San Marzano tomatoes are simply the best tomatoes in the world. No joke! These prized Italian tomatoes are grown in the lush volcanic soil of Mt. Vesuvius. San Marzanos have a slender, oblong shape, vibrant red hue and beautiful balance of fresh, sweet and tart flavors. Their delicate, thick flesh contains fewer seeds and less water, making them ideal for simple tomato sauces, where their tremendous flavor can really shine.
However, due to their popularity and specialized growing conditions, there are many San Marzano imposters out there, so be sure to look for the D.O.P. (in English, the Protected Designation of Origin) seal on the label.
Pizza Margherita: a San Marzano Specialty
The most famous Italian pizza recipe is straight from the city of Naples, home to the San Marzano tomato and a tribute to the flag of Italy with only three toppings: San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil. The Margherita pizza is also a protected item, with pizzerias throughout Italy bearing a logo of verification that they follow the historical recipe.
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