Friday Foodstuffs 8.14.09: Taste the Jersey Tomato and Peach of Tomorrow…Today!

Well…make that August 18th, to be more precise.

Next Tuesday, the Rutgers Agricultural Research & Extension Center (say that 10 times fast) in Bridgeton is having essentially an open house-type of event: a Tomato & Peach Tasting and Vegetable Twilight. The tasting allows the public to sample the different varieties of tomatoes and peaches that are being developed at the Center and to get their opinions on what they like. The goal is to find varieties that not only taste good but will flourish best in this region.

The Vegetable Twilight portion of the event is a tour of the different fields that are being grown at the center – not just tomatoes and peaches, but all types of crops: peppers, squash, eggplants and ethnic crops.

I think that it’s great that the Center has such events for the public to come in and see the work that being done. My only concern is that in reading the literature, I do not see any talk about organic farming. I do see discussion about the use of pesticides, though. I know that the Center is geared more for commercial farming, but I would hope that organic farming could be on display as well.

On the Festivals of Food docket, we have Bellview Winery’s annual Seafood Festival, which is a celebration of seafood, wine, music and classic cars. One word of advice: you can eat the seafood, not the classic cars (just in case you were confused). The festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday.

Private! What are you doing!?!?!

Enjoying a fine vintage with some cheese while listening to the soothing sounds of jazz SIR!

No, the private hasn’t lost his mind; he’s ready for the Hot August Night Wine and Jazz Festival at Fort Dix, which is tonight starting at 1730, erm, 5:30PM.

And, Clamapalooza! The Waretown Fire Dept.’s annual event is tomorrow.

As far as special dining events, combine your love of clams and golf at the ACCC Clambake Open this Sunday. The final battles of Chef Wars stars Monday at Los Amigos in West Berlin. And Carolina Blue in Pitman is having its anniversary celebration next week, and the big event looks to be the Crab Fest on the 19th.

In the kitchen, Kitchen Kapers in Moorestown has Cooking for Couples: Heat Up & Cool Down the Jamaican Way tonight, Kids in the Kitchen: Philly Ballpark Faves! on Sunday, and a special Teens Camp starting on Monday. On Saturday, the Chef Cooking Class at the Burlington County Farmers Market will have Chef Kevin Taylor of Los Amigos.

And in the news this week…

Who has the best of the small farmers markets in the country? We do we do!!! Way to go, Collingswood Farmers Market!

Well…maybe all the rain in June was not such a good thing for the Jersey blueberry crops afterall.

Here’s an article from the Press of Atlantic City about the struggles of restaurants to keep going in Somers Point.

This is kind of a sad story: the battle between Dee’z “Dirty Water” Dogz and the Barnegat Township Zoning Board.

And mark it on your calendar: August 7, 2011 – Vineland’s 150th birthday and the biggest birthday cake on record.

Enjoy your weekend!

– John


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