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Author Topic: Good NYT article on San Marzano Tomatoes...  (Read 717 times)

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Offline FranksPizza

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Offline italdream

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Re: Good NYT article on San Marzano Tomatoes...
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2017, 11:20:56 AM »
Thank you very much for sharing. Interesting article but not particularly good journalism from the NYT IMHO.

San Marzano is a region in Italy. The consortium failed to protect the geographic denomination in the U.S., thus it is not surprising that whether U.S. producers call them San Marzano had little impact on the flavor.

U.S. made "San Marzano" are typically Roma-type or plum tomatoes grown on a variety of soils and under a wide range of conditions. They are S. Marzano look-alike, or simply knock-off wannabe. The article implies it loosely. But it fails to come to the natural conclusion that consumers are largely misled and cheated on when they buy tomatoes labelled San Marzano that are not from the eponymous region.

The article is also confusing (or not well "researched") because it states that NYT did not try "true, certified San Marzano tomatoes", but then ranked Cento among the top. While Cento does not bear the seal, it states clearly on the back label that they come from the Agro Nocerino Sarnese. Since S. Marzano is a geographic area after all (a small town to be precise), Cento S. Marzano are largely closer (if not identical) to seal-bearing original S. Marzano tomatoes since they grow in the same soil, and likely packed by the same producers. No surprise they rank at the top.

I am not saying that there are no good American tomatoes. The fruit comes originally from the Americas after all. Only that if I bought Idaho potatoes in Italy I would not want them to originate from say Lituania or Poland. This is essentially what happens here. Consumers could then decide if original S. Marzano are worth paying a premium for, anything else is intentional mislabeling and profiting on consumer's ignorance.

P.S. By the way, big fan of Frank Pepe's pizza.
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Offline invertedisdead

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Re: Good NYT article on San Marzano Tomatoes...
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2017, 03:55:26 PM »
Quote
Whether the tomatoes were packed in juice or purée did not affect the taste.

I don't agree with this at all, in fact I won't buy Carmelina whole peeled tomatoes anymore since they switched to packing in puree. I would be curious to hear what others think of this.

At any rate this article is pretty bad and I lost all interest after this bit.

Quote
I did not include true, certified San Marzano tomatoes, since they are at least two to three times more expensive — not what we want for regular weeknight cookery... Among the supermarket brands, most canned tomatoes had the balance of tang, saltiness and sweetness that is the hallmark of good tomato flavor.

 ???
DOP San Marzano's are not any more expensive than Muir Glen San Marzano style in my local stores. They are actually cheaper than the Muir Glen's. And I like Muir Glen's for some things but this pretty much voids the taste test to me. Is the article about tomato quality or affordable weeknight meal planning? It almost sounds like this article is a sponsored ad by a US tomato producer...

Also, I can't help but notice this article was written by Julia Moskin which is especially interesting, since she didn't have any problems springing for the DOP tomatoes when she wrote this article, "Marinara Worth Mastering" https://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/29/dining/marinara-worth-mastering.html?mcubz=3
« Last Edit: September 26, 2017, 03:59:49 PM by invertedisdead »

Offline italdream

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Re: Good NYT article on San Marzano Tomatoes...
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2017, 06:53:49 PM »
It almost sounds like this article is a sponsored ad by a US tomato producer...
https://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/29/dining/marinara-worth-mastering.html?mcubz=3

Ditto! I kind of had the same feeling. The article is all over the place. The message I get is: no need to buy real S Marzano because there is no way to know when they are real so not worth paying the premium. Well the fact that they get knocked off left and right is one reason why it is not worth paying the premium. And give me a break, producers use the name S. Marzano because it has cachet, it carries weight. It's exactly the lack of protection that destroys the name, not the lack of difference with other types of tomatoes. Stop knocking them off and let consumers decide whether it carries a distinctive taste and other desirable features.
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Offline neopizza

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Re: Good NYT article on San Marzano Tomatoes...
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2017, 09:22:10 PM »
So it’s an article about San Marzano tomatoes by a guy that did not eat San Marzano tomatoes? Hmmm, very much a NYT style article. That’s like writing an article about Champagne but only drinking California sparkling wine in your research.
San Marzano tomatoes are a very unique variety of plum tomato. It is not just that they are grown in volcanic soil they are grown only in the volcanic soil of the Sarno River valley, near Mount Vesuvius and they are grow with almost no water in a very unique micro climate. They have Denominazione di Origine Protetta (DOP) status because that small group of growers work within a small defined area adhering to specific farming and canning methods. The actual crop size is so small that unless you are a farmer you will never see them fresh as the whole of every years production is canned for resale. Compared to a regular plum tomato they have maybe 10% of the seeds their flesh is sweeter, denser and they have thick hard skin. Every can of true San Marzanos has the DOP and SM Growers Association Stamps and a serial number traceable to the production lot.
There are other varieties of plum or roma style tomatoes grown in Campania as well. Some of them are grown in volcanic soil, but they are not DOP San Marzanos and the exhibit different characteristics.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2017, 09:33:11 PM by neopizza »

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Offline SAUZER.ITALY

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Re: Good NYT article on San Marzano Tomatoes...
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2017, 04:29:32 AM »
I use the translator, so apologize if not everyone will understand what I'm writing.
Even in Italy, I have been for decades looking for the excellence of our country to be able to taste our pizzas at best.
Once there was no attention today in these products.
Although we are in italy I can confirm that for "tomato San Marzano", "tomato del piennolo", "mozzarella di bufala campana", "mozzarella di Agerola", "oregano campano or calabrese", "friarielli"
It took years to find organic products that produce top products.
And a pizza with the right products surely makes the difference to the palate and the digestibility.

Offline neopizza

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Re: Good NYT article on San Marzano Tomatoes...
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2017, 11:46:03 AM »
I use the translator, so apologize if not everyone will understand what I'm writing.
Even in Italy, I have been for decades looking for the excellence of our country to be able to taste our pizzas at best.
Once there was no attention today in these products.
Although we are in italy I can confirm that for "tomato San Marzano", "tomato del piennolo", "mozzarella di bufala campana", "mozzarella di Agerola", "oregano campano or calabrese", "friarielli"
It took years to find organic products that produce top products.
And a pizza with the right products surely makes the difference to the palate and the digestibility.
Ciao Sauzer,
Yes, I agree with you.
ALL Italian DOP products deserve high respect. It is not and advertising game and it is extremely difficult to get DOP certification. It is sad that it took so long for all these small Italian producers of organic products to get recognized for their efforts.
Yes YES!!, Pomodorino del Piennolo del Vesuvio DOP (Red) and the Pomodorino Giallo (Yellow) are also fantastic tomatoes and unique to the Naples / Vesuvio area and their production volume is so small that all of the crop is used locally.
In my opinion all these Italian tomatoes are superior in flavor and texture to anything here in the USA. All of the local environment factors together create these unique products and they can not be reproduced anywhere else in the world.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2017, 11:51:33 AM by neopizza »

Offline neopizza

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Re: Good NYT article on San Marzano Tomatoes...
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2017, 12:21:27 PM »
Ciao Sauzer,
Yes, I agree with you.
ALL Italian DOP products deserve high respect. It is not and advertising game and it is extremely difficult to get DOP certification. It is sad that it took so long for all these small Italian producers of organic products to get recognized for their efforts.
Yes YES!!, Pomodorino del Piennolo del Vesuvio DOP (Red) and the Pomodorino Giallo (Yellow) are also fantastic tomatoes and unique to the Naples / Vesuvio area and their production volume is so small that all of the crop is used locally.
In my opinion all these Italian tomatoes are superior in flavor and texture to anything here in the USA. All of the local environment factors together create these unique products and they can not be reproduced anywhere else in the world.
Regards,
Neo

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