Fall 2017 Issue

By Teresa Politano / Photography By James J. Connolly | Last Updated September 05, 2017
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Edible Jersey Fall 2017, Issue 52


At the Table: Brimming with Possibilities

I met a New York restaurant owner this summer. “I don’t know New Jersey food,” she said. “I guess I should, but I don’t.”

I argued that she does know New Jersey food. Our farmers at Union Square Greenmarket. Our seafood at Fulton Fish Market. Our free-range chickens. Our Mangalitsa pigs. Our grass-fed cows. Our beefsteak tomatoes. Our mushrooms. Our Barnegat Bay scallops. Our oysters. Our clams. Our homemade mozzarella. All the executive chefs, sous chefs and line cooks who cross the river to work in New York (and Philadelphia!) restaurants.

Her reply, distilled, was this: “You’re right, I guess I never thought about it.”

Phil Murphy, in an exclusive interview with Edible Jersey, echoed the same sentiment. (See Phil Murphy Talks Environment, Sustainability and Health, Page 34). New Jersey, he says, isn’t punching its weight.

We could dwell on the reasons. Is it our collective inferiority complex? Is it because we have no specific center of gravity? Do the reasons matter?

Those who do think about New Jersey food, and those who debate the future of New Jersey from the prism of food—the farmers, the chefs, the artisans—have argued to me, in conversation after conversation, that New Jersey is entering an era brimming with possibility. That these are exciting times.

It’s true that perceptions are changing. The Garden State, after nearly 150 years, is no longer a nickname, but an official designation, signed into law last month.

In this issue, Edible Jersey celebrates James Beard Award-winner Maricel Presilla (page 46), whose most recent book, Peppers of the America, was released last month. We share a poignant story from best-selling author Christina Baker Kline (page 21). We reveal the concerns of environmentalists regarding the fragility of the Kirkwood-Cohansey Aquifer (page 24). We tell the stories of an educational farm (page 40) and a Pinelands brewery (page 30). And we share the ever-growing list of those Garden State artisans who craft wine, beer and spirits (page 60).

It’s a privilege to work for a magazine that honors, as I see it, the terroir of New Jersey. A patina of grit and beauty that is without peer.


Teresa Politano

A portrait of Teresa Politano by her son Alex, who sought
to capture, in his words, a smile and a necklace.

In Hoboken, Good Times Never Seemed so Good

Picture a modest storefront in one of New Jersey’s most bustling cities, where customers are greeted by retro outdoor furniture, where 2017...

Home-Grown Vodka

A good place to be. That’s how Heathermeade Distilling founders Rich Bentrewicz and Michael Maggio describe the whimsical Tree City, the...

From One Brew to Another

Death of the Fox Vice President Dan Natkin and Founder Chuck Garrity,
The idea that beer and coffee are a perfect pair has led to the rise of alcohol-infused coffee houses popping up nationwide.

Beets: Four Ways

beets illustration
Four delicious ways to enjoy beets

Cracking the Nut

The nutrition and fiction behind the coconut

A Suitcase of Tomatoes

Packed lovingly in newspaper, these tomatoes, improbably large and ripe, were a visual reminder of all we’d left behind.

Not a Drop to Spare

The Pine Barrens
Pinelands Preservation Alliance urges us to “save the source”

Proud to be Pinelands Brewing Company

A changing roster of brews inspired by the Pinelands
“I connect to the Pines on a personal level. You look at pictures of my childhood, and I was either in a boat fishing with my dad, or camping or canoeing in the Pine Barrens.”

Phil Murphy

Phil Murphy
Gubernatorial Candidate Phil Murphy Talks Environment, Sustainability and Health

Fertile Ground

Adrian Lopez, 7, Ethan Davis, 7, and Anthony Salkauski, 8, carry freshly harvested potatoes at Gravity Hill Farm.
Community grows at Gravity Hill Farm

Capturing the Heat

Maricel Presilla’s pepper garden in Weehawken.
“It’s overrun by peppers, absolutely. But it’s so pretty. Thank God I love peppers.”

High Voltage, Zero Proof

Crafting coffee cocktails in Asbury Park

Drinking slow with The Farm and The Fisherman’s Danny Childs

The Farm and The Fisherman’s Danny Childs
The story of a cocktail, and of the ingredients that create its internal harmony, is one of nature and agriculture.

2017 Local Craft Beer Guide

pouring beer
Please use this guide to learn how each brewery and brew pub is unique.

2017 Wine & Spirits Guide

There’s no doubt about it: a local libation movement is on the rise in NJ.


Lauren Phillips and Claudette Herring
When it’s peasant food, you are buying simple things but you want to create a dish that everybody enjoys.

The Artisans of Chester

clockwise from top left: Sunflower maze at Alstede Farms; Sally Lunn’s serves tea and scones; All smiles at Taylor’s Ice Cream Parlor; Hayrides and more at Alstede Farms; Owner Steve Jones showing off at Black River Candy Shoppe
A country town relishes its distinct reputation

A Farm Picture

Through the ample open door of the peaceful country barn, A sunlit pasture field with cattle and horses feeding, And haze and vista, and...

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