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Mar 11, 2011 10:08 AM

What the heck is a Jersey Tomato??

I originally posted this on the NJ board, but not getting any answers so I'm posting this here also. Somebody must know the answer - I'm obsessed with finding out what Marcel said!! LOL

So I had to have some oral surgery yesterday. Today, on this rainy day, I'm trying to catch up on the 929 or so shows I have tivo'd and I'm watching the episode of Top Chef with Paula Dean and Tiffiany D. says something along the lines of "Jersey Fresh Tomato - what the heck is that???" I must have replayed it 35 times ------ but can't figure out what Marcel says in response??? Call me crazy but does he say "it must involve sex on a beach?"

I AM on pain medication so please be gentle in your responses.

Also, I know there's a post in Media, but I can't go through 500 responses to see if this is mentioned and it DOES involve NJ !!!!

Thanks !!

Deb W.

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  1. As a former New Jersey-ite, I can tell you that New Jersey produces some of the best tomatos on the East Coast! Jersey tomatos are big, juicy and flavorful. Honest. I think it is the soil in the Central and Southern areas of Jersey that make for these lucious orbs of pleasure.
    There was an issue though the summer before last--the tomato crop was not too good. Last year they were better. We always stop by this one particular produce stand, to get our tomatos, I think it is Conover's or something like that, on the way back to Philly from Stone Harber every weekend in the summer. Yum...I cannot wait for my tomato, mozzerella, basil and garlic salad.

    1. Maybe he is trying to make a joke? Referencing the tv show Jersey Shore?

      And like the other poster said, NJ tomatoes (from the whole state, not just South and Central) are some of the best.

        1. Like jarona, I am also a former "New Jersey-ite," and worked many summers there in the produce business. I never saw nor am I aware of a “New Jersey Tomato” varietal (like a Big Boy, Beefstake, Supersonic, etc., and yes there is a Rutgers); it is simply a tomato that is grown in NJ. Where I worked, Beefsteaks grown at a local farm were generally what we displayed and sold the most of, because they were the most aesthetically appealing due to their size. For those who mindlessly denigrate NJ produce the way they do the rest of the state and its population, they are very, very mistaken. There is a reason that San Marzano tomatoes from Campania are so sought after, for example: the volcanic-ash enriched soil produces a tomato unlike any in the world. Tomatoes grown in NJ are just different than what is grown in the soil of other states. Whether it is better or not is a matter of taste. I have lived in Massachusetts for 20 years, though, and have never bought a tomato from a local farm that I felt compared to what I sold and bought in NJ.

          (And Marcel's comment - whatever it was, I couldn't fully understand it either - was clearly derogatory and further evidence that he does not know what he is talking about. As a chef he should understand that different states and regions produce – surprise! – different tasting products.)

          10 Replies
          1. re: StevieC

            So true I would kill for one here in Texas. And a hard roll. They don't exist out of the NY/NJ area.

            1. re: StevieC

              A good Jersey beefsteak tomato purchased from a roadside farm stand or local farmers market is about as good as it gets in the summer.

              1. re: StevieC

                Grew up in NJ farm country, but have lived in MA since '84... what you said! Jersey tomatoes and sweet corn are the best.

                1. re: pasuga

                  Their blueberries are pretty great too. How I look forward to farmers market season . . . just a few months to go!

                  1. re: gaffk

                    The NJ pick your own farms are working on a new brochure because a poor economy has impacted the number of farms remaining on the state list and what they will be offering the public in season. The brochure should be avail in early May.

                    1. re: HillJ

                      Thanks HillJ! Perhaps when you receive the new brochure, you can post it here on CH (strictly selfish motives in my request ;)

                      As much as we make fun of NJ, there really is a reason it's called the Garden State. Tomatoes and corn and berries . . . oh my!

                      1. re: gaffk

                        gaffk, the pick your own farms brochure will be avail as a pdf thru the Rutger's site I posted below when its avail to the public. Here's the link to the old one:
                        Just check back in May.

                        1. re: HillJ

                          Thanks again HillJ . . . Can't wait for summer!

                          Just added your link below to my favorites.

                          1. re: gaffk

                            Another NJ food-loving resource is the free magazine, Edible Jersey available at most Whole Foods, fresh markets and specialty shops. EJ Spring issue, just out this week, covers food festivals, farm dining, spring produce and cheese making across NJ.


                  2. re: pasuga

                    I'm also in MA and freaking love Jersey tomatoes. They're the best! Come on, summer!

                2. Origin of Jersey Fresh (marketing slogan) which has since been attached to every produce display grocery chains use to sell Jersey tomatoes, corn, peppers, eggplants, etc. every summer.

                  Other than that trivia ....a Jersey fresh tomato is just about the soil it's raised in. Some are heavenly; others mealy as all get out.

                  As for "it must involve sex on a beach" must have been the pain meds :)