San Marzano Tomatoes: Label Regulation Keeping a Small Region Alive

In recent years, the San Marzano Tomato has become the most popular plum tomato in restaurants, kitchen and the culinary world for cooking red sauce rich in sweetness and flavor. Like all items that are popular, people look to profit from the idea.  In a little region of Italy, San Marzano tomatoes are the cash crop of Italian farmers. Marketing the product to the general public has become a very big challenge for these farmers looking to keep their tomatoes unique and distinct to their region. In recent years, people have been taking the San Marzano strain of plum tomatoes and growing them outside the region.  This angered many farmers whose livelihood revolved around the name itself that was associated with the greatest tomato on earth. Their pockets started to feel the pain. This is a very similar situation that happened with French wineries that created Champagne only to have their region and product name stolen by U.S. and other foreign suppliers of sparkling wine.

The Italian government heard the cry of the farmers and stepped in to ensure San Marzano tomatoes were indeed being regulated, and the public was not being misled by mislabeling or bait-and-switch tactics. The term D.O.P.  (Denominazione di Origine Protetta) was added to the labels of all the authentic San Marzano tomatoes that are grown in the region along with a starburst yellow and red logo on the can.  The D.O.P. designation also involves a variety of different factors that include where they were grown in Italy, what strain of tomato they are, how they are grown, size and shape and must be harvested by hand and peeled when packed.

The imposters are no longer allowed to label their product San Marzano tomatoes and required to include tag words like “San Marzano-style” to their labels in order to prevent any confusion from the customers.  If you have any questions about how these products are regulated or determining if your imported Italian products are authentic, check the following D.O.P. manuscript that is translated from Italian to English (http://goo.gl/FqNHnJ)

For the richest taste on the planet, check out the Flora San Marzano Tomatoes today! These tomatoes were awarded the Men’s Health Award for Nutrition.

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