27 Dec '17, 8pm
Entertaining story on San Marzano #tomatoes.
San Marzano tomatoes are prized for their balanced flavor and distinct tomato-iness. Yet as home cooks become more and more enchanted with the Italian variety, questions arise over what exactly is in that can with the San Marzano label. The hype around San Marzanos, the sweet Italian plum tomatoes from Campania, has always been a bit of a mystery to me. Sweet, pulpy, low in acidity, and containing few seeds, they are said to be extraordinarily good for making sauces—and basically the only recognized name in the canned-tomato game. The long, meaty tomatoes are actually structurally distinct from most other plum tomatoes, containing only two seed pockets instead of the typical five. And in near mythical fashion, old Italian farmers grow them in the volcanic soil around Mount Vesuvius, which famously erupted in AD 79, leveling the Roman cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii in a ...