What are the Best Italian Tomatoes?

Is it the color? The flavor? The versatility? What is it about the tomato that makes it a staple of every Italian kitchen? Let’s begin with a little history.

According to Wikipedia, the recorded history of tomatoes in Italy dates back to October 31, 1548.

It was said, on that date, the grand duke of Tuscany wrote to the Medici private secretary informing him that the basket of tomatoes sent from the duke’s Florentine estate at Torre del Gallo “had arrived safely.”

Soon after their arrival in Italy, tomatoes were primarily grown as ornamental plants and “were to be sought only for their beauty”, according to the Florentine aristocrat Giovanvettorio Soderini.

At this time, they were grown only in gardens or flower beds. What a shame! Because tomatoes have an ability to mutate and create new, different varieties, they successfully spread throughout Italy.

So many kinds. So many styles. Which to use or how to use them, that is the question. Here are just a few of our favorite ways to enjoy the almighty tomato at Rosedale Brick Oven:

Fresh Garden Tomatoes

Cut thick and layered between fresh basil and fresh mozzarella cheese in a caprese salad…it’s heavenly.

Enjoy them diced and put over a fresh salad or mouth-watering pizza. Bruschetta, with its diced garden tomatoes is an all-time favorite.

San Marzano Tomatoes D.O.P. (Denominazione di Origine Protetta)

D.O.P. Certified San Marzano are the best Italian tomatoes in our opinion. These plum tomatoes are the only tomato accepted by Italian pizza makers (pizzaioli) in Napoli. The D.O.P. is assigned by the European Union to a product that owes its characteristics to its place of origin.

We use only the actual tomatoes in our wood fired pizzas for that authentic Napoli taste. These thick, sweet fruits are used in all our pasta dishes as well as our meatballs’ sauces.

Don’t be fooled by San Marzano style tomatoes. These are not the same. They are San Marzano seeds grown in soil outside San Marzano.