San Marzano Tomatoes. What are they?

San Marzano Tomatoes. What are they?

If you're a pizza lover, you know that the right ingredients can make all the difference in the quality of your pie. One ingredient that is often considered the gold standard for pizza sauce is the San Marzano tomato. These tomatoes are named after the town of San Marzano sul Sarno, located in the Campania region of Italy, where they have been grown for centuries. Authentic San Marzano tomatoes are grown in the volcanic soil of the region, which gives them their distinct sweet, tangy flavour and firm, meaty texture.

So, why are San Marzano tomatoes considered the best for pizza sauce? There are several factors that contribute to the unique characteristics of these tomatoes.

First, the variety of tomato itself is known for its elongated shape, thin skin, and small seed cavities. These characteristics make the tomatoes ideal for processing, as they are easy to peel and have less water content than other varieties. The lower water content means that San Marzano tomatoes have a higher concentration of flavour and a thicker, richer texture, making them perfect for use in pizza sauce.

Another factor that sets San Marzano tomatoes apart is the way they are grown. Authentic San Marzano tomatoes are grown using traditional methods, without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. This means that the tomatoes are grown in a more natural, sustainable way, which may contribute to their flavour and quality.

In addition to the variety of tomato and the way it is grown, the location where the tomatoes are grown also plays a role in their flavour and quality. The volcanic soil of the Campania region is rich in minerals, which is believed to contribute to the sweet, tangy flavour of San Marzano tomatoes. The combination of the specific variety of tomato, the way it is grown, and the unique soil conditions of the region all contribute to the superior flavour and quality of San Marzano tomatoes.

So, what does all this have to do with wood fired pizza and pizza ovens? Well, a wood fired pizza oven can add an extra layer of flavour to your pizza by infusing the crust with the smoky flavour of wood. When paired with the sweet, tangy flavour of San Marzano tomatoes, the result is a truly delicious pie.

It's important to note that not all tomatoes labeled as "San Marzano" are truly authentic. In order for a tomato to be considered an authentic San Marzano, it must be grown in the designated area of San Marzano sul Sarno and follow certain production guidelines. Look for the DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) label on the can or packaging, which indicates that the tomatoes are authentic San Marzanos.

In conclusion, San Marzano tomatoes are widely considered to be the best tomatoes for making pizza sauce due to their sweet, tangy flavour, firm, meaty texture, and low water content. These tomatoes are grown in the volcanic soil of the Campania region in Italy using traditional methods, without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. When paired with the smoky flavour of a wood fired pizza oven, the result is a truly delicious pie. Look for the DOP label to ensure that you are getting authentic San Marzano tomatoes.