The Famous San Marzano Tomato
The San Marzano tomato is Italy's most famous plum tomato, and has been grown in Campania – the home of pizza – since the middle ages. It is prized for its tart flavor, firm pulp, red color, low seed-count, and easily removed skin.
The San Marzano tomato is protected by strict rules, like many wines and cheeses (and even Pizza Napoletana). The processed product obtained the DOP (Denominazione d' Origine Protetta) label in 1996 from the European Union.
Our La Bella Romana™ canned tomatoes, sauces, and puree are made from the San Marzano tomato.
These great tomatoes are the perfect start to the perfect pizza. The harvest of the San Marzano usually begins in August and continues until the end of September (sometimes later). Since it is a very delicate crop, mechanization is not used.
The manual labor required to train the vines and hand-pick the harvest (the true San Marzano is harvested multiple times, when the fruit is completely ripe, and not all at once) is the one element that leads to an increase in production costs... But you can clearly tell the difference in taste.