Sunday, September 25, 2011

Heirloom Tomato - Super San Marzano

In 2011, Super San Marzano was one of the strains of San Marzano that we tried at T-Farm, and we were not disappointed.  Several strains exist, although there is controversy as to the authenticity and origins of some of the varieties of seeds that bear the name San Marzano. 

This variety is somewhat similar to the well known Roma tomato, but is even better suited as a paste tomato.  It has less water and more flavor.  Although it bears the name "San Marzano," it is a very different plant and produces smaller fruit in much larger quantity then its cousin the San Marzano Redorta that we also grew in 2011.  The "Super" strain matures fruit faster, and the fruit keeps longer then most any other variety of tomato we have grown.  Excellent for sauces, pizza and drying, the plants produce an abundance of fruit.  We found the fruit to be ideal for producing a thick, rich, delicious red sauce for pizza or pasta.

The history of the San Marzano tomato dates back at least to 1770 when it arrived in the Campania region of Italy as a gift from the Kingdom of Peru to the Kingdom of Naples.  The flavor is also sweeter and less acidic then the Roma and is preferred by many gourmet chefs for making sauce.  In fact, due to their renowned high quality and origins near Naples, San Marzano tomatoes are the only tomatoes that can be used for authentic Vera Pizza Neapolitan (True Neapolitan Pizza).

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