Iconic Italian Tomatoes
Grown in fertile Mediterranean soils, Italian tomatoes are an iconic part of the country’s cuisine. As such, it may come as a surprise that their prevalence in Italian cooking took hundreds of years to catch on. Brought over from the Americas in the 16th century, tomatoes were viewed with suspicion until the late 18th century, when dietary science began to demonstrate their health benefits. Today Italian tomatoes are prized and incorporated into countless dishes, from marinara sauce to Caprese salad. With products such as whole tomatoes, tomato paste, and sun-dried tomatoes, you can recreate authentic Italian dishes in your own home.
What kinds of tomatoes can I buy?
Versatile as they are, tomatoes come in a wide variety to meet your cooking needs. Highly regarded for their sweetness, San Marzano tomatoes are one of Italy’s top exports. They are grown in the volcanic soil at the base of Mount Vesuvius and their smooth, delicious flavor makes them the premier choice for professional chefs. At Supermarket Italy, you’ll find San Marzano tomatoes whole, chopped, peeled, and in pre-prepared marinara sauce. Cherry tomatoes are smaller and have more acidity, making them excellent choices for salads, pizza toppings, and charcuterie board tapenades. Sun-dried tomatoes are sweet and tangy, often preserved in vinegar, and will serve as delicious ingredients in a bright pesto sauce or an artisanal pizza sauce.
What can I make with Italian tomatoes?
With imported Italian tomatoes, your homemade Mediterranean cuisine has no limits. Use tomato paste to add acidity to soups and stews, such as minestrone and three-bean chili. Puree whole San Marzano tomatoes to create delectable homemade marinara sauce or dice them for salads and salsas. It’s also worth remembering that marinara is not the only way to blend Italian tomatoes and pasta: Combine fresh tomatoes with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and penne noodles for a heart-healthy dish, like these 10 healthy pasta recipes that won’t break your diet!