Joisey Tomato Nostalgia

August 27th, 2014 § 0 comments

Here’s a flat, unequivocal assertion: The New Jersey tomato is the best tomato on earth. Better than San Marzano. Better than Provence. Better than the possibly lab-created Kumatos that satisfy HG’s Winter tomato lust. Yes, Joisey rules. When HG/BSK lived in Montclair, New Jersey, tomatoes starred on the HG/BSK indoor and outdoor dining tables. Fresh mozzarella (still dripping milk), made hourly at Belgiovine’s Grocery on Bloomfield Avenue. Slices of good italian bread toasted and rubbed with garlic. Sun warmed and ripened tomatoes and basil, harvested by BSK from her well tended garden. Dark green Sicilian olive oil from Manganaro’s on New York’s Ninth Avenue (sadly now closed). Beaujolais (or rose) with a few ice cubes. This comprised HG/BSK’s typical summer lunch enjoyed under a wisteria and trumpet vine bedecked pergola. Sometimes BSK made a quick Spaghetti Aglio e Olio and topped it with chopped raw tomatoes and torn basil leaves. When HG/BSK left Joisey for a new life in the West, a thoughtful business colleague sent them a case of tomatoes. Though missing that extraordinary fruit, HG/BSK console themselves on Prince Edward Island with matchless sweet corn, potatoes, oysters, clams, lobster and Atlantic fish. In New Mexico, HG/BSK enjoy the wonders of freshly roasted and harvested chile, local oyster mushrooms, hard-neck garlic, succulent al padron peppers and all the other delights provided by local farmers including Mr. G, HG/BSK’s neighbor who is famed through the state for his organic lettuces, escarole, bok choy and more. Though surfeited with good stuff, HG continues to miss those rosy red wonders from the Garden State.

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