Thursday, March 14, 2013

Fat-free and cream-free pasta sauces, a $2 baguette and much more

You don't have to keep kosher to like these marinara sauces.

Editor's note: Today, I bring you further adventures in food shopping -- from kosher pasta sauces to imported whole-wheat pasta to a great $2 baguette.


This week, I found two pasta sauces that prove less is more.

Both are from a company named Gefen and both are kosher for Passover, but that's not why I bought them.

One of the marinara sauces contains no olive oil and is fat free. The other is a "Marinara Style Vodka Sauce" with vodka, but no artery clogging cream.

The cream-less sauce helps Jews observe the ban on eating meat and dairy at the same time, but also is perfect for people like me who are lactose intolerant.

Each 26-ounce bottle was $2.39 at ShopRite in Paramus.

Jerry's Gourmet & More in Englewood has a terrific selection of imported pasta, and three or four different brands of whole-wheat pasta from Italy, such as the two above.
Jerry's is on South Dean Street, near Route 4 in Englewood.

Jerry's in Englewood

I stopped at Jerry's Gourmet & More in Englewood on Wednesday for olives, balsamic vinegar, whole-wheat pasta and coffee beans from Italy, and nibbled on free samples of smoked mozzarella and other cheeses.

Jerry's has more varieties of 100% whole-wheat pasta than any other store I know, but prices are higher than the $1.39 I pay for a 16-ounce package of Trader Joe's Organic Whole Wheat Spaghetti, Fusilli or Penne.

Jerry's sells three or four brands of whole-wheat pasta and shapes include spaghetti, fusilli, farfale and pappardelle or wide, mouth-filling ribbons.

I bought a pound of Colavita Fusilli or spirals for $1.49 and a pound of Garofalo Farfalle or bowties for $1.99. 

Whole coffee beans from Italy are being sold at a new, lower price at Jerry's Gourmet & More in Englewood. I save about $5 or more a bag compared to my usual source.

Whole coffee beans

I have been buying Lavazza whole coffee beans from Italy at, but Jerry's often beats Amazon's prices.

On Wednesday, I found new, even lower prices, only $16.99 for a 2.2-pound bag of Lavazza Crema e Aroma beans, which I use in my built-in coffee machine.

That's about $5 less per bag than at Amazon.

Assorted Italian olives with whole garlic cloves were, as usual, $3.99 a pound, a great price.

Ponti Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, a brand served in many restaurants in Milan and Venice, was $1.99 for a 16.9-ounce bottle. 

The bottles are lableled "Primus" and "It matures in precious oak casks," and the vinegar is free of artificial color.

The mirror that helps customers exit the small parking lot at Balthazar Bakery in Englewood. The retail store opened in late November 2002.

 $2 baguette 

Balthazar Bakery in Englewood has repaired the convex mirror that gives customers driving out of the parking lot a view of traffic racing along one-way South Dean Street in Englewood.

In the photo above, the red car is leaving the lot and the black vehicle parked at the curb is blocking the driver's view of oncoming traffic.

So, even with the mirror, the driver has to nose his vehicle into traffic before getting a clear view of what's bearing down on him.

It's hair raising. Imagine what it was like in the years before the mirror was installed.

I stopped at Balthazar for two baguettes -- the best $2 loaf of bread in the metropolitan area. 

You can see the bakers at work through plate-glass windows in the retail store.

The mound of butter waiting to go into croissants was about the size of a Fiat 500.

The circular from Fairway Market in Paramus calls this tilapia "pretty darn perfect."
Pass on Chinese fish

Does any other country have a worse food-safety record than China?

So, I was surprised to see that Manhattan-based Fairway Market in Paramus is selling farmed tilapia from China for $3.99 a pound.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch labels tilapia from the United States and Equador as "Best Choice."

Tilapia from China and Taiwan are called a "Good Alternative," but shouldn't Fairway be selling the best, not the second best? 

Fairway also mailed three coupons, each good for $10 off a purchase of $75 at the Paramus store.

That's a 13.3% discount, and I'm not sure it's worth a trip to Paramus, and having to endure all that New York attitude. 


  1. Fat-free, and low fat food at grocery stores with nutritional facts at


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