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San Marzano Tomatoes

San Marzano Tomatoes

Nothing but great Italian tomatoes and a snip of basil.


Good looking plum tomatoes.


Look for the DOP seal to avoid imitators.


The San Marzano tomato is Italy’s most famous plum tomato, grown in Campania, the home of pizza — since the middle ages. The tomato is prized for its tart flavor, firm pulp, red color, low seed count and easily removed skin. It is widely used in both pizza and pasta though recently it has become famous around the world as the base for Vera Pizza Napoletana. It’s interesting to note that Naples lays claim not only as the home of pizza but also tomato-based pasta dishes — both enjoyed by local royalty in the 17th century.

The San Marzano tomato is now protected by tight rules, like many wines, cheeses and even Pizza Napoletana, obtaining the DOP (Denominazione d’ Origine Protetta) label in 1996 from the European Union for the processed product. Watch out for domestic imitators using the San Marzano name — it’s like calling jug wine “burgundy” or bulk sparkling wine “champagne.”

These great Italian tomatoes are the perfect start to the perfect pizza. The harvest of the San Marzano usually begins in August and continues until the end of September and sometimes later. It is a delicate crop and mechanization is not used. The labor required to train the vines, and the hand-picked harvest (the true San Marzano is harvested multiple times, only when the fruit is completely ripe, not all at once) are two elements that lead to an increase in production costs.

Still, we think it’s worth it. Take a 28oz can of imported San Marzano tomatoes, hit it with a potato masher or hand-crank food mill, and you have the perfect tomato sauce for pizza. Check out our Smash Tomato Sauce.

And now, there’s San Marzano Tomatoes for sale in the Forno Bravo Store — at reasonable prices. Compared with some of life’s other luxuries, this is one you will enjoy, and can afford!

Interested in San Marzano Tomatoes for your Pizzeria? Read more here.

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