Harvesting San Marzano Tomatoes As Told By An Expert
While it looks like other tomatoes, the San Marzano is much more delicate and requires more attention, from the field to the table. We asked Tomasso Romano, the President of the Consorzio di Tutela del Pomodoro San Marzano DOP dell’Agro Nocerino Sarnese (the Producers Association for the San Marzano DOP Tomato of the Agro Nocerino Sarnese Region) to share with us why San Marzano tomatoes are so special and how their harvesting changes according to their specificities. Here’s what he said:
The harvest of San Marzano tomatoes lasts about 50 days (from the beginning of August to the end of September), and the conservation process has to be started within a few hours to preserve their intense aroma and fresh and sweet taste.
Tomato plants are not compact bushes – they develop in height. Harvesting the San Marzano, therefore, is an articulated process. First you pick the fruits from the base of the plants, where the tomato matures first because it has more contact with the heat of the Earth, and then slowly you pick the higher fruits. Every stage of the San Marzano harvest is strictly manual, which increases working times compared to other types of tomatoes but fully respects the product.
The conservation process of such a delicate vegetable is still linked to the knowledge of the artisans and to the expertise of the farmers that watch to assure that the symbol of South Italy respects the severe specificities imposed by the DOP symbol.
The rest of the work, which brings our San Marzano tomatoes to tables around the world, is done at our factory in Mercato San Severino, just a few steps from the fields, where we match the technological excellence of state-of-the-art machinery to the ancient experience of our Mount Vesuvius.
When it comes to traditional products, the “field experience” is always irreplaceable!