Author Topic: san marzano cherry tomatoes  (Read 7924 times)

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keef richards

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san marzano cherry tomatoes
« on: April 23, 2005, 07:22:25 PM »
just found san marzano cherry tomatoes from coluccio. have not used on pizza yet but i've been eating out of the can. these have potential for a great sauce. has anybody used these before? i'm thinking very basic saute garlic add oregano pour in tomatoes cook for 5min. just to heat up and then let it sit. also bought $2 labella and $5 collucio san marzano plum tomatoes. will have to do taste test and see if there is a $3 taste difference


Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: san marzano cherry tomatoes
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2005, 09:18:02 PM »
There are not such a thing as "San Marzano Cherry tomatoes". This must be another marketing invention. There are indeed some very good small tomatoes that they pack in tin and they are called "Pomodorini di Collina" Hilltop small tomatoes.

The variety used are either corbara/corbarini (similar to cherry) or Principe , a unique one with a pointy age at the bottom.

keef richards

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Re: san marzano cherry tomatoes
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2005, 09:39:39 PM »
there must be i have a can that says so.lol i have a 14oz can of coluccio cherry tomatoes from chef central in paramus nj. i also payed $5 for coluccio plum tomatoes from san marzano. why can't they grow cherry tomatoes? never heard of coluccio but i can't see why the tomatoes would not be from san marzano.

Offline Steve

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Re: san marzano cherry tomatoes
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2005, 07:16:28 PM »
I believe what he was trying to say is that there are "Genuine" San Marzano tomatoes (those that carry a DOP serial number and are certified to be genuine) and then there are San Marzano "style" tomatoes which are grown in California from the same type of tomato plant. And there are tomatoes that are labelled "San Marzano" but do not carry the DOP designation.

I think that a genuine DOP San Marzano tomato must be a certain type of Italian plum tomato that's grown in the San Marzano region of Italy.

So, I think you're both right. You probably have cherry tomatoes that were grown in San Marzano, but they're not "genuine" DOP San Marzano tomatoes.  ;)
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Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: san marzano cherry tomatoes
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2005, 09:36:05 PM »
Sorry, but I am from that region so let me explain:

San Marzano is both a name of a small town (within the DOP area) and a variety of Tomatoes (thus seeds).

The town is very small and if they can grow any tomatoes at all they grow the San Marzano varieties because it will give them a better return.

I know what tomatoes Keef may be refering to, and it is not right to call them San Marzano. It is not the same variety, and they cannot come from the town and lastly but less importantly the DOP consortium does not cover that small variety (either Corbara/corbarini or Principe Borghese also known as Piennolo variety).

Online Pete-zza

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Re: san marzano cherry tomatoes
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2005, 11:03:38 AM »
Another example of the small Italian tomatoes bearing the San Marzano name appears at http://www.sanmarzanoimports.com/prod01.htm.

Peter

Offline scott r

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Re: san marzano cherry tomatoes
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2005, 11:22:34 AM »
stay away from this place.  I ended up with two cases of fake "san marzanos' that aren't even as good as regular huntz.  The olive oil on this site is absolutely amazing, though.  This place has a mimimum order of one case for the oil, or two cases for tomatoes.  Another scam.  You would think that having to buy in bulk they would be giving you this great discount, but I have found their products cheaper buy the single can, or bottle locally.

Offline varasano

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Re: san marzano cherry tomatoes
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2005, 11:26:04 AM »
these are the La Bella San Marzano "brand" tomatoes I trashed on my site.

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Re: san marzano cherry tomatoes
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2005, 11:59:39 AM »
When I was originally researching San Marzano tomatoes, I spoke with the owner of San Marzano Imports to try to determine whether his tomatoes were DOP or not, particularly when I didn't see the designation on the labels of the cans of LaBella tomatoes. When I couldn't get a straight answer out of him I decided to move on. I reported on this matter in a post a while back, so it's a good idea for members to do a little research on this site before going out and spending a lot of money on inferior products. At least get enough information to draw your own conclusions or form your own opinions.

Peter

Offline frascatano

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Re: san marzano cherry tomatoes
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2005, 05:38:33 PM »
After spending the last five years in Italy (Lazio) and doing alot of cooking, I was truly amazed at what passes for San Marzano in this nation.  And even those cans that bear the DOP seal are packed with basil in order to avoid competition with American tomatoe growers.  It gets labeled a condiment because of the basil leaf.  I think this is not only absurd, but the pomodori pelati in this form are not the quality of even the lowest brand from my local salumeria, GS, Ipercoop, or Mercato Municipale.  The worst thing to my mind is that organizations like the Food Network, and various culinary magazines never call the perpetrators on it.  More than that, they advertize this nonsense.  You can rest assured that , while those cherry tomatoes might be a very fine product, the inclusion of San Marzano in the name is at best a marketing ploy and at worst, a gross insult to consumers of fine Italian products.

Very Respectfully,

TB


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Re: san marzano cherry tomatoes
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2005, 06:03:14 PM »
frascatano,

Welcome to the forum.

I had heard about the basil leaf trick but hadn't confirmed its purpose until your post.

If you look at several of the threads on this forum on San Marzano tomatoes, you will see that a lot of the shady practices have been exposed, and our members are much better informed than before. Unfortunately, we are at the mercy of whatever our domestic marketplace makes available to us in the way of San Marzano tomatoes, whether they carry the DOP certification or not. Our members routinely report on their favorites and where to buy them. We also hear about the brands they deem inferior.

Based on your experience, is there a brand of San Marzano tomatoes that is available in the U.S. that you deem superior? Also, it there a good brand for the cherry tomatoes?

Peter

Offline frascatano

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Re: san marzano cherry tomatoes
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2005, 06:58:50 PM »
Peter,

Thanks for the warm welcome.  It's reassuring to hear that you folks know what to watch out for in the dubious tomatoe market.  I have only read a few threads so I spoke without knowing who knew what.  Hope no one thought I spoke out of turn.  This is an essential topic for me because it extends to my cooking apart from pizza.  I have gotten to the point where I grow my own plum tomatoes organically and can them myself.  This might seem extreme, but my wife and I come from strong canning traditions so it didn't mean a big equiptment investment.  The true tomatoes of that beautiful plain in Campagna, the San Marzano tomatoes grown in the rich volcanic soil under the extremem heat of the Neapolitan sun, these can not be found here.  This is my opinion, but how happy I would be to find them here, so let me know.  I have tried La Regina, in the 28oz cans and the #10 size cans, and found them very good tasting when you discard the canning liquid.  These seem to be the best I can find.  There is a line of San Marzanos in simple cans that are often found in gourmet places.  I happen to know Williams Sonoma carries them.  Don't waste you money.  These seem to be San Marzano in name only (although they might well carry the seal). 

We can from the best plum, Roma, or San Marzano plants that we can grow.  I have grown my San Marzano plants from seeds I was given by a friend who lives outside of Peastum.  These are very good, but we have neither the sun or the soil.  It might well be that our plum tomatoes are the best.  They're much more hardy than the Roma or San Marzano varieties.  All three of these varieties make good pomodori pelati beacuse they have less seeds, smaller cavities and alot of flesh.  In all honesty and humility, the only tomatoes I have had in this country that approach the deep flavor of the tomatoes in Campagna are those I have canned at home.  It takes less time than you think, it's a great family activity (certainly beats a night watching TV) and if you buy alot of good quality organic tomatoes at the farmer's market you can make enough for a year on a single Sunday afternoon.  Just be sure that the tomatoes are very good.

I hope this doesn't seem unreasonable or snobish.  We work hard to grow a good crop and get them canned for the year.  It's not a foodey fad or a passing hobby.

Would love to talk more about tomatoes, and I invite all comments.

All the Best,

TB

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Re: san marzano cherry tomatoes
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2005, 07:34:26 PM »
frascatano,

Here is a link to an example of the pomodorini cherry tomatoes that are available for purchase in the U.S., under the Annalisa brand: http://www.capriflavors.com/tomato.php.

Your choice of the LaRegina brand of San Marzanos pleases me because they are also my favorite (which I have reported on at the forum). Except I don't throw away the puree. I cook it very slowly, without boiling, until it reduces to a thick sauce and then add fresh herbs (whatever is growing in my yard at the time--usually basil, oregano, summer savory and parsley), dried herbs, a bit of sugar, some fresh garlic, a little balsamico, a little red wine, a good extra-virgin olive oil and gratings of whatever hard cheese I have on hand. Yesterday, I used a combination of grana padano, Romano, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. The sauce made this way will be enough for a good-sized pizza. I do the same thing even for the more watery canning liquids of other brands.

You might want to wander over to some of the threads that discuss some of the better domestic tomatoes for pizzas. One of my favorites is the 6-in-1 brand available from escalon.net and at some retail locations. This is only one example. There are others.

Peter


Offline Les

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Re: san marzano cherry tomatoes
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2005, 02:23:58 PM »
One thing I don't like about canned tomatoes is I seem to always taste an undercurrent, no matter how slight, of "something" that I have imagined is the can.  But it could be due to whatever heat the tomatoes have been exposed to as well (such as for blanching).  I have noticed that where I live here in N. California there isn't the variety of canned Italian tomatoes available that some of you Easteners report (i.e., maybe I've not just had the best ones).

So I was wondering what anyone's thoughts are on using "grape" tomatoes (see pic).  Here there's the national chain of health food stores, Whole Foods, who carries the grape tomatoes all year long.  I use them for the tomato ingredient in much of my other cooking, and recently have been trying them for pizza.  As far as fresh, ripened tomato flavor goes, they've beaten out every other grocery-stocked tomato I've tried.  But they are sweeter than most tomatoes too.

I don't know if I am straying too far from the pizza "norm" or not, but what I do is chop them carefully using the "pulse" mode in my food processor, add salt and a little fresh ground anise seed, strain off the excess liquid and seeds, and then just use them spread over the mozzarella margherita style, or along with 6 in 1-based sauce for NY style.

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Re: san marzano cherry tomatoes
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2005, 03:58:22 PM »
I have used the "grape" tomatoes on several occasions. I sometimes even dry them in the oven to extract more sweetness. I just cut them in half, salt them, coat them in olive oil, and sometimes add chopped garlic. I bake the tomatoes on a baking sheet at around 200-250 degrees F until they are dried but not crunchy-dry. Even if you use the grape tomatoes raw on pizzas, that is consistent with the practice used in Naples. The tomatoes (called pomodorini and piennolo) are small, usually cut in half and used on pizzas with fior di latte (cow's milk) mozzarella cheese. I believe there is even a DOC version using mozzarella di bufala (mozzarella made from water buffaloes milk).

Peter

Offline Les

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Re: san marzano cherry tomatoes
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2005, 06:43:04 PM »
I have used the "grape" tomatoes on several occasions. I sometimes even dry them in the oven to extract more sweetness. I just cut them in half, salt them, coat them in olive oil, and sometimes add chopped garlic. I bake the tomatoes on a baking sheet at around 200-250 degrees F until they are dried but not crunchy-dry. Even if you use the grape tomatoes raw on pizzas, that is consistent with the practice used in Naples. The tomatoes (called pomodorini and piennolo) are small, usually cut in half and used on pizzas with fior di latte (cow's milk) mozzarella cheese. I believe there is even a DOC version using mozzarella di bufala (mozzarella made from water buffaloes milk).

Thanks again Peter . . . I'll try drying some for tonight's pizza.  I'd be interested in hearing how you thought the grapes compared to your favorite canned tomato LaRegina.

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Re: san marzano cherry tomatoes
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2005, 07:02:55 PM »
Les,

When I have used the grape tomatoes fresh on a pizza, I have found that they produced a nice fresh taste, although more acidic than say, the LaReginas. Also, unless you squeeze the seeds and liquid out of the grape tomatoes, they will also add more liquid to the pizza.

Sometimes you will read descriptions of the San Marzano tomatoes that say they are sweet. The descriptions are usually in materials of people who are trying to peddle the San Marzanos. I don't think they are all that sweet, at least not in the way the Escalon 6-in-1s are sweet. What the San Marzanos are is low acid. I tend to prefer low acid for the tomatoes I use on pizzas. So, in that sense, I prefer the LaReginas. I have also found that a combination of the fresh grape tomatoes and some of the dried grape tomatoes is a good combination.

Peter

Offline Les

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Re: san marzano cherry tomatoes
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2005, 07:55:22 PM »
What the San Marzanos are is low acid. I tend to prefer low acid for the tomatoes I use on pizzas.

Hmmmmm, I wonder if their low acidity is why pasta sauce I've attempted with the grapes have seemed to lack a certain "bite" I prefer for pasta. 

BTW, have you ever worked with strained tomatoes (i.e., general cooking, not for pizza)?  The Precious brand doesn't add citric acid to it or their paste.  I think their strained product is almost as flavorful as 6 in 1.

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Re: san marzano cherry tomatoes
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2005, 11:25:08 PM »
Les,

Where I live around Dallas we are "pizza ingredient challenged". I routinely check out every supermarket and high-end specialty store, including Whole Foods, and have never seen a single can of San Marzanos, and certainly not a DOP can. What I did see in the Central Market, one of the highest of the high-end stores, was the "fake" San Marzanos--the ones grown in the U.S. from San Marzano seeds. And the price was higher than even the LaReginas, which usually cost more than the other competing brands. And no one carries the Escalon tomatoes (although Randy says that Wal-Mart has a comparable tomato at low cost). I can get whole-milk mozzarella cheese only from Wal-Mart or by paying around $8 a pound at the Dallas Mozzarella Company.

I am grateful to be able to find the grape tomatoes. Just about everything else comes to me via a UPS carrier.

Peter


 

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