Don’t look for them right away at your supermarket or even your local farm stand. I had to drive all the way into Salem County to find field-grown, fresh Jersey tomatoes.

In the last month you may have seen Jersey "hot house" tomatoes. They are pretty good, but just not the same.

With a hot house tomato, you may notice that when you cut into them the yellow part below the stem is very tough, almost rock hard and too difficult to chew. You can easily cut that part out, but they can also be sometimes mealy.

Look for the "Jersey Fresh" label and ask if they are “field grown.” That’s when you know you have the best tomato in the world.

The owner of the farm stand on route 40 near Carneys Point told me that an old farmer named Eli Borelli started selling the tomatoes to local farm stands last Tuesday. Mr. Borelli and his wife are in their 90s and still farming and going strong.

Cassidy Farms is also one of the largest if not the largest grower in New Jersey. Many farm stands and markets around New Jersey get their early tomatoes from them.

We had these tomatoes for dinner last night in a salad with fresh herbs and they were excellent!

Our Sicilian potato salad with Jersey Fresh tomatoes / Dennis Malloy photo
Our Sicilian potato salad with Jersey Fresh tomatoes / Dennis Malloy photo

Some people in New Jersey wait half the year to taste these Garden State gems and the taste is worth the wait.

Most government agencies in New Jersey are not known for their excellence in customer service, but the Jersey Fresh program under Agriculture Secretary Doug Fisher, does an excellent job.

You've only got about four months of the year to enjoy these delicious Jersey delicacies, so don't wait. They're here!

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy. Any opinions expressed are Dennis Malloy's own.

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