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Opalka Tomato Vs. San Marzano

Opalka and San Marzano tomatoes belong to a larger group of tomatoes that have a rich flavor and are popularly used for making sauces.  

They are both elongated, plum-shaped varieties of tomatoes, and due to their striking similarities in appearance, they can easily be confused with each other. 

However, these tomatoes are from different regions and have other features that could be used to tell them apart including taste and texture. 

In this post, we will give a description about each of these tomato varieties and highlight how you can tell them apart.  

What are Opalka tomatoes? 

Opalka tomatoes are elongated paste tomatoes originating from Poland.  

They typically have a tapered shape and can grow up to 5-6 inches long. The skin is smooth and thin, with a bright red color when fully ripe. 

The flesh of Opalka tomatoes is meaty and dense, making them ideal for sauces, pastes, and canning.  

They have fewer seeds compared to other tomato varieties, contributing to a thicker consistency in sauces. 

In terms of flavor, Opalka tomatoes have a sweet taste with a hint of acidity. Their intense flavor makes them a favorite for creating flavorful sauces and salsas. 

They are popularly used for making tomato sauces, pastes, and ketchups, due to their low seed content and high flesh-to-juice ratio. 

Their plants are indeterminate, meaning they continue to produce fruit throughout the growing season. 

What are San Marzano tomatoes?

San Marzano tomatoes are a variety of plum tomatoes that are originally from Italy.  

They are known for their elongated shape, vibrant red color, and thick flesh. These tomatoes have few seeds and less moisture, making them ideal for creating sauces. 

Authentic San Marzano tomatoes have protected designation of origin (PDO) status which means that they can only be grown in specific regions in Italy.  

Their flavor is often described as sweeter and less acidic compared to other tomato varieties.

San Marzano tomatoes are widely used in Italian cuisine, especially for making pasta sauces and pizza. 

These tomatoes are also used for canning. 

Difference between San Marzano and Opalka tomatoes


The two tomato varieties come from different regions.  

Opalka tomatoes are originally from Poland, while San Marzano tomatoes come from Italy, specifically the region of Campania.


The difference in size between both tomato varieties is notable. 

Opalka tomato is typically larger compared to San Marzano tomatoes. 

While specific sizes can vary based on growing conditions, San Marzano tomatoes are smaller, measuring about 3 inches in length while Opalka tomatoes can be about 6 inches in length. 


San Marzano and Opalka tomatoes are both known for their sweet and complex flavor; however, San Marzano tomatoes usually have a sweeter and less acidic taste. 


Opalka tomatoes have a dense, meaty texture. They have fewer seeds and a thicker flesh compared to San Marzano tomatoes.  

However, San Marzano tomatoes are juicier compared to Opalka tomatoes.