Tuesday, March 9

San Marzano tomatoes - Is there REALLY a difference?

Last night in the Ladygrey test kitchen, we put San Marzano tomatoes on the hot seat. Ok so it was a pretty lame test audience (n = 2, my husband I)... but it still gave interesting results.

So back up a bit, this all started when I found the canned San Marzano tomatoes at the grocery store. They cost a good 3$ more then the usual Italian tomatoes. I was intrigued, so I splurged.
Now the San Marzano tomato, from Naples Italy, is regarded by many chefs as the best sauce tomatoes in the world (and the only ones that can be used in true Neapolitan Pizza). They supposedly have a stronger, sweeter flavour and are less acidic. If you've ever bought them you may have noticed the EU "DOP" emblem on the label, which avoids frauds and ensures the tomatoes authentic point of origin and variety.... serious stuff!
So I had my half-Italian husband make up two basic tomato sauces last night, one with the San Marzano tomatoes and one with the regular Italian tomatoes...

And the results of our blind-folded challenge: 50-50! I apparently preferred the San Marzano sauce (go figure, I'm cursed with expensive taste), whereas my husband preferred the regular ones.
So in the end, we're back to square one.... we need more test kitchen tasters!

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