Posts Tagged ‘Jersey tomatoes are ready’

Matt's Market in Belmar, NJ. Blogfinger photo.

Matt’s Market in Belmar, NJ. Blogfinger photo.

By Paul and Eileen Goldfinger, Editors  @Blogfinger.

It took us awhile, but today we discovered Matt’s Farm Market and Garden Center in Belmar on Rt. 71. Just take Memorial Parkway south over the bridge and turn left onto 71 south by the Windmill.  Matt’s is #1740 NJ 71, just up the road a piece on the left. There is parking.

Matt’s has been around for many years.  They have their own farm and there is a huge stock of Jersey Best produce including green beans, Jersey tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn, melons, plums, peaches, figs, nectarines, and much more.  The tomatoes are 3 pounds for $4.50. Eileen found their prices to be less than Wegmans across the board.  She said that the heirloom tomatoes at Matt’s are half the price of Wegmans.

Tony Pagano of UVas chats with eileen over the Jersey tomatoes. © Paul Goldfinger photo.

Tony Pagano of Uva’s Restaurant in Bradley Beach chats with Eileen about the Jersey tomatoes and peaches. They let Eileen in because of her OG beach badge. © Paul Goldfinger photo. 8/28/15

We dropped in at 4:00 pm today (Friday.) The place was busy, and we bumped into Tony Pagano, the chef and owner of the fabulous Uva Italian Restaurant on Main Street in Bradley Beach.  I love his veal chops. We chatted a bit.  He said that Matt’s has incredible produce which he buys for his restaurant.  “Tonight, he said, “we are featuring veal Milanese”    —-mmmmmmm!

Eileen and Tony were inspecting the tomato display and chatting about how to fry green tomatoes. Eileen asked him about their new baby girl Raffaella. He pulled out a giant iPhone and flashed a photo of his beautiful daughter who, he said, wakes up happy every morning and gets to visit him at the restaurant once each week. 

Raffaella and Tony at Uva's Restaurant.  Paul Goldfinger photo. Sept. 1, 2015

Raffaella and Tony Pagano  at Uva’s Restaurant in Bradley Beach.. Paul Goldfinger photo. Sept. 1, 2015

Matt's tomatoes which we bought. The two funny looking ones in front are heirlooms (spellcheck said

Matt’s tomatoes which we bought. The two small funny-looking ones in front are heirlooms (spellcheck said “hairline.”) Blogfinger photo.

It took a bit of convincing to get Eileen out of Matt’s.

By the way, my favorite restaurant  is on Mt. Hermon Way where Eileen Goldfinger is the chef and everything else.    Sometimes I help by chopping things.    But I do a lot of the shopping for Eileen’s bistro where, like Raos’s, you can’t get in without an invitation.  For tonight I bought beautiful cod loin and sweet corn at Wegmans. Eileen loves that store, so she (aka sushi) is a sort of culinary superhero whom I call “Wegwoman.”

We will be going back to Matt’s. Eileen keeps buying us tomatoes which she says is good for the prostate.  She seemed surprised when I told her that she doesn’t have one.   But, I hasten to add, that I am making a joke at her expense.  She has been  my my straight woman for years and she still laughs at the jokes.  Go figure!

PETE RODRIGUEZ   from the movie Chef

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Jersey tomatoes at Laurie’s market. July 31, 2012.   PG photo

By Paul Goldfinger

Anybody who is from New Jersey knows that we have the best tomatoes. The season comes to a peak in August, and to have a great year requires just the right amounts of heat, water and blessings of the gods.

At Laurie’s Farm Market in Neptune, on Atkins Avenue, between 7th and 8th Avenues, we found wonderful Jersey tomatoes. Sometimes tomatoes look good on the outside but they may taste lousy and look like potatoes on the inside. Some food markets sell tomatoes that are picked green but then are treated with gas to turn them red. This technique is unnatural and usually produces lousy results.

But these Laurie tomatoes are picked when nearly ripe and brought to market. If you give them a squeeze, just a slight give tells you they are ready. Some folks can smell them and tell.

The ones we bought today at $2.99 per pound were delicious, juicy and wonderful. Unless we have a problem with the weather, it looks like August will be a time of heavenly Jersey tomatoes.  By next week, the prices will probably drop to $1.99 depending on supply and demand.

Where I come from, we eat them like apples.

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