A Miracle – San Marzano Tomatoes Beyond DOP

Pomodori San Marzano
Pomodori San Marzano

CampaniaIl Miracolo di San Gennaro is a tomato grown by Sabatino Abagnale in Agro Sarnese-Nocerino (the proper DOP Area). It is DNA tested 100% San Marzano, and a wonderful product.

Sabatino’s production of Il Miracolo is very limited, a few thousand tins and jars per year! These Miracolo have reached a cult status and despite its price (very expensive… don’t even start!), they go very fast. Our yearly allotment which we receive in November is typically sold out by early in the new year. Sabatino, can you send us more?

Miracolo Di San Gennaro
Miracolo Di San Gennaro

That being said, while Sabatino is a passionate and honest grower of tomatoes, his tomatoes do not perfectly follow the DOP rules and he cannot call them San Marzano. AND he DOES NOT call them San Marzano. As you see on the left, they are called just “Pomodori.” Why? In a second. First, let me reinforce the concept that a name is important and although his tomatoes are San Marzano, he cannot and does not make any reference to San Marzano in the label. Does this send a signal to the industrial producer  of tomatoes that are labeled San Marzano but are FAKE?

Why Sabatino’s tomatoes are not San Marzano? Because Italians have big egos and can’t agree on anything! Sabatino cannot label his tomatoes San Marzano because he does not fully follow the rules dictated by the Consorzio San Marzano. Although Sabatino and the President of Consortium San Marzano only have praises for each other (true, I talk to them regularly), they can’t seem to agree on several things: the type of seeds used (Cirio 3 for DOP, Smec 20 for Sabatino); Sabatino’s tomatoes are not peeled (DOP must be peeled)… and who knows how many other little differences. This is one more demonstration that Italians can’t work together; even good people (and we are talking about the BEST people in this industry) can’t reach an agreement.

Confusing? You bet! The point is Sabatino makes his non San Marzano/beyond San Marzano tomatoes his way and doesn’t try to take advantage of the San Marzano name. And they are so few, it’s not even an issue. Trust us, they are a Miracle! Buy ’em before we run out!


Join the Conversation

  1. Italians “have big egos and can’t agree on anything”??? Incorrect. My fellow Italians and I can agree not to buy anything from your website again.

  2. Interesting! May I know why your fellow Italians and you will not buy Gustiamo’s foods? We represent small Italian farmers and artisans, in America. Sorry you don’t want to try their products. What kind of food do you buy? Anything good?

  3. This tomato is false san marzano
    no dop no san marzano

  4. Ciao Gianni! I’m afraid you didn’t read the article to which you are posting a comment. The article says exactly what you say! These tomatoes are NOT DOP and cannot be called San Marzano. AND the producer does NOT call them San Marzano. Where do you see the “false san marzano”? They were never San Marzano to begin with! Grazie for reiterating the concept, though. It is good to repeat.

  5. because of your blatant stereotyping, genius

  6. Jimmy, pls elaborate on that. I am not sure I understand what you mean. Why “blatant stereotyping, genius”? What have I done to you? I would like to know. And I will try not to offend you, in the future. But I need to know whaat you mean. Thanks.

  7. I’m surprised Sabatino doesn’t peel his tomatoes, but if it’s a cost-cutting measure, he may want to reconsider. San Marzanos are so much sweeter without the skin!

  8. Thank you for asking! Sabatino does not peel his tomatoes not to cut costs! With what these tomatoes cost, I don’t think he is making any savings!!! He does not peel his tomatoes because the plant that he uses (Smec 20) is much more delicate than the other San Marzano plant (Cirio 3) and the skin is much thinner. He would not be able to peel his tomatoes, they would not stay whole!
    Thank you so much for writing!

  9. Interesting article, but explain why I would purchase these tomatoes that are $14.00 plus shipping for a 28 oz can? I can purchase verified DOP for much less. Did I miss something?

  10. Thank you, Frank! You are absolutely right. You should not buy these tomatoes! The DOP tomatoes are fantastic and much less expensive. Consider Miracolo di San Gennaro as a limited edition item! Yes, they are very good. But you are right, if you are offended by its price, don’t buy them. There are some splendid tomatoes around. There are some great tomatoes that are not San Marzano. Look at the Piennolo, look at the pomodorini di collina by Maida farm in Cilento, look at the Terra Amore… of the same Sabatino, but grown in Puglia..
    Did I answer your question? Grazie!

  11. john cauthen says:

    Bea . . . maybe you just started out with an unfortunate choice of copy regarding the comments of others) . . . but a $20.00 can of tomatos?

  12. You are so right! These tomatoes are very expensive. We never denied it. It’s like discussing the price of a Ferrari. Do you know why a Ferrari is so expensive? It’s a limited edition item. It is not a commercial issue. They are so few, it’s not even worthy to talk about these tomatoes and their price. In fact, they are almost gone.
    Values come to mind too. I have friends who do not blink an eye when they buy jewels, fancy cars, expensive clothes. BUT they think a bottle of olive oil is expensive at >$20. I’d rather buy tomatoes and give a good life to the farmer. You?

  13. Ciao John, I agree with what Beatrice says, below. True, these tomatoes are very expensive. Let’s not talk about these tomatoes, since they are an exception to the rule, almost finished, limited edition… But, don’t you think that in general food is too cheap? How much do you think a “regular” can of good tomatoes should cost?
    I see some very cheap tomatoes in the supermarkets.
    What is, in your idea, a fair price of a can of Italian or American tomatoes?

  14. They’re just TOMATOES for Pete’s sake!!!
    I’m sure they are very delicious too.
    Try a love response people … sheeesh.

  15. This thread’s been dead for a while, but here goes anyway. Be a – thank you so much for the carefully curated selections, as well as your support for small farmers. Snagged some of these tomatoes – absolutely delicious and unique, rich meaty and somehow light and fresh at the same time. No complaints over price – high demand, limited supply after all. However, my one strong and overriding comment – tomato skins suck, and there is just no getting around that. Must peel before use.

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