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San Marzano tomatoes, a variety of plum tomatoes, are considered by many chefs to be the best sauce tomatoes in the world. The story goes that the first seed of the San Marzano tomato came to Campania in 1770, as a gift from the Kingdom of Perumarker to the Kingdom of Naplesmarker, and that it was planted in the area that corresponds to the present commune of San Marzano. They come from a small town of the same name near Naplesmarker, Italymarker, and were first grown in volcanic soil in the shadow of Mount Vesuviusmarker. The volcanic soil is believed to act as a filter for water impurities. Compared to the Roma Tomatoes with which most people are familiar, Marzano tomatoes are thinner and pointier in shape. The flesh is much thicker with fewer seeds, and the taste is much stronger, more sweet and less acidic. Many people describe the taste as bittersweet, like high-quality chocolate. Because of their high quality and origins near Naples, San Marzano tomatoes have been designated as the only tomatoes that can be used for Vera Pizza Napoletanamarker (True Neapolitan Pizza).[356338]

The name denotes both a point of origin and a variety of tomato. Canned Marzanos grown in Italy in compliance with Italian law will have the EU "DOP" emblem on the label.

Though commercial production of the San Marzano variety is most closely associated with Italy, seeds for the variety are available worldwide, often labeled as an heirloom variety, frequently imported from Italy, and sold at a premium over more common varieties. The San Marzano vines are indeterminate and have a somewhat longer season than other paste tomato varieties, making them more suitable for warmer climates. As is typical of heirloom plants, San Marzano is an open-pollinated variety that breeds true from generation to generation, making seed saving practical for the home gardener or farmer.

Brands available in supermarkets include Cento, Nina, La Bella, Solinia and Vantia. Most San Marzano tomatoes sold commercially are grown in Italy, though they are produced commercially in smaller quantities in other countries.

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