Lawsuits Say Cans Don't Contain Real San Marzano Tomatoes

Production quantities and labeling are at the heart of the suits.

San Marzano Tomatoes

WEST DEPTFORD, N.J. (AP) — The largest U.S. seller of San Marzano tomatoes, known to food lovers as the best tomatoes to make pasta sauce, has been hit with two federal lawsuits claiming what's inside the can isn't the real thing. 

New Jersey-based Cento Fine Foods called the claims "wrongful" this week and assures their tomatoes are true San Marzanos, meaning they were grown at the base of Mount Vesuvius in Campania in Italy. One suit filed in New York in February alleges fraud, saying there's no way Cento can produce that many San Marzano tomatoes. Another suit filed recently in California says the cans lack certain labeling that qualifies them as true San Marzanos.

The company says that isn't a requirement. San Marzano tomatoes are a favorite among foodies for their sweet flavor, stronger taste and low acidity.