New Jersey November 05, 2020
From Campbell’s To Kohr’s, Here Are 12 Delicious Moments In New Jersey Dining History
New Jersey is the epicenter of the culinary universe. Well, maybe not quite, but we sure do have a rich tapestry of food history! Many big brands have come out of the Garden State, and we’ve invented several quintessential American dishes. Read on to learn a few fun and delicious New Jersey food facts.
1642 -America's first brewery opens in Hoboken.
Brewmaster Aert Teunissen Van Putten moved to what would later become Hoboken from the Netherlands and opened up a brewery to provide beer to settlers. It did not end well, with members of the local Lenni Lenape tribe burning down the brewery.
1856 - Taylor Ham was invented in New Jersey.
John Taylor of Hamilton Square created the recipe and sold his product as "Taylor's Prepared Ham." After 1906, the brand was forced into re-labeling the product as pork roll because it did not meet the new legal definition of ham.
1883 - David Bradley accidentally invents salt water taffy in Atlantic City.
His shop flooded with ocean water, soaking all the taffy. That's the legend, at least. The candy was popularized in 1885 by Joseph Fralinger.
1897 - Cambell's invents canned, condensed soup.
The formula was created by John T. Dorrance, one of the company's chemists. According to Food Republic, the original cans were blue and orange - a year later, they switched to the iconic red and white we all know.
1912 - America's first pizzeria opens in Trenton.
Papa's Tomato Pies is still around, and still family-owned. You can now find them in Robbinsville.
1916 - The blueberry is cultivated.
The Pine Barrens aren't so barren! Its soil is perfect for blueberries, and the fruit was first cultivated in the United States by Elizabeth Coleman White of Whitesbog with the help of a United States Department of Agriculture botanist named Frederick Coville. New Jersey is still a major producer of the highbush blueberry.
1917 - The first prefabricated diner is built in Elizabeth.
It was produced by the O'Mahony Diner Company, which made over 2,000 diners between 1917 and 1952. Only about 20 remain across the United States. One example is The Summit Diner, built in 1938.
1919 - The Kohr brothers (Kohr Bros) invent frozen custard.
It soon becomes a staple on New Jersey boardwalks and beyond. Just as delicious as ice cream (if not more delicious) did you know that Kohr Bros custard has less sugar, calories, and fat?
1928 - The ripper hot dog is invented by Abe Rutt of Rutt's Hut in Clifton.
A ripper is a deep-friend hot dog and Rutt's still does them best. According to the Daily Meal, they've got the best hot dog in America. Their relish, a mixture of mustard and secret spices, is also celebrated.
1941 - M&M's were introduced.
The candy-coated chocolates were first produced in Newark and were manufactured by Frank Mars and Bruce Murrie, son of Hershey Chocolate's president William F. R. Murrie. The company's first major customer was the U.S. Army and the candies were sold exclusively to the military during WWII.
1954 - The Garden State officially becomes New Jersey's state nickname.
New Jersey is home to more than 9,071 farms, spanning 715,057 acres of farmland, according to our state website. We're top producers of cranberries, blueberries, bell pepper, tomatoes, corn, apples (including our own Winesap variety - my mother's favorite!), spinach, peaches, and more!
1967 - Chicken Savoy was invented by Charles “Stretch” Verdicchio of the Belmont Tavern.
You can still enjoy the delicious vinegar chicken at this beloved Belleville Restaurant.
I have three important questions… First, are you hungry yet? I sure am! Second, did I miss any major New Jersey food moments? Let me know! Third, did you learn any new trivia, and did you have a favorite fact?