The end of August also ended National Peach Month and the awarding of two grand prizes for New Jersey's two most "perfect peach pies," the first such contest sponsored by the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council. Philadelphia Fox TV's Casey McDonnell and Caitlin Roth chose "the best peach pie" from South Jersey finalists on "Good Day Philadelphia," choosing a cobbler baked by Anne Danilak of Mickleton, NJ.
The prestigious Viking (Range) Culinary Center's cooking school chefs Trish Sebben-Krupka, Tim Koch (baker), and Adriana Pecunia chose "the best peach pie" from North Jersey finalists--a vegan peach pie made by Joleen Marie-Crosta of Belleville. Both winners opted for an overnight with dinner for two in Cape May. The Peach Promotion Council held the competitions at nine farmers markets throughout the state.
"But August isn't the end of our peach season," says Santo John Maccherone, chair of the Promotion Council. "New varieties and a late-starting season are providing abundant delicious peaches through September. Our purpose in sponsoring this contest was to call attention to our locally grown peaches. I think all those wonderful 'peach-ful' pies likely had some influence on the public -- that got to try them after the judging. -- to seek out Jersey peaches, which are the freshest and therefore the smoothest and tastiest available in the markets. Peaches are delicate and don't store for any length of time. In long-distance shipping and storage, they get mealy, and markets that sell them that way give peaches in general a bad rap. The Peach Council's mission is to educate the public on the difference."
For a list of growers who sell direct to the public and brands of Jersey-Fresh peaches to look for in markets, visit www.jerseypeaches.com, Find jersey peaches on facebook.com/newjerseypeaches Follow us on Twitter @NJ_Peaches.
The New Jersey Peach Promotion Council is a non-profit voluntary organization of growers, shippers, wholesalers and associated industries dedicated to maintaining a viable peach industry in the Garden State for the purpose of preserving farmers and farmland; and to providing the highest quality and best tasting fresh peaches for consumers. New Jersey is the fourth largest peach producing state in the country, with 92 orchards on 5,500 acres.