Making Progress in the San Marzano Tomato Fight

tomato smashedIf you know anything about Gustiamo, you know that we are pro REAL San Marzano Tomatoes. We are San Marzano Tomato activists.

We see the mass marketing of “San Marzano” tomatoes as cultural appropriation; a profit system for conventional food companies who are responsible for disadvantaging the already marginalized Southern Italian tomato growers of the Agro Nocerino Sarnese, a geographical region in the Province of Salerno, in Campania. Not to mention, appropriating the name San Marzano is also totally illegal according to European Union Law. Read all about it in our past real San Marzano posts and also the NYTimes infographic exposé.

We are happy to report that there has been positive change made in the “San Marzano” Tomato fight in the USA. The ubiquitous California grown “San Marzano Tomatoes” have changed their name to “San Merican Tomatoes.” The Daily Meal, asks the question “What’s Up With These New San Marzano Labels?” The answer is that they were never San Marzano at all and now the label reflects that. As The Daily Meal Says:
“Most consumers who have heard of this particular cultivar [San Marzano] associate it with the Agro Sarnese Nocerino region of Southern Italy. In the EU, it’s a protected food that can only be grown and handled by strict standards. But the US isn’t the EU… But something may be changing based on this recent change to the labels. ”

Yes! Something is changing. We predict that this company dropping the “Marzano” from their name will be the first of many and an important step towards bringing justice to real San Marzano growers. Grazie to the newly named San Merican Tomatoes for being the first!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. barb says:

    Are Cento San Marzano, product of Italy and “certified” true San Marzano? I read that I can send a pic of the can, but I can’t figure out where to upload it.

    1. Danielle Gustiamo says:

      Hi Barb! Do the tomatoes have this icon on them?
      http://m2.paperblog.com/i/103/1033248/pomodoro-san-marzano-dop-dellagro-sarnese-noc-L-GD_kKL.jpeg
      That icon is the seal of the San Marzano Tomato Consortium of Italy. If not, they are not real San Marzano tomatoes. The word “certified” is often meaningless and just a form of marketing.

  2. Lisa Price says:

    I had the same concern and spoke with someone from Cento about the matter. She told me that their San Marzano tomatoes are certified by the same agency the D.O.P uses and that they own a facility in Italy. She directed me to their website and I found more information regarding what exactly certified means and their production process. They even had a map where I could trace my can and see the field it came from..I think that is what Barb is referring to.

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