Welcome ladies and gentleman to the main event of the week! In the category of Culinary Boxing here at Chef’s Mandala, we have weighing in at 4 ounces from Campania, please welcome the Italian San Marzano tomato! His opponent, weighing in at 5 ounces from the U.S.A., please welcome the California San Marzano tomato!
LET’S GET READY TO RRRRR…….HAVE A SPIRITED DEBATE ON FOOD!!!
In the Red Corner – CALIFORNIA SAN MARZANO
Our new tomato champ is a bit of a surprise to the uninitiated. This U.S.A. native is similar to other immigrants like Parmesan cheeses made in Wisconsin or Argentina. Furthermore California San Marzano tomatoes are planted with the same seeds as those used in Italy. Grown in the rich soil of the West Coast, these tomatoes are often mistaken for the European original. But to be fair, some Italian plum tomatoes coming into the U.S.A. are questionable as to whether they’re authentic San Marzano tomatoes.
In the Blue Corner – ITALIAN SAN MARZANO
Our former champion, after having lost his last fight to Sicilian cherry tomatoes, is back for a re-match. Re-claiming a title is never easy. But if San Marzano tomatoes can survive the 79 A.D. Mt. Vesuvius eruption (100,000 times more powerful then the Hiroshima atomic bomb), it can survive this bout! Of course these Italian plum tomatoes are legendary for the pasta sauces they create. And since they naturally have a lower acidity and higher sugar content, San Marzano is a favorite of Italian-o-phile chefs. And endorsements from celebrities like Marcella Hazan and Mario Batali has helped cement this faux vegetable’s place in recipe history.
- The Play-By-Play
Of course California San Marzano looks like he just strolled out of an L.A. gym run by Arnold Schwarzenegger! The more svelte Italian San Marzano doesn’t look worried, and his shoes and shorts are very stylishly done. With the bell both fighters lurch towards each other. But while our U.S. fighter seems to be packing a lot of power behind his punches, he’s having some trouble connecting with this Italian legend.
AND THE WINNER IS….
The fight is a close one, but Italian San Marzano wins on points! At the end of the day, if you’re going to pay for a premium imported product, it should be imported! If you want to go with a domestic, then absolutely go ahead. But you shouldn’t be asked to pay similar prices for a local version versus a foreign classic!