Fall 2016 Issue

By Nancy Painter | Last Updated September 15, 2016
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edible jersey fall 2016



When I was a kid, my dad was a beer drinker. Beer was the drink of choice at backyard parties and family reunions. It was cold on a hot day, with the soft ubiquitous sound of a sports announcer’s voice in the background; it was Dad’s moment to relax while decorating the Christmas tree.

On Friday nights at The Grandstand, a pitcher of fresh-from- the-tap beer was carried to the table along with the kids’ pitcher of soda, hefted by a waitress with an impressive ability to hold both carafes in one hand while balancing a large pie with pepperoni in the other.

There was a touch of loyalty to it all. These locally-produced brews, with names like Ballantine, Schaefer and Rheingold, were associated with locally-produced champions and pride of place. That is, until somewhere along the 1970s when large Midwest companies finished buying up oh-so-many regional independent breweries.

By the time I arrived at the legal drinking age, the beer industry in the Northeast had long departed, seemingly carried off by a galloping pack of Clydesdales, along with the jobs, the traditions and those cardboard coasters with three rings. Beer was boring. Assuming my discriminating palate was destined for finer tastes, I ordered a tequila sunrise with a cherry on top, eventually moving on to wine and fancier cocktails. Until, the craft beer movement arrived.

Like a finely crafted meal, craft brews have depth of flavor. Ingredients such as wheat, nuts, hops, chocolate and sometimes even blueberries and pumpkin wait to be discovered. Beer makers are a scrappy bunch, and they have risen again. A movement started two decades ago by entrepreneurs such as Brooklyn Brewery and Jersey’s own Flying Fish is now in full bloom with a burgeoning new generation of brewers and brewpubs. NJ’s beverage artisans are making beer with seasonal, often locally sourced ingredients in an impressive range of styles, while tenaciously pursuing more favorable legislation (page 18). This is an industry in revival where, as I’ve learned, flavorful surprises abound. I encourage you to use our first-ever local brew guide (page 48) to explore its flavors and personality. Or stop by a brew-focused pub or restaurant, such as Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell (page 24) with its constant rotation of two dozen beers on tap, for a guided pour.

Edible Jersey celebrates food and drink, and beer is just one part of New Jersey’s drinks story. In this “Drinks” issue, we also share a taste of New Jersey wines, hard ciders, and spirits. Learn how the founders of Avventura heard the siren’s call to become winemakers (page 72) and how Camden’s Cooper River Distilling (page 60) continues to beat all odds. These entrepreneurs, these risk takers, are making New Jersey more vibrant, more flavorful in so many ways from jobs to glass. Support them with a visit and cheer them on; be loyal to local this fall and beyond.

-Nancy Brannigan Painter, Publisher

Beast of the Street Food Truck

truck stop
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BBQ Buddha: Where There's Smoke

bbq buddha
BBQ Buddha owner Ray Sheehan has a very ambitious goal: to make the best-tasting all-natural barbecue condiments. His products, which are free of trans fats, gluten and peanuts, contain no artificial...

Purple Reigns at Runa Peruvian Cuisine

runa peruvian cuisine
Of all the treats at Runa Peruvian Cuisine kitchen, perhaps the most unusual and refreshing is the chichi morada, which is made of imported Peruvian purple corn, pineapple and spices.

Cabbage: Four Ways

You have cabbage, now the question is what to do with it? Luckily, there are a lot of different things you can do to completely transform this veggie. From using it as a meat substitute to greens in a...

Lavender Benefits Beyond the Bouquet

Whether enjoyed in a dish that’s sweet or savory, lavender serves up unique flavor with a healthy twist.

Beer Paradise at Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell

Ryan Dorchak
At Cloverleaf Tavern, their MBA (Master’s in Beer Appreciation) program gives drinkers a rigorous education by furnishing a list of 45 vastly different brews and rewarding patrons who try them all.

Story of a Dish: Lobster and Crab Stuffed Mahi-Mahi

James Costello
It may seem surprising that, for two years running, a New Jersey chef who designs fish dishes around culinary trends happening 5,000 miles away has been honored by the NJ Department of Agriculture as...

Stacey's Korean Barbecue Brings Everyone to the Table in South Jersey

banchan and beawon
You’ll find plenty of dining diversity along Cherry Hill’s Marlton Pike, but one spot has stood out as an exciting and authentic symbol of diverse delicacies for 23 years: Stacey’s Korean BBQ,...

Autumn Treats Puzzles for Kids

kids autumn treats
New Jersey has some very yummy treats that arrive each fall. From apple cider to pumpkin pie to hot chocolate, there is something sweet made by someone special near you! What is your favorite treat?

Cocktails 101

cocktails 101
Classic Cocktails   Martini: Gin, vermouth and garnish (usually an olive, cocktail onion, or lemon twist). Ingredients are mixed with...

A Sicilian Specialty in Hamilton Square

Like so many things Sicilian, it comes with a full measure of mystery and intrigue, secrets and suspicion. Mandreucci steadfastly refuses to reveal most of the ingredients of the Corleone pizza. But...

The Bee's Knees Welcomes All Who Must Be Careful of What They Eat

Amy Olexa-Hammer
The Bee’s Knees mission is to satisy hunger without harm and they welcome anyone with food allergies or sensitivites with the assurance that they will accomodate all requests as best they can.

Aerofarms: What They are and What's Next

Lettuce under AeroFarms grow lights
AeroFarms harvests thousands of pounds of fresh greens each week from its 70,000-square-foot global headquarters, on just 1 percent of the land a conventional farming operation of similar scale would...

Screamin’ Hill Brewery at Bullock Farms

Screamin’ Hill Brewery is housed in a restored 19th-century barn on Bullock Farms, overlooking the rolling hills and open farmland where the barley, wheat, rye and hops are grown for farmhousestyle...

Cooper River Distillers Turns Castoffs Into Signature Spirits

single run series whiskey
Cooper River Distillers is working with regional breweries and wineries to distill one-of-a-kind single batch whiskies and locally produced brandy—saving beer and wine that might otherwise go to...

Community Garden Cultivates Organic Produce for Bridgeton’s Farmworkers

Raised beds and the high tunnel at CATA community farm.
The Bridgeton Organic Community Garden, founded in 2012, is a key part of a strategy by one grassroots organization to ensure that the region’s farmworkers have affordable access to fresh produce...

The Avventura of a Lifetime

Beverly Tepper and Mark Pausch
Scientist couple followed their retirement dreams and purchased an 82-acre former soybean farm in Allentown, Monmouth County, where this spring they planted just over four acres with wine grapes. They...

New Jersey Local Craft Beer Guide

This guide, our first Local Craft Beer Guide, is intended to introduce you to many of the best breweries in the state, as well as help you find some great places to drink them.

Winery Guide

edible jersey winery guide
New Jersey wineries are growing in number, and in prestige. We invite you to use this guide to explore some of the Garden State's wineries.

Lavender Blackberry Smoothie

It's not secret smoothies pack a lot of various health benefits. But this one in particular has one special ingredient that has more health benefits you might not be aware of: lavender.

Lobster and Crab Stuffed Mahi-Mahi

lobster and crab stuffed mahi-mahi
Make this dish when you want to impress guests. This lobster and crab stuffed mahi mahi is as elegant looking as it sounds.

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