Sunday, May 16, 2010

A culinary find at Mayfest

Now...for those don't don't live in the backwater we call the South Jersey Shore...there is a town called Smithville...lots of old buildings with shops. Great place to spend a day strolling the bucolic splendor, but more known for hosting a Mayfest and Oktoberfest...which look oddly the same, the exception being the Oompah bands along with Oktoberfest beer in the fall. What is also generally the same is hundreds of crafters and foodie booths. The crafters generally offer things that you can make yourself...but one clever man had a sign at his that said:

"Yes, I know you could make it yourself, but will you...?"

Most food booths...left me uninspired. I was at one that offered pepper jelly...and I didn't mean to deflate their ego's when I told them "It's nice...but it tastes like every one I've tried". They handled this unsolicited feedback with much grace, so they get a gold star.

THE REAL FIND of the day was a booth where I met a wonderful woman named Jackie who is the distributor for Leonardo & Roberto's Gourmet Blends. Being the perennial food snob, I told her that I already use a 25 year old balsamic from Modena Italy that would be very hard to beat. But to my surprise, when I sampled it, it actually beat it out on 2 factors:

1. Tasted much sweeter
2. Wonderful Price point. $27-30 for a 12.7 oz bottle, compared to my 8 oz bottle at $33.
They have a number of infused oils and vinegars besides the basic model...and they ship anywhere. I highly recommend this product (and those that know me also know I don't bestow my approval easily) and suggest you give it a whirl. You can reach them at (their new website), learn about the product at, or just give her a call at 609-525-0339. Jackie was also one of the nicest people I met, and I hope you all support her efforts at bringing quality food products to us.


  1. You're too kind. Thanks I'm very pleased you liked it! It was great to meet you . .can't wait to cook this week!

  2. Jackie Dougherty happens to be the kindest person, and the hardest worker on the planet. These blends can't be beat!

  3. Jackie is our newest distributor and she is one of the most enthusiastic and hardest working distributors that we have. She is also very creative and passionate about everything she does. We are fortunate that she has decided to offer our products to you in your area. WE LOVE JACKIE....YOU GO GIRL!!!! Sincerely, Gourmet Blends Headquarters.

  4. I can't wait to taste Jackie's roasted red peppers and eggplant using her new Gourmet Blends. Jackie has a lot of love, passion and creativity when it comes to food. I've been lucky enough to have experienced it first hand. Her enthusiasm for this product is genuine. I wish her the very best with Gourmet Blends.