September 11, 2017
Michele Brown, President & CEO | Choose New Jersey, Inc.
New Jersey’s Spectacular Specialty Foods
Home to many vibrant immigrant communities, New Jersey is a mecca for ethnic cuisine. Our State is also a leader in food innovation, with companies offering unique products and flavor fusions in high demand across the world. Culinary tastes are changing, and globally-inspired, artisanal food is gaining popularity. In addition, more awareness is building around food allergies and sensitivities, and vegan and paleo lifestyles are becoming mainstream. Consumers want more nutrient-dense, alternative products that have the same quality as traditional ingredients in their favorite recipes. This menu is designed with such dietary concerns in mind, and is ideal for those who want to enjoy fresh and convenient cultural cuisine at home.
Best of all, these food companies are choosing New Jersey and growing in the Garden State. We met all the businesses mentioned below at the Fancy Foods show this summer. We were truly impressed with their products and stories, and want to share them with you today. Let these specialty foods and recipes bring wholesome nourishment and the narrative of people and place to your table.
Breakfast: Otto’s Naturals Paleo Pancakes
Make beautiful, fluffy pancakes from scratch using Otto’s Naturals Cassava Flour. Made from yucca root powder, cassava flour is paleo, grain-free, gluten-free and nut-free and works in the same one-for-one proportion as wheat flour in most recipes. Top with a drizzle of amber maple syrup for a gut-friendly and energy-filled breakfast.
Otto’s Naturals, based in Clinton, NJ, produces the highest quality cassava flour available. Founders Sadie and John Olsen traveled the world looking for unconventional baking substitutes after learning they shared a grain intolerance. The couple started the company after discovering a refined recipe for cassava flour in Brazil. Otto’s Naturals has since grown into a successful family business, with 4-year-old son Otto as “little CEO”.
Lunch: Sun Noodle Shoyu Ramen
With a package of Sun Noodle Shoyu Flavor Fresh Ramen soup base, oil, vinegar and sesame seeds, you can make a delicious Japanese-inspired dish at home in 20 minutes. Add toppings such as chashu (marinated braised pork belly) egg, boiled vegetables, green onion and you’ll have a beautiful Instagram-worthy meal.
At Sun Noodles, ramen is a delicacy. Founded in Hawaii over 30 years ago by Japanese migrant Hidehito Uki, the company’s 10,000 sq. ft. factory in Carlstadt, NJ manufactures over 10,000 servings of noodles per day. Sun Noodles’ product line includes more than 100 varieties of fresh noodles, from signature ramen to soba to dumpling skins. Craft ramen starter kits, sold at retail stores including Wegmans and Whole Foods, make cooking fast and easy at home.
Dinner: Djerdan Burek’s Authentic Balkan Burek
A flaky, hearty burek is the perfect centerpiece for your family dinner. Burek is a specialty Balkan pastry that is made with various fillings, such as beef, cheese, spinach or potato, and typically rolled into a savory spiral.
For the last 20 years, Djerdan Burek has been specializing in these hand-stretched Phyllo dough pies. The Djerdan Burek industrial bakery, located in South Hackensack, NJ, is open to the public with frozen bake-at-home dough or hot and fresh burek available for purchase. The family-run company, started by Bosnian refugees bringing their traditional recipe to America during the 1990s, also operates several local restaurants.
Dessert: No Whey! Foods Gourmet Vegan Truffles
Feel free to indulge in a No Whey! Foods vegan chocolate box that looks and tastes like the real thing. Take your pick from a decadent assortment of truffles including “milk” fudge, coffee, grand marnier, raspberry, and salted caramel.
No Whey! Foods, based in Lakewood, NJ, makes sweet snacking more inclusive for everyone. The company specializes in plant-based lactose free, vegan, kosher, egg, nut and soy free chocolate. Those who have food allergies, sensitivities and dietary restrictions can enjoy holiday traditions, like Halloween candy, with fun products like “Peanot Butter Cups” and “Choco No No’s”. No Whey! premium products can be found in supermarkets and specialty food stores all over the world and are available online.