Since hanging out in south Jersey for the last month or so, I’ve investigated some new foods and culinary spots.
It’s blueberry season, and the best blueberries arrive out of the Hammonton area. Plump and sweet, they beat other blueberries by a mile. Difficult to locate some of the actual blueberry farms combined with the fact that I’m too lazy to do the “you pick” thing, leaves me with purchasing farm market berries, but they’re still completely wonderful. Check the box of blueberries at your market. See if they’re grown in Hammonton. Local raspberries are still at the farm markets, too. A mix of berries, a few chopped white peaches and a sprinkling of Moscato wine. Perfect summer dessert.
And then there’s the beach plum. About the size of a quarter, these fruits, which grow only along coastal areas between Maine and Virginia can help to anchor the dunes as well as providing great eating and drinking in jams and wine. The plants blosson in the spring and are ripe for picking in late summer. There’s even a Cape May County Beach Plum Association, which helps to get the plums planted through the dunes in south Jersey and also promotes research into the fruit. At the moment, Natali Vineyards is the only winery making beach plum wine in the country. I stopped by for a tasting, finding the flavor to be unique, fruity but not super sweet. I’m not sure it pairs with food well, but I think it would be great sipped after dinner on a hot night.
Last but not least is Maui’s Dog House in North Wildwood. Featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives on the Food Network a few years ago, this place has lots of personality. I had a Chicago dog and we shared the Hawaii Five O Fries. Good eatin’. They’re only open until 4 PM, so don’t stay on the beach until it’s too late for a dog.