Tag Archives: New Jersey

South Jersey–Italian Since the Civil War and Host to America’s Longest Running Italian Festival

South Jersey looks a lot like rural North Carolina farm country. I know it’s not, though, because instead of shack-like stores on the side of the two-lane roads selling barbecue, they sell ravioli. Instead of large crosses and “Thank you, Jesus” signs, there are monuments to Padre Pio. It is otherworldly to me, a parallel universe where the Italians took over the Heartland of America. I mean, what says it more than the Sacred Heart of Jesus and a John Deere?

Hammonton, New Jersey, was settled by Italian immigrants during the American Civil War. The community was started by one Sicilian immigrant who encouraged others to come. They did, establishing farms, and their descendants now grow Jersey’s famed tomatoes, blueberries and peaches. Each July, Hammonton also hosts the longest running Italian festival in the U.S., the Our Lady of Mount Carmel festival that celebrates the feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16. In its 143rd year, the festival runs from July 9-16. There’s plenty of Italian food, and this is probably the one place in America where you can get broccoli rabe added to your sandwich.

The highlight for me is the procession of the statues in front of Saint Joseph’s Church.

If you donate a dollar, you get a prayer card of the saint that is passing by.

If you travel to the area, don’t forget to visit Penza’s Pies for blueberry pie or Bagliani’s Italian Market for Italian products.

–Dina Di Maio, author of Authentic Italian: The Real Story of Italy’s Food and Its People

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Dolce & Clemente’s Italian Market in Robbinsville, NJ

Owner Joe Clemente hails from Brooklyn where his family had successful grocery businesses. In 2008, he opened Dolce & Clemente in Robbinsville, New Jersey.  If you visit, it is in the same shopping center as De Lorenzo’s Tomato Pies, so you can shop before or after your pizza.  They have a deli counter, bakery and prepared meal sections.

So much Italian bread

Imported cheeses

Giant cannoli

Plenty of taralli and even gluten-free pasta

Bagliani’s Italian Market in Hammonton, New Jersey

Bagliani’s Italian Market is a third-generation family-owned Italian market in Hammonton, New Jersey, a city in a farming community with an Italian-American population of 45%.  They have everything an Italian could want.

Italian bread

good-quality ricotta

the hard-to-find basket cheese

real buttermilk! (OK, maybe the average Italian cook doesn’t need this one, but I sure do!)

a huge deli department

pasta

lots of cheeses and even canned Jersey tomatoes!  And, of course, plenty of Brioschi for after the meal!

–Dina Di Maio, author of Authentic Italian: The Real Story of Italy’s Food and Its People

San Remo Italian Imports in Totowa, NJ

San Remo Italian Imports in Totowa, New Jersey, is an Italian imports store owned by a friendly man from Italy that sells food and sundries, such as canned and jarred foods, cookies, candies, cakes, olive oil, vinegar, coffee– your essential items from Italy.  There are some kitchen items like bowls, platters and cheese graters.  The store also has some Italian greeting cards, movies, CDs, T-shirts and tchotchke from Italy like Italian horns, keychains, wooden Pinocchios and stickers.  One of the highlights of this store is that they sell Italian magazines, which are hard to find.  They have a good selection of tabloid-type, cooking and news magazines.

 

 

Weekend Whets 6/21

Japanese Gourmet Fair, through Sunday, June 23, 2013, Mitsuwa, Edgewater, New Jersey:  A Japanese food fair at the popular Japanese grocer featuring ramen, bento and more.

Union Square Wine’s Summer Tapas Party, Saturday, June 22, 2013, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Union Square Wines, Union Square: Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Galicia, Montsant, Jumilla and aged cheese, cured meats, and prepared dishes.  Free.

Bacon Bash II, Sunday, June 23, 2013, noon to 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., Bowlmor Lanes Times Square, Manhattan:  Tastings of bacon-inspired food and beer.  Tickets $35-$45.

Southern Cuisine Dinner, Sunday, June 23, 2013, 7:30 p.m., La Casita de Porres, Brooklyn:  Dinner of pickled pigs’ feet and okra, buttermilk biscuits, fish dipped in cornmeal, Broadbent Kentucky country ham, poundcake with strawberries and whipped cream and she-crab soup.  $70.

Sunday Brunch, Sunday, June 23, 2013, Noon, Chopsticks or a Fork, Bushwick, Brooklyn: Join other foodies for brunch.  $52.

MDA’s 20th Annual A Taste of Down Under, Monday, June 24, 2013, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Tribeca Rooftop, 2 Desbrosses Street, Manhattan: Food tastings by NYC chefs and wine and beer from Australia to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Farmhouse Fest, Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Alewife, Long Island City, Queens:  Farmhouse style beers, wines and food like cheeses, breads, meats & gourmet pickles.  Tickets $65.

Spina’s “Rosato Amato” Dinner Party, Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., 175 Avenue B, East Village:  Five-course dinner with pairings of rose wines from upstate New York to Greece.  $65.

Brooklyn Eats, Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Brooklyn:  Brooklyn’s first food trade show.

Pass the Paella, Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn:  All-you-can-eat paella for $40.

Vosges Haut Chocolate Tasting, Wednesday, June 26, 2013, New York: Waitlist $25.

On the Chocolate Trail, Monday, July 15, 2013, 6:30 p.m., Mid-Manhattan Library, 455 Fifth Avenue at 40th Street, Manhattan:  Author Deborah R. Prinz discusses the history of the chocolate trade.

Weekend Whets 6/14

Newark Small Business Week 2013, June 14-21, 2013, Newark, New Jersey:  Support local restaurants and other businesses in Newark with discounts.

Chocolate Bar Brownie Eating Contest, Saturday, June 15, 2013, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Manasquan, New Jersey:  Presented by SquanStrong during their Tailgate on the Square event benefits efforts to rebuild the shore.

Danielle Gould, Monday, June 17, 2013, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., NYU Chemistry Department, room 1003, 31 Washington Place between Washington Square Park and Greene Street, Village:  Founder of Food+Tech Connect discusses technology in the food industry as part of NYU’s Experimental Cuisine Collective.

Born with a Junk Food Deficiency, Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 6:30 p.m., Mid-Manhattan Library, 455 Fifth Avenue at 40th Street, Manhattan:  Writer Martha Rosenberg discusses what goes on behind the scenes at large food companies.

The Food Truck Handbook, Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 6:30 p.m., Mid-Manhattan Library, 455 Fifth Avenue at 40th Street, Manhattan: Food truck owner David Weber discusses New York’s food trucks.

National Dine Out Day, Wednesday, June 19, 2013:  Eat at participating restaurants and a portion goes to Hurricane Sandy New Jersey relief.

Union Square Wine’s Summer Tapas Party, Saturday, June 22, 2013, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Union Square Wines, Union Square:  Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Galicia, Montsant, Jumilla and aged cheese, cured meats, and prepared dishes.  Free.

Southern Cuisine Dinner, Sunday, June 23, 2013, 7:30 p.m., La Casita de Porres, Brooklyn:  Dinner of pickled pigs’ feet and okra, buttermilk biscuits, fish dipped in cornmeal, Broadbent Kentucky country ham, poundcake with strawberries and whipped cream and she-crab soup.  $70.

Sunday Brunch, Sunday, June 23, 2013, Noon, Chopsticks or a Fork, Bushwick, Brooklyn:  Join other foodies for brunch.  $52.

MDA’s 20th Annual A Taste of Down Under, Monday, June 24, 2013, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Tribeca Rooftop, 2 Desbrosses Street, Manhattan:  Food tastings by NYC chefs and wine and beer from Australia to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Farmhouse Fest, Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Alewife, Long Island City, Queens:  Farmhouse style beers, wines and food like cheeses, breads, meats & gourmet pickles.  Tickets $65.

Spina’s “Rosato Amato” Dinner Party, Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., 175 Avenue B, East Village:  Five-course dinner with pairings of rose wines from upstate New York to Greece.  $65.

Vosges Haut Chocolate Tasting, Wednesday, June 26, 2013, New York:  Waitlist $25.

On the Chocolate Trail, Monday, July 15, 2013, 6:30 p.m., Mid-Manhattan Library, 455 Fifth Avenue at 40th Street, Manhattan:  Author Deborah R. Prinz discusses the history of the chocolate trade.

Weekend Whets 5/17

Great GoogaMooga, Friday, May 17, 2013 through Sunday, May 19, 2013, Prospect Park, Brooklyn:  Food and music festival.

Martha Stewart Cooking Demonstration, Friday, May 17, 2013, 1 p.m., Macy’s, 34th Street, Furniture department Level 9, Manhattan:  Martha cooks American food and signs her new cookbook, Martha’s American Food.

North Brooklyn Takes the Cake, Saturday, May 18, 2013, 6 p.m., The Brooklyn Kitchen, 100 Frost Street, Brooklyn:  A cupcake bakeoff!  Tickets are $15.

Taste of Tribeca, Saturday, May 18, 2013, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Duane Street (between Greenwich and Hudson), Tribeca:  Outdoor culinary festival featuring dishes from Tribeca chefs.  Tickets $50.  Raises money for PS 150’s and PS 234’s arts and enrichment programs.

40th Annual Ninth Avenue Food Festival, Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19, 2013, Noon to 5 p.m., Ninth Avenue from 42nd to 57th Streets, Manhattan:  A celebration of the diverse restaurants on this strip.

The Sweet Escape:  New Jersey Confection and Dessert Tasting Expo, Sunday, May 19, 2013, The New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center, Edison, NJ: Sample tastings from the state’s bakeries, pastry chefs and sweet shops.  Tickets $65.

Cook it Raw:  David Chang & Friends, Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 7 p.m.,  New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Celeste Bartos Forum, Manhattan:  Momofuku’s David Chang welcomes  chefs Massimo Bottura and Daniel Patterson for a conversation with Cook It Raw founder Alessandro Porcelli, moderated by journalist Lisa Abend.  $25 General admission.

Gluttony:  Deconstructing Dinner, Thursday, May 23, 2013, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., The New York Academy of Sciences, 7 World Trade Center, 250 Greenwich Street, 40th floor, Manhattan:  Part of a series on science and the deadly sins.  Steve Ettlinger, author of Twinkie, Deconstructed, and Dwight Eschliman, photographer of Foodstuff, discuss ingredients in popular processed foods.  $15-$25.

Meat Hooked!, Thursday, May 30, 2013, 6:30 p.m., BLDG 92 , Brooklyn Navy Yard Center, 63 Flushing Ave (at Carlton), Brooklyn:  Gotham Center Director Suzanne Wasserman’s new film, a documentary about meat and the rise and fall and rise again of butchers and butchering in and around New York.  $8/$5 members.