Sunday, 23 October 2011

Tip of the Week: San Marzano Tomatoes

Well it's finally the end of National Baking Week and after 7 days and 8 batches of biscuits I am heading off on holiday to Devon for a well deserved rest!

Thanks to everyone who has added me on Facebook or Twitter this week. 

I hope to keep your interest in the coming weeks with lots of new recipes and also more features on my growing/composting habits! I will also be posting an interesting feature (in my opinion anyway!) which will take us inside a landfill site with exclusive photos. Jokes aside I found it a fascinating and eye opening experience ... 

Before heading off for my week of walking and birding I thought I would share a seed recommendation for anyone who is buying seeds at the moment for next year: 

San Marzano Tomatoes: 
These are the plum tomatoes which make the best (and most expensive) tomato sauce in the world. The variety is normally classed as an 'heirloom seed' and is quite pricey to buy but well worth the expense. 

The variety originates from the town of San Marzano, a small settlement near Naples, Italy. The large tomatoes are characterised by a thick flesh and a strong, sweet taste. As is typical of heirloom plants, San Marzano is an open-pollinated variety that breeds true from generation to generation, making seed saving possible for gardeners. 

My personal experience of growing San Marzano tomatoes this year has been very positive. The plants have a long growing season which meant that the dull summer was not the disaster I feared! I am still harvesting a large quantity of beautiful dark fruits. The young plants did not gain a lot of height initially but became very sturdy with strong thick stems. As the summer progressed the plants became slowly taller and eventually bore full trusses of weighty fruits. So overall this variety is slower to establish than some others but more than rewards the patient gardener. 

Help! Too many tomatoes! The plum tomatoes on the right are San Marzano.

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