yet does not really add to the flavor, the tomatoes are loaded with thick juice and the puree tastes exactly like the tomatoes and it thicker than the other brand. Also a very good flavor.

Which brand is better? I don't know. But I do know this: If I'm going to pay nearly the same amount of money for San Marzanos from Italy or the USA, I'm going to take the Centos. The USA produced tomatoes have a substatially better flavor than other variety of canned tomatoes, but should revise the puree and label themselves differently. Buy either one, but if they are next to each other, grab the authentic San Marzano.

Now....I have to go roll out some pasta.

Cin Cin!
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Old 05-07-2008, 06:19 PM   #18
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Old 05-07-2008, 06:24 PM   #19
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Now, wish I knew what Calcium chloride was. Guessing it's a preservative. The tomaters on the right look plumper/firmer.
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Old 05-07-2008, 06:29 PM   #20
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I believe you can get San Marzano Tomato seeds that would be a great experiment as well. Anybody ever try the Pomi brand of Italian tomatoes? They come in a box rather than a can I can't get any here. I never felt they were better than regular canned tomatoes but I have not had any for years.
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