When a recipe calls for San Marzano tomatoes, you know your wallet or purse will take a hit—those fancy fruits cost a pretty penny. That's one reason why it hurts so much to hear that most San Marzano tomatoes—a whopping 95 percent—are fake.
Counterfeit San Marzano tomatoes have apparently flooded the market, as revealed in 2011 when the president of Consorzio San Marzano (Consortium for the Protection of the San Marzano Tomato Dell'agro Sarnese Nocerino) said just five percent of tomatoes sitting on U.S. grocery store shelves are real San Marzano tomatoes, Taste reports.
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First, here's the scoop on San Marzano tomatoes: Much like a Chianti must be made in the Chianti region of the country to be labeled as such, San Marzano tomatoes are special plum tomatoes that must be grown in Agro Sarnese-Nocerino. When they are canned, they come with a DOP emblem on the label, marking their authenticity.