San Marzano DOP tomato's are known to be of superior quality.Anyone can see that those Cali one's in the white can with the bright colored lettering is a misleading "rip off" on the San Marzano name......Sheeesh!
To my way of thinking, it is a matter of buyer beware. As I understand it, San Marzano seeds are a varietal and, as such, can be grown anywhere. In the case of the California canned San Marzano tomatoes, from SiLtd (Simpson Imports), the label on the can clearly states that the tomatoes are grown in the U.S. Where I do see the potential for misleading customers is that the label has the Italian words Pomidori Pelati running around the label top and bottom. If a consumer sees the words San Marzano and Pomidori Pelati and assumes that the tomatoes were grown in Italy, then the consumer will not be getting the real deal. In my view, the greater issue is that the California San Marzanos strike me as quite costly, at least the ones I saw at http://www.cybercucina.com/ccdocs/products/SM5012.html
and at http://www.farawayfoods.com/sanmarzano.html
, just to cite two examples. I have seen the San Marzano DOPs from Italy grown in vesuvial soil that sell for less than that.
My view is if Mike is fully aware of what tomatoes he has, and he likes them, who am I to tell him otherwise? Who knows, maybe he got a good price on them and represent value for his purposes.
I usually steer clear of debates about tomatoes on the forum because I have seen that members' preferences vary all over the place, with each tomato product having its vocal opponents and its vocal advocates. I say leave people in peace. If they like the tomatoes they have, so be it.