In the world of pizza, there is a debate about which tomatoes are best. Some people say that fresh vine-ripened tomatoes make the best sauce, while others argue that canned San Marzano tomatoes make the tastiest pizza.
But what makes these two types of tomato so different? Why do some cooks prefer one over the other?
Read on and let us help you decide why you should use this type of tomato on your next pizza?
What Are DOP San Marzano Tomatoes, And Where Are They Grown?
San Marzano tomatoes are grown in the rich volcanic soil plains of Mount Vesuvius. They are an heirloom variety of Italian tomatoes prized for their sweet and complex flavor.
So What Does DOP Mean?
DOP stands for Denominazione di Origine Protetta, translated to English means Protected Designation of Origin.
Meaning the DOP San Marzano is the only DOP certified variety of tomatoes grown in this Campania region of Italy.
Read more about – DOP Protected Designation of Origin: Click Here!
What Makes Them Different From Other Types Of Tomatoes?
San Marzano tomatoes are usually larger than other types of tomatoes. Their length is typically one to three inches in length and about 110grams or 3.9oz in weight. The size is similar to plum tomatoes.
Most cooks swear that San Marzanos taste better than any other type of tomato they’ve ever tried!
These tomatoes are less acidic, making them hearty, nutrient-dense fruit and sweeter than many other types of tomatoes.
How Are They Prepared In Neapolitan pizza Making?
There are two ways you can prepare:
Firstly, the traditional way.
Since the tomatoes are so soft, it is quick and easy to crush them by hand, reducing them down into a coarse pulp.
This technique is the only way Neapolitan purists will prepare these sacred fruits!
Second, The modern way.
Many pizza makers and restaurants pass them through a sieving tool called a food mill. Using this handy piece of kitchen equipment help with a consistent smoother sauce and is not as lumpy as the first method.
Why Are They Considered The Best For Pizza Sauce?
There are a few reasons why San Marzano tomatoes are considered the best for pizza sauce.
They have a lower acidity level than other heirloom tomatoes, making them easy on your taste buds and stomach. Also, since they are grown in volcanic soil, they are rich in nutrients!
They harvested at their peak ripeness which helps with flavor and sweetness!
What Pizzas Styles Use DOP San Marzano Tomatoes?
When it comes to the best types of pizzas for San Marzano tomatoes, you can typically use them on any pizza style.
The most common style is the Neapolitan pizza, like the Margherita and Marinara pizzas.
When paired with garlic, basil, cheese and olive oil, they taste delicious.
A match made in heaven!
Learn more about The Neapolitan Pizza by clicking here!
Why Are DOP San Marzano Tomatoes Expensive?
If you live in the U.S. or U.K., you might have already noticed that DOP San Marzano tomatoes are very expensive!
What am I paying for?
You are paying for the DOP stamp of approval!
The process of obtaining this prestigious DOP certification is quite extensive, and the producers must meet stringent guidelines to get this stamp. This mark proves that these tomatoes have been grown in the precious volcanic soils of Mount Vesuvius!
These are not just any tomatoes! These are certified DOP San Marzano tomatoes…
But, the actual price is how much they cost your taste buds!
The sweet and complex flavor of the San Marzano has a special place in the hearts of pizza makers everywhere!
So, What Are Some Alternatives?
If you can’t get your hands on some DOP San Marzano tomatoes, don’t fret!
You have alternatives to choose from.
Cherry Tomatoes or you can always substitute these more petite tomatoes for larger Romas or plums.
These options give you an excellent way to mix it up and still get a similar taste, but not the real deal!
It’s no wonder why DOP San Marzano tomatoes are considered the best pizza sauce.
Picked at their peak ripeness which helps with flavor and sweetness, they have a lower acidity level than other types of heirloom tomatoes, making them easy on your taste buds and stomach, and they’ve been grown in volcanic soil!
These reasons make them an excellent choice for topping any pizzas such as the Marinara or Margherita.
If you can’t get your hands on any DOP San Marzanos, don’t fret because they are alternatives that will give you similar results, such as cherry tomatoes or larger Roma tomatoes.