It’s the simple things in life that often matter the most.

Take for instance, New Jersey Corn and New Jersey Tomatoes. In my view, each of these are the finest in America.

JERSEY CORN:

Regarding the history of corn, it didn’t reach Europe until the sixteenth century, and it’s still far more popular here in America vs. Europe.

Europeans still call corn by its proper name, maize.

Corn is a native American grain that is related to wheat, barley and rye.

Once grown, selection and storage is almost everything when it comes to the taste of corn.

Corn is available in a variety of colors, including white, yellow and bicolor. Beyond the visual aspect, the color has almost no bearing on the taste.

Corn is a product that really matters how much time elapses between removing it from the stalk and actually consuming it.

Mid-to-late summer is the best time to eat corn on the cob. It’s available in many locations, but, the optimal place to get your corn is at a farm stand or produce markets where it’s delivered fresh every day.

The reason that I’m emphasizing this is because once the corn is picked, its natural sugars start turning to starch. As it turns to starch, it loses its perfect sweetness.

The process is slowed by refrigeration, but by the time corn is harvested and shipped from California or Florida to the rest of the country, as much as a week may have passed.

This is another reason why Jersey Corn, freshly picked and made available the same day is so amazing. It will never be better or sweeter then on this first day.

Here a few more tips when picking your corn:

Look for a husk that’s firm, fresh and green-looking, and be sure to check the tassel or silk. On really fresh corn, the tassel will be pale and silky, with only a little brown at the top where it’s been discolored by the sun.

Another telltale sign is the corn’s temperature in your hand. If it’s warm, it’s starting to turn to starch; if it’s still cool, it’s probably fresh.

Follow these simple tips and you can’t go wrong.

Here is a photo of my lunch from yesterday, Tuesday, July 27, 2021. A Jersey tomato and mayonnaise sandwich, coupled with a piece of Jersey Corn.

The flavor (no salt or pepper was added to either) was amazing. The corn was cooked in water, with milk added and buttered to taste. So simple, yet, so wonderful.

Harry Hurley lunch - Jersey Tomato Sandwich & Jersey Corn. It was wonderful.

JERSEY TOMATO:

Now, let’s go on to the history of the “Jersey Tomato.”

Tomato plants originated in pre-Columbian Mexico and South America.

The Spanish conquistadors tasted it, loved it and promptly took it home to Europe.

It arrived in North America via England back in colonial times.

The Jersey tomato most often referred to as the Rutgers Tomato, also known as the “Jersey" tomato.

The Jersey Tomato was so iconic that it held 60% of the commercial tomato market in the United States from the 1930’s to the 1960’s.

In my view, it is the finest tomato in America. The flavor is incomparable and our rich, high nutrient New Jersey soil, along with The Rutgers “Big Boy” hybrid tomato plant are the reasons.

The next month is the perfect time to enjoy both of these New Jersey grown delicacies.

Bon appétit.

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