The Record's report today on free samples at food stores omitted any mention of Jerry's Gourmet & More, but included several stores that are far less generous than the Italian specialty store in Englewood, where you can eat free cheese, bread, olive oil and even imported prosciutto to your heart's content.
The newspaper also ran a photo of the olive selection at Fairway Market in Paramus, under a bold headline: "HERE, TRY SOME!" Unfortunately, the olives are the one item in Fairway you can't sample; at least that has been my experience at the Harlem store, which posts stern warnings to that effect. I called the Parmaus store and left my number to find out if the policy is the same in New Jersey. (In any case, I buy my olives at Fattal's in Paterson, where most of them cost $2.99 a pound v. Fairway's $6.99 a pound.)
The Record listed several stores that give out far fewer samples than Jerry's, including Trader Joe's, Whole Foods Markets, Williams-Sonoma and Chef Central, an expensive cookware store. The article also didn't mention Balthazar Bakery in Englewood, where I sampled three items on a visit last Saturday.
Jerry's give-aways are out every day and usually include salami, sweets, bread, toast, olive oil and a dozen cheeses or cheese spreads. One Friday, I was surprised and pleased to see a tangle of expensive prosciutto di Parma near two of the cheese samples. Delizioso!
I don't think The Record spurned Jerry's because it may not advertise much in the newspaper (the market is well-known among food lovers). No. This is just another example of how little The Record's staff knows about the food scene in North Jersey. (See earlier post, "A poor job of food journalism.")
Jerry's Gourmet and More, 410 S. Dean St., Englewood; 201-871-7108.