Salvaterra's Select Tomato
Winner of our 2017 Tomato Tasting - Paste/ Sauce division. The great meaty texture is paired with tangy, sweet flavor that make it an ideal sauce tomato. Fruits measure 2½-3¾". At Seed Savers Exchange (zone 4B), it was a bit later maturing but had above average productivity. Grown by Charles Salvaterra since the early 1980s, this heirloom tomato has been shared within the Hazleton, Pennsylvania community since the 1950s.
- 70-80 days from transplant
- From the Collection
Sugo: Juice of Life
From Robin Morgan, Seed Savers Exchange intern and Italian chef
The Italian word sugo means both “juice of life” and a tomato-based pasta sauce. To call something sugo is to say it is rich, interesting, and worthy.
Serves about 4 to 6 (recipe is easily doubled)
- 15 (medium) paste tomatoes (like Salvaterra’s Select)
- 2 onions
- 2 cloves garlic
- Fresh or dried oregano (like Greek)
- Fresh or dried basil
- Olive oil
Chop onions and garlic cloves into tiny pieces and gently cook in a pot with salt and olive oil until they soften.
Meanwhile, remove the peduncle attachment (stem) from your tomatoes and cut tomatoes into one-inch pieces.
Add the cut tomatoes to the pot, and cook for 30 minutes.
Blend the entire contents of the pot using an immersion blender, adjust salt, add herbs (let it rest for 15 minutes, if possible), and enjoy.
Ratings & Reviews
Mislabeled seed packet ? ? ?
Not sure what I received but it is not Salvaterra. Right now the fruit is large, round, and getting bigger every day.
Hope they are great for sauce
I haven’t tried these yet, they’re still maturing on the plant. They are positively massive. Largest tomato in my garden. For whatever reason, I thought these were roma tomatoes. They’re not.
Great flavor for eating fresh or for sauce
This is the best roma I have ever grown! It was my second variety to produce of the 4 varieties I planted. The tomatoes are large for a sauce tomato and very meaty. The flavor is outstanding! This is my new go-to for sauce tomatoes (well, as long as I don't eat them all fresh first...).
I'm pretty sure these got crossed with something else. I have a few of them going, with almost all being way too big and too round. The flavor is still good, I'm just using them as slicers for the most part, but they are definitely prone to cracking. I almost like the idea of a variety that could be used as a sauce or a slicer equally well but im disappointed to get something different than i expected.
Prone to Cracking
Planted two consecutive years. Very poor harvest because they cracked & rotted or became infested with picnic beetles before ripening enough to eat.
This years favorite.
Beautiful fruit. Largest was just under one pound and now of course the dry weather is causing smaller fruits. Great flavor for slicing and canning. Ours have not cracked.
Love this tomato
by Ellen zone 3 Northern MN
This is not a Roma tomato. I think the picture is throwing some people off. Yes, some of the tomatoes are shaped like the picture, but many are roundish. And these babies are huge! Many were over 1 lbs. They have been excellent for sauce and slicing. I grew these in a hoop house. Little to no cracking. They handle the heat well, but also survived the temps in the hoop house dropping to 30 for two hours last week. These plants grew to over 6 ft tall and need heavy staking. Most plants had upwards of 20 lbs of tomatoes on them. Lots of flesh, few seeds. This will be my go to paste tomato.
Amazing sauce tomato
I LOVE this tomato so much. Best paste tomato I have ever grown.
Vigorous plant, great tomatoes
In southern Minnesota, these grew vigorous plants in 2020, with a large crop of tasty tomatoes that were suitable for both sauce and slicing. They grew so tall that they toppled over on to the next row, I had to use very sturdy stakes. But, even after manhandling them back into their space, I got a terrific crop of delicious tomatoes. Last year‘s seeds sprouted beautifully this spring; they are going to be a staple for me.
My new favorite paste
by Hot Z
I did a paste tomato test with 11 varieties in my zone 10b San Diego Garden. Salvaterra's Select was the winner. As of end of August, I've harvested over two dozen and have more coming. 6-10 oz each and haven't dropped in size with the summer heat. I've pruned the lower branches, but they're mostly green even as three other varieties in the same bed have called it a season. They took a long time to mature. The Roma and San Mar types had been producing for weeks. I find the texture a bit mushy for fresh eating. For paste there is nothing better. 1 SS matches 4 Roma or San mar for volume and the plant put out so many! I hand water and sometimes neglect the yard for a few days - even in July heat waves. Not a one got blossom end rot and only a few split. In future years I will plant some San Marzano Lungo 2s or Romas to be early producers, but my main processing tomatos will all be SS.
Personal favorite sauce tomato
Well described tangy/sweet flavor that sets them apart from San Marzanos/Romas. Yes, there seems to be confusion in some comments – these are very large and round tomatoes, they are not Roma-shaped. Very prolific plants producing super heavy, meaty tomatoes in my MN garden.
Great canning tomato, lots of tomatoes, fast producer.
Grew 8-11 plants last year, all plants did well, They produced well in our cooler Minnesota Climate zone 5. We have a shorter growing season 120 days from May through September, I planted my tomatoes late in the season last week in June and in August and September they were producing tons of Big paste tomatoes, similar size to opolkas. Plants were tall 6-8 feet tall. I was impressed with this one!! It did well canning roasted tomatoes for spaghetti sauce and salsa. Will grow this one again this year!!!
No Not a Roma But YES an Awesome Tomato
Have grown these for 2 years. Pleased with the outcome. No they are NOT a Roma tomato and I don't believe there is anything stating or calling them Roma tomatoes. They are however wonderful sauce tomatoes. If yours cracked that was not an issue with the tomatoes that is an issue with the weather or overwatering.
Have grown this tomato for a number of years now. I grow two plants that become 10+ feet tall and produce more than 50-70 pounds of large roma-like shaped fruit. Great sauce, paste, soup... even a slice. Seeds have become an everlasting gift!