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We’ve had Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Super Sunday and Cyber Monday, so why not a whole week devoted to delicious food gifts made right here in the Garden State? Call it NJ’s Delicacy Days. Dig in, folks, now you can eat local and give local…
ANTONIO MOZZARELLA A terra cotta-roofed building in Springfield is home to Antonio Mozzarella Factory. The owner’s grandfather started in the mozzarella business 80 years ago in Calabria, Italy, and his ancestors are still selling fresh old-world style cheese and other Italian deli products to consumers and restaurants throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Full-service catering is also available.
CIAO BELLA GELATO At Florham Park’s Ciao Bella, gelatos and sorbets come in a tantalizing array of flavors that include key lime graham, blackberry cabernet, peach, ginger and honey-toasted pecan. The company has introduced Adonia Greek frozen yogurt. A range of products are available at Walmart, Whole Foods, Kings Supermarkets and Stop & Shop.
PHOTOS: Fizzy Lizzy Grapefruit soda, Muirhead fruit butters.
FIZZY LIZZY SOFT DRINKS Every bottle of Fizzy Lizzy is made with about 60 percent fruit juice mixed with ‘fizzy water.’ With no added sugar or preservatives, this Jersey City-based product is a reasonably healthy and refreshing alternative to soda. Flavors like Fuji apple, raspberry lemon, tangerine passion fruit and pineapple are great on their own, or as the basis of holiday punches and cocktails.
HILLSIDE CANDY makes hard confections and includes lines of organic, sugar-free and gluten- free candies that can be found in stores around the world. In addition to the expected peppermint and lemon, flavors include iced mint mango, pomegranate, blood orange and ginger. Local carriers include Kings Supermarkets and Shop-Rite.
KARIBA FARMS in Denville has sold high-quality organic and natural dried fruits and nuts for over 20 years. Affordable gift trays and party packs, like the Kosher Kraze selection of dried Angelino plums, tart cherries, Blenheim apricots, blueberries, strawberries, and cranberries, or the Nuts About Nuts mix of almonds, walnuts, macadamias, and pecans, can be ordered online and usually ship within one business day.
MEDITERRANEAN SNACK FOODS, based in Boonton, offers baked lentil and garbanzo bean chips and crackers, as well as natural and organic popcorn, both gluten-free and healthy alternatives to wheat-based snacks. Four-ounce packages are sold at dozens of specialty markets and grocery stores throughout the state.
MUIRHEAD FOODS In Ringoes, nearly forty years ago, Muirhead specialty foods grew out of a family-run restaurant that came to be known for its popular salad dressings. Today, the line includes fruit butters, jellies, sauces, mustards and chutneys. The company says it will donate a portion of their December online sales of pumpkin-pecan butter to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.
ALEXIAN PÂTÉ AND TERRINES, in Neptune carries nine different natural, country-style pates, seven spreadable mousses and ten vegetarian, seafood and vegan terrines, made with ingredients like pheasant, duck, truffles and wild mushroom, all free of preservatives and artificial colors and flavors. Five- and seven-ounce packages can be purchased at specialty markets throughout the state, and at various Foodtown and Stop & Shop supermarkets.
SUZANNE ZIMMER LOWERY is a food writer, pastry chef and culinary instructor at a number of New Jersey cooking schools. Find out more about her at suzannelowery.com.