Why San Marzanos are the best sauce tomato…


So many people are stuck on Roma, Roma VF**, and other Roma-type tomatoes for making sauce. Most of the Roma tomato plants you’ll find at greenhouses are determinate hybrids–they’re a bush-type plant, and they ripen most of their fruit all at once.

They’re good, but they’re a little “wet” for making the chore as fast and easy as it can be.  I’ve been growing San Marzano, an heirloom indeterminate sauce/paste tomato for the past few years, and they’re always productive over a long season, as well as yielding a tastier, faster-to-cook-down sauce than Roma.

The best thing about Marzanos, as you can see from the image above, is that they’re very “dry”–the seeds and juice don’t even fill the cavity, and their walls are very thick with flavorful flesh.

The plants can get pretty big, so they’re not for tiny spaces, but they aren’t as big as a lot of the indeterminate varieties, and I’ve had success growing them on lower trellises and supports.  Because the skins are thick, San Marzano fruits also tend to be less susceptible to insect damage, even if they trail on the ground.

**the “VF” designation means resistant to Verticulum and Fusarium wilt.

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