Friday, October 12, 2007

Not All Tomatoes Are Created Equal

The San Marzano tomato is Italy's most famous plum tomato and is now protected by tight rules of the restricted D.O.P. (Denominazione di Origine Protetta literally translated Denomination of Protected Origin) from the European Union for exceptional products. But why protected?
The harvest of the San Marzano tomato usually begins in August and continues until the end of September and sometimes later. It is a delicate crop and mechanization is not used. Intense labor is required to train the vines, and the harvest is hand picked multiple times, only when the fruit is completely ripe. Why all the work? The D.O.P. San Marzano tomato from the volcanic soil of Vesuvius, Campana, outside Naples is generally accepted as the best species to use for tomato sauce, - bar none.
In my restaurant Vivande the hard to find Strianese brand is our choice. Strianese brand are sweeter and more vibrant tasting than other DOP San Marzano canned tomatoes. Now these delicate tomato jewels are available on the Vivande shopping cart. Become a believer, taste them right out of the can, but be careful not to eat them all!

Ciao Carlo