The Beauty Of Italian Tomatoes & Why We Should Be Cooking With Them

You may say tom-ah-to, and I may say tom-aa-to, but however we pronounce it, not all of these red tomatoes are created equal. Italian tomatoes are heralded by home (and pro) cooks around the globe as the upper echelon, the Cadillac model and the secret ingredient to recipes that call for only the best flavor possible. And, if perfection is what you seek, San Marzano tomatoes are the tomato you’ll need for your recipe. Flora Fine Foods is your trusted source for high quality, Italian tomatoes and other traditional Italian foods. Directly imported from Italy, Flora’s fine Italian food can transport you back to the Italian countryside through the magic of taste. So, when it comes to getting to know everything there is to know about Italian tomatoes, we have all the mouth-watering details ready for you.

Your Guide To Italian Tomatoes

The amazing story of the San Marzano tomato. There is a palpable hype surrounding San Marzano tomatoes, and for a few good reasons. These Italian tomatoes, from the tiny village of San Marzano sul Sarno, near Naples, offer a sweet, pulpy texture that is low in acidity and seeds. For discriminating cooks seeking the best flavor for their tomato-based sauces, the San Marzano is the only Italian tomato worth considering.

The San Marzano tomato story evokes imagery of Italian beauty that matches the richness of their flavor. For generations, Italian farmers have cultivated these small, oblong tomatoes in the rich volcanic soil surrounding Mount Vesuvius, the site where a volcanic eruption led to the ruin of the ancient Roman cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii thousands of years ago. The rich soil and temperate climate offered by this old-world pocket of Naples create the perfect environment for the hands-on harvesting of the smooth, unmatched flavor of the San Marzano tomato.

Understand DOP and why cooking with DOP Italian tomatoes matters. Every country has mechanisms in place to monitor the quality and origin claims of their foods. DOP is an acronym for Denominazione di Origine Protetta or in English, Protected Designation of Origin. This certification ensures that the products you’re purchasing, from balsamic vinegar to basil to Italian tomatoes are grown and packaged in the region they claim to be from. It is worth noting that San Marzanos are only certified DOP when whole or in fillets, peeled, and canned (not crushed or diced). Look for this as a stamp of authenticity and predictor, of sorts, for the flavor that awaits your tastebuds.

The Flora Fine Foods difference. Flora Foods was founded by John Flora, an Italian immigrant who came to America with a dream of bringing the treasure of Italian food to his new home country. It has been this vision that propelled Flora to a household name and accentuated the expectation that all Flora products will bring a small piece of Italy to the kitchens of America’s cooks and tables. In keeping with our tradition, Flora’s Italian tomatoes are known to be the best ingredient for any recipe. Our San Marzano tomatoes are certified DOP ensuring they are authentic San Marzano tomatoes.

Creative cooking tips for San Marzano tomatoes. Cooks in the know choose San Marzano tomatoes because they offer an unrivaled taste that takes sauces, soups and stews from ordinary to extraordinary. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing (and your mouth watering), but the recipe options for these delicious Italian tomatoes are possibly endless!

  • Italian Gravy – The “red” sauce that cooks slowly on the stove for at 4 least hours, maybe days before it’s perfect. Many varietals of this sauce can be concocted and are often handed down through generations if you’re Italian. Key base ingredients include garlic, San Marzano tomatoes (of course), parmesan cheese and fresh Italian herbs for the final touches. Other optional ingredients might include onion, meat (like ground beef or ground veal or sausage), wine and peppers. Once you have your gravy perfected, it can be frozen and used for any easy pasta dish or for the base of casseroles and soups.
  • Neapolitan Pizza – Pizza aficionados agree that the only true Neapolitan Pizza is made with San Marzano tomatoes. Challenge your cooking skills by making the dough yourself, topping with San Marzanos tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and olive oil. To stay pure to the Neapolitan – no fancy ingredients allowed.
  • Ingredients that Pair Well – As any cook knows, the right ingredients complement one another to make the perfect flavor. Your Italian tomato recipe will come alive when coupled with fine ingredients offered by Flora Foods such as black or green olives, cannellini beans, capers, artichoke hearts and, of course, garlic.

Now that we’ve upped our knowledge of San Marzano tomatoes and have a vision of the stunning place where they are handpicked in Italy, it’s time to head to the kitchen! Count on Flora Foods for the finest and most authentic Italian ingredients so that your recipes can bring a slice of Italy to anyone who enjoys great food.

Buy Flora’s San Marzano Tomatoes DOP.

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