A couple weeks ago I made dinner for a family gathering, homemade chicken parmesean and pasta.
When I cook special meals I like to use special ingredients like canned DOP San Marzano tomatoes. In the past I have found Cento or LaValle brand DOP readily at my local grocery store. But recently I could not find any brand marked DOP. So I bought Cento "San Marzano Product of Italy Pomodoro San Marzano Dell'Agro Sarnese-Nocerino Certified" peeled tomatoes. At $3.99 a can they cost as much as the Cento DOP I have bought in the past.
Since I had little choice, I made the sauce with them and it was delicious. Before cooking them, I noticed the tomatoes were long like DOP San Marzanos usually are and had a sweet, gentle, taste.
The back of the can says "Product of Italy....These Cento San Marzano tomatoes are grown in the Agro Sarnese Nocerino region of Italy, renowned for its especially fruitful soil as a result of its proximity to Mount Vesuvius. These tomatoes are authentic San Marzano tomatoes, produced with the proper method to ensure superior quality."
So my question... Is the DOP marking still the only way to determine authentic San Marzanos? I'm confused. This label makes me think these are the real deal. And to be honest everyone loved the sauce, it was as good as I could have hoped for, and I'm sticking with them regardless of their lack of pedigree.
I just want to know what's up. Thanks for any light anyone can shed on this subject.