Monday, June 21, 2010

San Marzano Tomotoes - Saucy!

I used to consider myself a 'foodie', but when my mother asked us if we'd heard of San Marzano tomatoes before, we were stumped. How had we missed the boat? We began to research them and were completely fascinated. They are considered by many chefs to be the best sauce tomatoes in the world. Nestled at the base of Mount Vesuvius, the sun-drenched volcanic soil of San Marzano is believed to act as a filter for water impurities. They are very similar to Roma tomatoes, but are pointier in shaper, have thicker skin, and fewer seeds. We decided to make a simple sauce to go over linguine last night for Father's Day. Wow! They are delightfully sweet and it is said that some describe the flavor as bittersweet, along the lines of high-quality chocolate. I concur and I don't know if we'll make sauce with another type of tomato!

{ Photo Credit: Local Flavour }

We're still looking for our camera and my phone just wouldn't take a good photo last night so I borrowed this image.

We used the Cento brand tomatoes. Many products out there are made from tomatoes that are either grown in Italy outside the San Marzano region, or domestically from seeds. It's the volcanic ash that makes these particular babies so wonderful. Be sure to look for the DOP (Denominazione d' Origine Protetta) label. These labels are within the Protected Geographical Status (PGS) framework, defined in European Union law to protect the names of regional foods. They may be a tad pricier, but are so worth the cost in terms of taste.

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