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Old July 16, 2014   #46
drew51
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Yes, I have seen four San Marzano variations. I have two from Franchi Seeds of Italy. It is a cool company founded in 1783 and is still family owned. They offer over 400 heirloom vegetable seeds. I bet many traded actually came from this company. I had Costoluto Genovese seed from Nancy whom obtained them from brokenbar. I could not get them to germinate. So i ordered some from this company. About 750 seeds for under 4 bucks! No germination problems. My problem with San Marzano was I sun burned the plants, and having to eliminate some due to space, they were culled. It was my fault. Anyway what I'm growing is Costuluto Genovese sel Valente as that is what Franchi sells. Funny this company formed one year after Thomas Jefferson mentions growing them. Wow, this variety has got to be one of the oldest.
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Old July 17, 2014   #47
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Drew, I grew Sel Velente (It means "talented" by the way) and it is markedly less fluted (so much so that I emailed Franchi thinking they had sent me the wrong seeds which they assured me they had not...) I found the taste and consistency very similar to regular Genovese. The plants were loaded and they were fairly early in my Wyoming garden. Genovese is absolutely one of the oldest cultivated tomatoes and was always grown for sauce. I think way, way back, with no refrigeration, sauce tomatoes were the only option as they could preserve their harvest. In Italy, you can also find evidence that tomato drying was done hundreds of years ago as a way to preserve rather than just because they liked dried tomatoes so much.
This has always been what has led to a logical conclusion, at least for me, that there was a reason particular varieties were grown for sauce and sauce only...they wanted the exact same characteristics that we who want to make sauce want, ie, dry, few seeds, taste that improves with cooking.

And actually, the different "Costolutos" are all very nearly the same (although there is some evidence that some have very different taste even 'tho their appearance is very similar) it is just that they acquired regional names, ie: Genovese (Genoa), Fiorentino (Florence) Parma (Parma). The one I want really bad and can't find is Cantanese which has been grown since the 16th century. (and still cannot figure out the derivative of Cantanese) and there are others " Costoluto di Pachino"(Sicily and almost not fluted)) Costoluto Chivasso (Basso Canavese & Chivassese Po River/Turin) and a couple of others.

I scour the markets whenever we are in Italy and talk with a lot of growers. And all I can say is that whenever I am in the market, whether it be Venice or Florence or Rome or Milan or Naples or Palermo, there are no purple, pink, yellow, black, green or bi-color tomatoes offered for sale...go figure..." "L'italiano è esperto di salsa" (The Italians know about the sauce...)
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Old July 17, 2014   #48
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Next year I'm going to try the 4 I have found, well I still need to get the regular CG, it's all over so no worries there. If I see any others I will let you know. An Italian store here sells seed from Italy, unknown seed company I don't remember? Not Franchi, but they didn't have anything unusual. The Italian gentlemen who runs the store often goes to Italy to find products to import. Mostly olive oils. I get grape seed oil there. I like using grape seed as it tolerates more heat so less chance of me burning it! Great for sautéing, as it is a healthy oil to use for such purposes.
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Old July 19, 2014   #49
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And actually, the different "Costolutos" are all very nearly the same (although there is some evidence that some have very different taste even 'tho their appearance is very similar) it is just that they acquired regional names, ie: Genovese (Genoa), Fiorentino (Florence) Parma (Parma). The one I want really bad and can't find is Cantanese which has been grown since the 16th century. (and still cannot figure out the derivative of Cantanese) and there are others " Costoluto di Pachino"(Sicily and almost not fluted)) Costoluto Chivasso (Basso Canavese & Chivassese Po River/Turin) and a couple of others.

While we're on the subject of Costolutos, what's the deal with Fiorentino? It's the one of the bunch that's not listed as a paste. Is it really that different from the others that it's considered a slicer?

I am growing it for the first time this year and so far it's behaving much like the it's Genovese cousin -- big, stocky plant that loaded up early with dozens of fruit. Nothing on either plant is showing any color yet, so it'll be a while before I can compare them for myself.
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Old July 20, 2014   #50
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While we're on the subject of Costolutos, what's the deal with Fiorentino? It's the one of the bunch that's not listed as a paste. Is it really that different from the others that it's considered a slicer?

I am growing it for the first time this year and so far it's behaving much like the it's Genovese cousin -- big, stocky plant that loaded up early with dozens of fruit. Nothing on either plant is showing any color yet, so it'll be a while before I can compare them for myself.
Its a "sauce" tomato, a little moister than Genovese. I never grew it much because it was later in Wyoming and not quite as prolific. Has excellent taste! Like Russo Sicilian, it tends to produce smaller tomatoes as the season wears on and I also think it is the most ribbed/fluted of the bunch.
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Old July 20, 2014   #51
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I was gone during the weekend and a squirrel pulled one of my Genovese tomatoes off! Argh! It is green. Next to it was a Brazilin starfish pepper, and one was laying on the ground with one bite out of it! Ha!! That will teach him! Those things are hot! I could tell it was a squirrel from the way my dog was sniffing the area, well it could have been anything. But he took note of the smell. Oh well not that much damage.
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Old July 20, 2014   #52
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Its a "sauce" tomato, a little moister than Genovese. I never grew it much because it was later in Wyoming and not quite as prolific. Has excellent taste! Like Russo Sicilian, it tends to produce smaller tomatoes as the season wears on and I also think it is the most ribbed/fluted of the bunch.

If that's the case then I guess I'll have a couple more quarts of sauce this year. If I recall, it was the second plant to set fruit this year and is still setting heavily.
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Old July 21, 2014   #53
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Its a "sauce" tomato, a little moister than Genovese. I never grew it much because it was later in Wyoming and not quite as prolific. Has excellent taste! Like Russo Sicilian, it tends to produce smaller tomatoes as the season wears on and I also think it is the most ribbed/fluted of the bunch.
I am growing 2 plants of it this year. Between it and Genovese it was earlier and so far has produced far more for me. I am doing more sauce this year and have a lot more plants. So far about 12 quarts of sauce have been made. Plan on a lot more. No where to your level brokenbar but good for a family of 2 and an occasional raiding of pantry by grown kids. I have grown these tomatoes due to you raving about them.
I had a great time eating in Italy. Oh the fresh made pasta! Love food and yes I need to lose weight but I like the way I am, so I will continue to eat yummy multicolored food with my beef (Iron deficiency anemia). I plan on dying happy LOL.
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Old July 22, 2014   #54
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Brokenbar, what amount of liquid would you expect from a paste as against a sauce as against a beefsteak? This sounds like what I need to know to define what I am thinking about with what I want from a cooking tomato.

Woz

[QUOTE=brokenbar;423373]Okay...take five tomatoes each of 5 varieties. Remove skins, seeds, gel fraction. Smash them up or run through food mill ...........much liquid and seeds...)
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Old July 23, 2014   #55
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[QUOTE=Whwoz;424269]Brokenbar, what amount of liquid would you expect from a paste as against a sauce as against a beefsteak? This sounds like what I need to know to define what I am thinking about with what I want from a cooking tomato.

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Okay...take five tomatoes each of 5 varieties. Remove skins, seeds, gel fraction. Smash them up or run through food mill ...........much liquid and seeds...)
Woz, I am going to guess as it has been years since I have grown any slicing tomatoes but I would bet, growing the paste varieties I grow, that it would take 4 times the poundage of slicing tomatoes to end up with the same amount of finished sauce as that from my pastes. I process about 100 lbs at a whack and I use a large, clear rubbermaid tote under the slide from the tomato mill to channel the sauce into. I let it set and I only get about 1/2 gallon or less of clear liquid and the rest is sauce. I have to think that it would be 50/50 (or maybe even 40/60) with slicing tomatoes so maybe, using 100 lbs, you might get 1 and 1/2 gallons or 2 gallons of clear liquid? You are also going to be losing a lot more gel and seeds so it is really even worse than that...same amount of work and far less product... You want large, dry, few seeds as that will get you the most finished sauce for all the work or in my case, the most dried product.

With my very specific needs, it became abundantly clear to me a long ways back that I had to grow and use tomatoes that were truly suitable for the use I was putting them to. And lets not forget taste and texture...all the sauce in the world is worthless if it tastes like crap...I have found that most large slicing tomatoes are much too sweet for sauce and others are just blah...I have to figure if a sauce tomato has been around since the 1600's...there is a reason people are still growing them for sauce because heaven knows, there are thousands of variety choices.
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Old July 23, 2014   #56
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Thanks for that info Brokenbar. I guess that most of us Down Under do not fully appricate the benefits of specialist paste/sauce tomatos when cooking. We lost the main paste variety we used to grow when Mum's father died - he started most of our plants. Umber was that variety, a small plum type paste that was very dry but still nice to eat fresh.

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Old July 23, 2014   #57
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Is it possible that your Umber is actually Re Humberto? It is still available here in the states.

Brokenbar, the ratio is 2 to 1. Ordinary tomatoes produce sauce with twice as much liquid as paste tomatoes have. I've measured it a few times over the last few years. Heidi is unique in producing a good sauce tomato that will clog up my mill because it churns out so much pulp.
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Old July 26, 2014   #58
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Default Costoluto Genovese question

Costoluto Genovese (and the other Costoluto's) are ribbed. Does the ribbing make it more difficult to remove the skin during processing?
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Old July 26, 2014   #59
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Costoluto Genovese (and the other Costoluto's) are ribbed. Does the ribbing make it more difficult to remove the skin during processing?
If by processing you mean running it through a food/tomato mill, no...I have never removed the skins by hand so I don't know...
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Old July 27, 2014   #60
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Fusion, It is possible, but without growing could not be sure.


[QUOTE=Fusion_power;424510]Is it possible that your Umber is actually Re Humberto? It is still available here in the states.
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