South Jersey Edition: Penalvert's Market

After setting in to my hotel last night, today I was ready to branch out a bit – and one of the other things that I was craving (and knew I could get in South Jersey) was Puerto Rican food. I decided to hit another little hole in the wall that I used to frequent regularly – Penalvert’s.

They have so many different items, but I got my usual – pernil (roast pork) and yellow rice and beans. This huge serving (which is a “small”, believe it or not) was $4.50 – and was still too much for me to finish in one sitting. It was very good, but not quite as I remember it. Everybody tells me I need to try Downtown Deli near the police station, that they have the best Puerto Rican in town now – if the “not as good” is as good as this was, I can only imagine how good the “best” is.

That’s the thing about Vineland – it’s not a “fine dining” sort of town. Sure, there are a few upscale places in town, lots of chain restaurants, but the places where you can find the kind of food I’m looking for are almost all ethnic takeout spots. Cheap, huge portions, delicious food that I can’t get back home in Columbus.

My husband demanded I ship home some Tastykakes and Utz potato chips, which I did this morning. Plus a couple of interesting sounding potato chip flavors, which I asked him to wait until I got home to try – Herr’s Philly Cheesesteak flavored Kettle Chips and Herr’s Old Bay Seasoning flavored chips.

I’m going out with my best friend from junior high and high school later this evening. I’ll let you know where we end up. 🙂


US Fed News Service, Including US State News March 28, 2006 University of Maine issued the following press release:

The UMaine Page Farm and Home Museum in Orono is celebrating maple syrup season with a public field trip to a sugaring operation on Friday, March 31.

This year’s annual spring field trip will travel to Breakneck Ridge Farm near Monson to see the family-run sugaring operation and its buffalo and deer herds.

Please call (207) 581-4100 for reservations before March 29 or for further details. Participants should plan to dress warmly and wear appropriate shoes, as some walking will be required.

The motor coach from Cyr Bus Tours leaves at 8 a.m. from the museum and will return to the Orono campus by 4 p.m., says Patricia Henner, Page Farm and Home Museum director. The coach is fully equipped with comfortable seating and restroom facilities.

The cost is $35 per person and includes transportation and a light lunch in a Guilford eatery. Participants also will visit Griff’s Blacksmith Shop near Guilford for a blacksmithing demonstration.

Breakneck Ridge Farm will offer demonstrations of its maple syrup operations and a tour of the farm’s sugarbush. A sugarbush is where sugar maple trees feed sweet sap, often through plastic tubing, to the sugar house, where it is simmered into maple syrup, sugar or caramelized for candy. this web site farm and home

Both Breakneck Ridge Farm and Griff’s will open their gift shops for visitors during the day.

Maine is one of the biggest producers of pure maple syrup in the world. “Sugaring” is one of New England’s oldest agricultural enterprises and is traditionally the first harvest of the year following winter, Henner says. Maple syrup season also is one of the first harbingers of spring.

Sugaring was first practiced by Native American Indians, and learned by colonists and settlers in New England. Settlers referred to maple syrup as Indian sugar or Indian molasses.

Patty Henner, 207/581-4100; George Manlove, 207/581-3756.