Varieties of the San Marzano Tomato

Written by katherine marko
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Varieties of the San Marzano Tomato
Most San Marzano tomato varities are perfect for making sauces. (spaghetti with tomato sauce image by Alyona Burchette from

Authentic San Marzano tomatoes are certified D.O.P. (denomination of origin protected) and come from the Campania region of Italy. They are exclusive to where they are grown and processed. According to, they grow in rich volcanic soil beside Mount Versuvius. They have few seeds are dense and meaty with a high amount of pectin. The San Marzano is available in many varieties.

San Marzano Pomodoro D.O.P.

The Pomodoro D.O.P. variety is known for its long shape, thin skin, solid pulp, few seeds and bittersweet flavour. It is a meaty tomato with thick walls and little juice, but can be used as a salad tomato. Its flavour is less sweet and less acidic.It is a hearty variety that is easy to peel, which makes these tomatoes ideal for industrial processing. According to the Academia Barilla web site, Pomodoro D.O.P. are considered the king of tomatoes. They are excellent for preserving and are well suited for sauces.

San Marzano Heirloom

The San Marzano heirloom variety is a bright red, slim, plum tomato. It grows 2 to 3 inches in length with a pointy end. The heirloom variety is a paste tomato with heavy walls and little juice. According to, the San Marzano heirloom tomato tastes better than the Roma tomato and is crack-resistant and makes a great tomato sauce.

San Marzano Gigante Three

The San Marzano Gigante is a large meaty tomato that measures 2 1/2 inches wide and 7 inches long. It is ruby red in colour with green streaked shoulders and very few seeds. According to, this variety has a robust flavour and is great in sauces and salsa recipes.

San Marzano Scatalone

The San Marzano Scatalone is similar to the Gigante. According to, it is one of the larger varieties, but still small enough to retain a good flavour. They are pear-shaped, and contain a lot of pulp. Like many Italian tomatoes, it ripens from the inside out. Scatalone is considered to be one of the best San Marzano varieties and are great for canning and sauces.

San Marzano Three

The San Marzano three is a highly prized heirloom tomato. It is a long tomato with few seeds and is often mistaken for large peppers. According to, the San Marzano three has firm pulp, thick skin and authentic Italian flavour. This fleshy variety is the Italian standard for sauce and paste.

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