The Product

The Product

Let me introduce myself, I’m the San Marzano dell’Agro Sarnese - Nocerino DOP tomato

I have a bright red color, a firm and elastic pulp and a fresh, intense taste and aroma. I have been called red gold, or the king of tomatoes, but most know me simply as San Marzano dell’Agro Sarnese-Nocerino DOP.

In 1770, I crossed the Atlantic Ocean and arrived in Europe as a gift from the Viceroy of Peru to the Bourbon King of Naples, Ferdinand I. And for over 300 years I have been living in this marvellous fertile and sun-filled land: the area of Agro Sarnese-Nocerino, in the province of Salerno. In ancient times, this area was called “Campania Felix” by the Romans and never was a name more appropriate. The Mediterranean climate and volcanic soil, rich in potassium and phosphorus, make this territory the ideal place for me to put don my roots and thrive, as I chose to do. It is a vast area that also includes the small town of San Marzano, where I took my name from.

Those of you who have had the good fortune to taste me will immediately understand why I am famous all the world over. My taste and aroma are unique and my organoleptic properties remain unchanged – and even exalted – when I am canned. And I am really special when you use me to make any recipe: you will see how your dishes really burst with flavor!

My fascinating history.

I owe my international fame to one man: Francesco Cirio, the pioneer of the canning industry. He was the first to believe in me. At the beginning of the 1900s, he chose me, out of more than 300 varieties of tomatoes grown in Italy, to start his production of the very first canned peeled tomatoes. I won him over with my unique characteristics that make me more suitable for canning than all other tomatoes.

Thanks to Francesco, I have travelled from Europe all over the world for over a century. It is really funny to think that I have crossed the Ocean once again, in the opposite direction: I have reconquered the Americas, my original homeland, and re-introduced myself in a new, even more appetising form.

But my life has not always been a bed of roses.

Despite the success that I had in the early 1900s, things took a turn for the worse at the end of the 1970s, when new techniques for mechanical harvesting were introduced. Of course, this was good for the farming community. But for me and my unique characteristics, mechanical harvesting is disastrous.

First of all, I need very delicate treatment so that I can preserve all my organoleptic properties. And the tomatoes on the plant do not ripen all at the same time, but it takes at least three months as first the fruit on the highest stems ripen and then slowly the tomatoes on the lower stems ripen too. So, you can understand that I must be picked by hand.

This became a hurdle and slowly farmers stopped planting me, preferring to plant other varieties that were similar but more suited to mechanical harvesting – but they didn’t have the same unique properties that I have.

The fabulous 80s and my return to glory.

Luckily, in the 1980s a new food trend for natural and artisanal products took hold. This was the basis for my rediscovery as my special qualities had never been forgotten completely. But the real merit for my rediscovery lies with the Campania Regional government that invested in protecting and promoting me.

And so, in 1996, I had the honor of being awarded the PDO quality label. And from that moment on, my name changed to Pomodoro San Marzano dell’Agro Sernese-Nocerino DOP which has relaunched me all the world over. And I have a special association that protects me: the Consorzio di Tutela del Pomodoro San Marzano dell'Agro Sarnese-Nocerino DOP. This association doesn’t just make sure that all the certified specifications for my production are respected, but it also promotes and champions me.