IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD

A new twist on some of Jersey’s most beloved veggies

BY Brenda Flanagan, Senior Correspondent |

Rutgers University has been on the forefront of agricultural innovation since 1862, with the founding of Cook College – now the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences.

Among the recent innovations at the Rutgers Agricultural Experiment Station is the Exotic Pepper Project. Head researcher Albert Ayeni, often referred to as “Dr. Pepper,” has cultivated hot peppers that cater to New Jersey’s ethnically diverse population seeking that spicy kick to remind them of home.

The Rutgers Tomato, originally bred in 1934, was the main ingredient in Campbell’s tomato soup. The hand-picked Rutgers ruled for decades until tomatoes that could be mechanically harvested came on to the market. The once obsolete tomato was recently revived by Rutgers researchers, but this time around, the plant was crossbred for enhanced flavor and disease resistance.