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Rachel Perlow

Fabulous Produce Stores

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46 Farmer's Market is very good. I didn't look through this whole thread, so apologize if it was mentioned last year (I didn't see it in 2005).

Another very nice market, though a small town local market, is Verona Farm Market on Bloomfield. Always very fresh and prices are very good. They have fresh sliced fruit for those who don't want or don't have time to do the work. They also have a very large selection of (bag) tea from well know brands to Asian types. They carry fresh dairy, flowers and the sushi chef makes some pretty good rolls, too!

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My choice in the summer is absolutely DePiero's. Fresh, plentiful, and reasonable.

In the "off" season, Maywood is good.

I'm suprised, however, that no one mentioned the market in Hackensack between Main Street and River Street. May not be too noticeable because the large parking lot faces River Street, and the building, while large, does not front Main.

Don't know the name....not even sure it has a name visible!!!!!

Caters to a large and diverse ethnic base, so the selections are great! Also, given the location and clientele, the prices are every bit as reasonable as Corrado with none of the crowding. I have not been to Corrado more than 3 times in the last two years. Produce is very "tired" in my opinion.

The Hackensack store typically has very reasonable yellow/red/orange peppers, 2 or 3 types of cukes and zucchini, counted 5 kinds of eggplant, 6 types of onions (including cippolini). Hass avocados usually 89-99 cents each, and 4 or more types of loose hot peppers like habenero, jalepeno, etc.

Actually, I'm kind of reluctant to share the good news.

Might be a good place to check out when you're nearby in Maywood.

This is where I always go, the quality is usually pretty good, and the prices are alwats right. BarbaraNJ didn't mention the mountain of roots this place has from yucca and taro to stuff with names I don't recognize. They also have purple potatoes for those into that sort of thing. I usually pick up a pint of fresh carrot or apple juice they have on ice. The butcher and fish counters are good if not crowded. Plus you can always detour to White Manna when it is less than 100 yards away.


Edited by finker99 (log)

The best part of the Guiniea Pig? The Cheeks! Definately the cheeks!!

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I'm suprised, however, that no one mentioned the market in Hackensack between Main Street and River Street. May not be too noticeable because the large parking lot faces River Street, and the building, while large, does not front Main.

Don't know the name....not even sure it has a name visible!!!!!

Caters to a large and diverse ethnic base, so the selections are great! Also, given the location and clientele, the prices are every bit as reasonable as Corrado with none of the crowding. I have not been to Corrado more than 3 times in the last two years. Produce is very "tired" in my opinion.

The Hackensack store typically has very reasonable yellow/red/orange peppers, 2 or 3 types of cukes and zucchini, counted 5 kinds of eggplant, 6 types of onions (including cippolini). Hass avocados usually 89-99 cents each, and 4 or more types of loose hot peppers like habenero, jalepeno, etc.

this is giant fruit and vegetable

in wednesday's record they had a nice size ad

joanne

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We've stopped at California Farm(s?) in Westfield a couple of times now as part of our new Saturday morning ritual: yoga, then to a produce market to see what looks good, then we go home & I make lunch while Mr. Babyluck watches Yugi-oh.

It's kind of a strange place, but I like it.  Sort of like going to a crowded, dusty antique shop--you know you're going to find a good deal.  There is a pretty amazing selection of produce & dry goods--they carry Muir Glen tomatoes, olive oil, panko, some grains & flours, dried fruits & nuts (very cheap!).  Actually, it seems more like a dollar store (or a lower-end TJs) than anything else--the selection is pretty random but interesting.  The quality of the fresh food is hit-or-miss.  I have seen visible mold on vegetables a couple of times and once a block of cheddar completely coated in green fuzz. However, I got parsley there and a full 2 weeks later after coming back from vacation, it's still fine!  I've never seen parsley last that long.

This actually doesn't sound all that much like the Fort Lee California Farms. The dry goods are mostly non-existant at that one, but the produce is almost always top notch and fresh. No mold that I've ever spotted. The only spoiled item I ever recall buying were some loose garlic heads.

And man... it's cheap.

It's part of what I'd describe as one of the better "NJ food shopping circuits" for Manhattanites who shop in NJ (hey, maybe that would make a good thread--"New Jersey shopping "loops/circuits" that are recommended for Manhattanites). In this case the loop would probably be:

-- Right off the G.W.B., the California Farms (Fort Lee)

-- Han Ah Rheum (Ridgefield)

-- FoodMart International (Ridgefield)

-- possibly the Han Ah Rheum in Little Ferry

-- Secaucus, on the way back to Manhattan via the Lincoln tunnel, where there are a number of possible stops, with Jersey City, Hoboken and Edgewater very nearby


Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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I agree with the posts on Delicious Orchards--the produce is great, and their strawberry-rhubarb pies are a happy night at the shore in themselves.

I live near Sobsey's market in Hoboken, (behind City Hall), and all produce is hand-picked with lots of unusual or farmers market-type produce in season, and much of it organic (this week I bought ramps, yellow beets, and a melon I've never seen before). Prices are more in the Whole Foods range, but the romance of a small store with good choices wins me over anyway, and I like to support local businesses. Tip: if you don't see it, ask--some items, such as cilantro and other herbs, are stored in the back to stay fresh. They will bring them out for you. This may be why their cilantro always has more flavor than the supermarket.

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The California Farms in the Emerson Shopping Center has closed. It had been there for several years, and prices and quality were pretty good. Don't know if this is affiliated with any of the other "California Farms". It seems that this shopping center is 3/4 vacant now, they might be trying to get rid of all the tenants so that they can rebuild... (??)

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I live in Newark and I love the "Mulberry Farmer's Market" on Mulberry St. just west of Market St. It's not really a farmer's market, just a produce/fruit/vegetable store similar to many found in New York City but with very low prices. The quality of the lettuces can vary, but they're often better-tasting and fresher than the ones in Newark's Foodtown or Bloomfield's Stop & Shop, and far cheaper, even though the outer layer of leaves sometimes look very tired. (The inner leaves are usually great.) They often sell two heads of romaine for $1, spinach for $1 a head, and green leaf and red leaf for $0.99 to $1.29 a head.

I just wish they carried arugula and/or mesclun (mixed baby greens) etc. (Does anybody know how to say or write arugula and/or mesclun in Chinese? The staff are all Chinese, I think.)

They had some great corn-on-the-cob for 3/$1 or 4/$1 recently and the prices get much better as the season progresses. They also have great prices on garlic, ginger, eggs ($0.89 a dozen for extra large), green and red peppers, tangerines, decaf green tea bags ($0.99 for a package of 20), etc. The selection is somewhat limited, though. They're open until 7 p.m. Mon.-Sat., and 8 or 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

I wish I'd known about California Farms in Westfield back when I lived in Garwood and Roselle Park. Would've been a nice complement to Trader Joe's. I'll check it out next time I trek out there.

I like the Han Ah Rheum (Ridgefield) too, although I'm usually carless so I can't get up there too often.

If you want to brave Elizabeth, there's a Shoprite on West Grand, well to the west of downtown, that sells the Goya frozen product. West Grand is what South Avenue becomes as you go east from Westfield thru Garwood & Cranford & Roselle.. tel # is 908 558 9126

Speaking of the Elizabeth Shoprite, I like it despite its lousy produce. It has the best prices of any supermarket in the area (that I know of). It's so close to the Roselle border that it might as well be in Roselle -- you're not "braving Elizabeth" as it's not a scary area, just semi-industrial, and full of warehouses.

It may also be available at the Shoprite in Garwood - that one is on North Avenue, just east of the Westfield border. - the tel # 908 654 0803

I wish THAT ShopRite had existed when I lived in Garwood and Roselle Park. The newer ShopRites, and ones located in non-poor areas, are much brighter and have much nicer produce and better selections than the ones in poorer places like Elizabeth/Roselle! Anyone ever noticed that? (I've heard it's the same for other supermarket chains.)

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Most cities have grocery stores that have more expensive produce (because it's harder to truck in) and less choices (less room for a large store). Plus, public transportation usually doesn't allow hand carts so buying lots of groceries is difficult. Larger cities like Baltimore (where I lived for 9 years and read about these issues in the alternative paper) have transportation systems designed to bring people INTO the city, not out to the suburbs where the stores that sell in bulk are located.

The bigger irony is that healthy, organic food in the US is expensive and it is cheap in Europe. Junk food is cheaper than healthy food. Food stamps and WIC money can only be used for certain foods; I noticed signs in one grocery store that WIC couldn't be used for certain fresh produce, only canned. Plus food stamps don't cover a whole month so if one is poor you buy the cheapest food you can get or go to a food pantry which usually has only canned goods.

I didn't mean to get off-subject but I feel lucky that I have the choice to go to another store when I don't like the produce. I like a 1/4 mile away from the Woodbridge Wegmans but sometimes their produce isn't that great and it's more expensive for some items than Shop-Rite; Shop-Rite also participates more fully in the "Jersey Fresh" program than Wegmans and I really believe in doing businss with local farmers rather than agribusiness.

I'm disappointed that I can't find strawberries from NJ in any store. Guess I gotta go pick them this weekend.

And I miss the ugly tomatoes that my father and grandfather used to grow. I just can't find that in the store and I have to find a good farmer's market.

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