I bust on NJ frequently, but the truth is that there are some solid reasons to visit (one less now that BK has the Nets).
A few weekends ago, my girlfriend, a college friend, and I went to this farm at the NJ/PA border called Bobolink. Husband and wife duo with great quality products and an impeccable sense of humor to boot.
Husband Jonathan led us on top of a hill with his dogs to where the bulls and cows graze.
I had pretty much ZERO understanding of everything revolving around animals until I buy the meat to cook myself, so it was pretty enlightening…particularly veal. I always had a personal issue with buying veal, but now I understand that the murder of baby calves traditionally resulted from the weeding out of inferior or overtly aggressive bloodlines. Whether or not that’s the case on all farms, I have no clue, but knowing that that’s the case for Bobolink will make me buy their veal.
Also, I found out that Cows don’t mind flies.
After the brief tutorial on their farming philosophy, we were taken back down to their bakehouse Jonathan, the engineer turned baker turned cheesemonger turned farmer showed us his baking wood-fire brick oven. It’s designed like a typical traditional oven, but it’s connected to a computer to monitor temperature and other metrics (note: he designed the program himself).
The moment I heard duck fat and bread in the same sentence I was hooked. In addition, I bought a rosemary Epi and a half pound of their year old cheddar. Below I snapped a shot of duck fat bread toasted with sliced cheddar on top. It was so enticing I took a bite before taking the picture.
All in all it was one of the most engaging and entertaining tours I’ve ever had. Oddly enough, a few weeks prior, I had an epic, 90-minute tour at Dogfish Head Brewery which rivaled this one. So kudos to them both for their character and quality products.
The good news is that they can be found at Union Square Green Market on Fridays.