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28 August 2023

Tomato Harvest: Our Favorite Time of Year

Our tomato products are Pastene’s pride and joy, but producing these canned beauties is a labor of love. Whether they’re grown in Italy or California, we strive to find the most suitable climates around the world to grow the richest, ripest tomatoes possible.

California Tomatoes: wet conditions drive strong crop yields

California typically has an ideal climate for tomatoes, growing more than 90% of America’s canned tomato products and nearly half of the world’s entire supply. In stark contrast to the years of drought the state has experienced, this year, California has endured record-breaking precipitation, which impacted and delayed getting crops in the ground due to oversaturated fields. These messy and muddy conditions made it challenging for farmers to plant and grow tomatoes in order to meet the growing demand for rich, sweet tomatoes.

Our farmers, however, are familiar with the state’s volatile weather. With the droughts, floods, and wildfires that have plagued the region in recent years, Pastene’s resourceful and innovative growers’ sustainability practices have enabled them to endure and thrive. Their ongoing efforts to conserve water, protect fields and adapt to changing conditions have resulted in strong crop yields year after year that continue to meet our rigorous quality standards.

We work closely with our growers to plant and harvest our tomato varieties in order to ensure we supply our retail partners with a year’s worth of fresh-packed Pastene tomatoes so you can enjoy our unique tomato products all year long. For our famed California-grown, Kitchen Ready Tomatoes®, harvest season is typically in August and September. During that time, we ensure that no more than five hours pass between when our tomatoes are picked and when they are packed. In those five short hours, our tomatoes are steam-peeled (unlike other brands, Pastene does not use chemicals to remove skin), ground, and canned, so that no matter when you serve them, they taste as fresh as they did the day they were harvested.

Our Italian Tomatoes Are Rich in Flavor and Tradition

Authentic San Marzano tomatoes have an official D.O.P. (Denominazione d’Origine Protetta or “Protected Designation of Origin”) notation on the can or jar, so you know you’re getting tomatoes straight from Italy’s Sarnese-Nocerino region, which resides in the rich, fertile soil at the base of Mount Vesuvius. In fact, it is against Italian labeling laws to use the words “San Marzano” on the label in any form unless the tomatoes are grown in this region and are grown in the traditional way—vertical plants with fruit off the ground, harvested by hand as they have been done for generations.

What’s your favorite Pastene tomato, and how do you use it? Have any stories you’d like to share about how your family uses our tomatoes? Tag us @pasteneusa or use #MyPastene on Instagram to let us know!

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