San Marzano tomatoes are a favorite among foodies for their sweet flavor, stronger taste and low acidity compared to other tomatoes, and also cost twice as … Which means that companies can add a DOP label to any can of tomatoes and call it San Marzano, as Taste reports. Because production is so very limited, the Italian Government and the European Union have formed a way of protecting consumers from fraud by having San Marzano tomatoes tightly controlled. What first made American cooks seek out San Marzano tomatoes were cans of the official DOP San Marzano tomatoes, grown in a relatively small region between Naples and Salerno. According to The Kitchn, San Marzano tomatoes are a specific variety grown in one particular region of Italy: the Agro Sarnese Nocerino of the Sarno River Valley near Mount Vesuvius. Real San Marzano Tomatoes are a very old variety, extremely limited in quantity, grown and produced exclusively in the San Marzano region of Italy. DOP is the Italian abbreviation for Protected Designation of Origin, similar to the protected status of foods like Parmigiano-Reggiano and balsamic vinegar . While it was revealed in 2011 that about five percent of tomatoes sold in America are real San Marzano tomatoes (meaning, there are lots of fake San Marzano tomatoes … In fact, back in 2011 the President of Consorzio San Marzano told Italian importing company, Gustiamo that about 5 percent of tomatoes sold in America are real San Marzano tomatoes.

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