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The San Marzano tomato. These iconic red plummy tomatoes are grown just outside of Naples, in the volcanic earth near Mt. Vesuvius - a super specific area that produces super juicy and super delicious tomatoes. The go-to when it's NOT tomato season. And apparently, not all San Marzanos are really from San Marzano. Faux tomatoes, falsely labeled. *Gasp*
According to the Gusti Blog, written by Beatrice Ughi, an Italian-born, NY-based specialty food importer, there are several ways to identify the real San Marzano. Herewith:
First thing you do, you check the tin's label:
it MUST say "Pomodoro San Marzano dell'Agro Sarnese Nocerino D.O.P."
it MUST have the symbol of the Consorzio;
it MUST have the symbol of the DOP;
it MUST have a "N° XXXXXXX", which is the Number assigned to the tin by the Consorzio.
With anything labeled organic, diced, chopped, pureed, etc. it gets even more complicated. But. If you want the real deal, the San Marzano tomato makes all the difference in a solid authentically Penne all'Arrabbiata.
(credit goes to Diner's Journal for the scoop on this)