10 Summer Foods New Jersey Does Best
From healthy, farm-fresh produce to over-the-top eats and sugary sweets, these ten foods aren't just a celebration of the season—they put New Jersey squarely on the adventurous cuisine map. Download this food-for-thought infographic as a checklist to create your very own summer tasting trail.
- Frozen Custard | Sure, you could go to just about any fast food chain and get soft-serve ice cream. But, if you're looking for the perfect "chilling out" dessert this summer, pick (and lick!) the real deal at any Kohr's Frozen Custard stand dotting the Seaside Heights boardwalk. Can't decide on just one velvety, creamy flavor? Score a swirl of your two favorites.
- Fresh Blueberry…Anything! | Celebrate the globe's tastiest little antioxidant in Hammonton—The Blueberry Capital of the World—at the annual Red, White and Blueberry Festival held every June. You can also hit the Red Barn Café for to-die-for blueberry and blueberry-ricotta pies. If you'd rather cobble together your own cobbler, harvest the fruit at Lindsay's Pick Your Own Blueberries. And if you really want to start from scratch, you can buy a bush from DiMeo Farms & Blueberry Plants Nursery to grow your own.
- Tomato Pie | When it comes to Tomato Pies, you don't mess with New Jersey! Our state's capital is home to the oldest AND second-oldest eateries specializing in this thinly-crusted and generously-sauced specialty. Pursuing the perfect pie? Steer your way to De Lorenzo's Tomato Pies, conveniently located in Robbinsville, just off all the major highways.
- Clams & Sea Scallops | When you consider that New Jersey is the nation's top producer of clams and second-largest producer of sea scallops, it's really no fluke that the state is also home to some of the best seafood restaurants around (many highly rated by Zagat). So whether you're a finfish or shellfish fan (or both!), you'll find an abundance of succulent selections throughout the Garden State.
- Saltwater Taffy | What do teaberry, molasses mint, flippy fruit, super smashing sour and seasalt caramel have in common? They're all flavors of saltwater taffy you can find at the New Jersey shore. So brush the sand off your feet and make your way to nostalgic shops in Ocean City, Cape May and Atlantic City to savor some of these ooey-gooey-chewy sweets.
- Taylor Ham (Or Is It Pork Roll?) | No matter which side of the Taylor ham vs. pork roll debate you land on, we can all agree that these tasty pork slices are the foundation (along with egg and cheese) for the (un)Official New Jersey sandwich. (Seriously…there's legislation backing it!) Beyond breakfast, you can grill a slice and add it to your cheeseburger for cravable cookout cuisine.
- Jersey Tomatoes | Line these vine-ripened, ruby red beauties up against another other state's and the other guy's tomatoes will always fall short. Whether you want to add some color and flavor to a garden salad, stack your burger high with produce or just take a big, juicy bite out of summer, your best bet for the best tomatoes are New Jersey's fruitful farmers markets.
- The Italian Hot Dog | Way back in 1932, Newark's Jimmy Buff's created the glorious Italian Hot Dog—a concoction of hot dogs fried in oil, topped with potatoes and peppers and lovingly served on one-quarter of an Italian “pizza” roll. Die-hard frankfurter fanatics advise you to get these decadent dogs at Jimmy Buff's in West Orange and Kenilworth, Tommy's Italian Sausage & Hot Dogs in Elizabeth or Charlie's Famous Italian Dogs in Union.
- Disco Fries | You can (and should!) thank New Jersey's vibrant diner culture for this particular comfort food. Although its namesake's music is out, disco fries—French fries slathered in stretchy melted mozzarella cheese and gravy—are always in style. Want to grab a booth where they're sure to be on the menu? Stop by Blue Swan Diner in Oakhurst or Nautilus Diner in Madison.
- Hoagies/Subs | Equally as divisive as Taylor ham vs. pork roll is the debate over hoagie (heard around South Jersey) vs. sub (more of a North Jersey thing). Of course, folks from everywhere love these sandwiches piled high with meats, cheeses, toppings and condiments on an Italian roll. So open wide and take a bite out of this New Jersey delicacy offered at sub shops and virtually every deli throughout the state.
Ready to chow down on this famed summer fare offered throughout the Garden State? Download a free NJ travel guide or sign up for e-news from New Jersey Travel and Tourism to help plan your trip as well as discover some zero-calorie seasonal fun.