Why San Marzano tomatoes are so special and how their harvesting process changes according to their specificities? We have asked this to Tommaso Romano, President of 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).
While it looks like so many vegetables, the San Marzano actually differs a lot from the other tomatoes. Above all, it comes from a more delicate plant and for this reason it requires more attention, from the field to the table.
«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 its intense aroma and fresh and sweet taste» – explains Tommaso Romano, president of the Consorzio di Tutela del Pomodoro San Marzano DOP, entrepreneur and passionate about the peculiarities of his land.
«This year the harvesting phase will be slightly shorter compared to the usual, due to the great heat of the 2017 season! – continues Tommaso Romano – It is possible that this time we will not reach the doors of autumn.»
But how does it work this important moment that precedes the factory processing?
In order to understand it, we need to dispel the classic myths of city-made experiences, on terraces and balconies. Tomato plants are not compact bushes, but they develop in height.
Harvesting the San Marzano, therefore, is an articulated process divided into 4 steps.
4 steps, around 10 days each apart, to pick the vegetables from the base of the plants, where the tomato matures first because it is more at contact with the heat of the earth, and then slowly pick the higher fruits.
«Every stage of the San Marzano harvesting is a strictly manual work – concludes Romano – which increases working times compared to other types of tomato, but fully respects the product.»
The words of the Chairman of Consorzio di Tutela del Pomodoro San Marzano DOP dell’Agro Nocerino Sarnese give the idea of how 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 specifics imposed by the PDO mark.
The rest of the work, which will bring our San Marzano on the tables around the world, we do it at our plants 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!