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San Marzano tomato claim ripe for lawsuit

San Marzano tomatoes

Tomaito, tomahto, a trio of home cooks are suing the makers of canned San Marzano tomatoes claiming the famous Italian cooking staple did not come from the rich volcanic soil of Mount Vesuvius, according to the Bay Area News Group.

The San Marzano tomato is among the world’s most famous, loved for their low acidity and vibrant red skin, the news group reported Monday.

And yet, according to a new lawsuit filed in federal court in Northern California last week, America’s most popular brand of the canned tomatoes aren’t true San Marzanos at all. They are fakes, according to the news report.

The suit accuses West Deptford, New Jersey-based Cento Fine Foods, Inc. of “false, misleading and deceptive advertising” on cans labeled as San Marzano tomatoes. It seeks to create a class of consumers — thousands of people nationwide who have bought the yellow cans of tomatoes, according to the article.

Cento reportedly denies the lawsuit’s “frivolous” and “unfounded” allegations, which follow a 2017 TASTE food magazine article that called their product “the fake Rolex of canned foods,” citing that only 5% of the tomatoes in the can are San Marzano.



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