Summer in New Jersey is always a special time. From Memorial Day onward, it's like this huge change washes over the entire landscape: the beaches start filling up with colorful umbrellas; the supermarkets stock up on local Jersey corn and tomatoes; and every evening, as the sun sets, the scent of grill smoke is in the air.
Growing up, as I did, in Jersey's suburban paradise, summer was a season to celebrate. Sure, I was excited about no more school, and plenty of time to play outside – but best of all were the plethora of summer treats like corn on the cob, hot-off-the-grill burgers, and watermelon. Now that I'm older, I've realized that sweet, colorful summer foods are the real reason for the season. Work up an appetite with these gorgeous Instagrams of my favorite summer foods :)
Popsicle photo by @lovelyindeed
Because every other time of the year, it's just too cold to enjoy a deliciously frozen icebox cake.
Whether animal, vegetable, or mineral, if it's coming off the grill, I'll eat it. My mom's barbecued chicken, my dad's burgers... cue saliva production.
Photo by @100footpounds
The true queen of summer foods. There's nothing – NOTHING – like biting into a chilled slice of watermelon to beat the summer heat.
Photo by @itsmeketi
As amazing as watermelon is, you can't forget about all the other incredible summer fruits: strawberries, blueberries, peaches, plums, pineapple...
Photo by @wearehandsome
I know pizza isn't technically a summer-only food, but when you're in Jersey, you gotta eat pizza. There's just no question. People say New York, but I'm convinced that all the best pizza guys moved to Jersey long ago. No contest.
Corn on the Cob
Grilled, boiled, steamed, plain, buttered, dressed up... it doesn't matter. Corn is the ultimate summer vegetable.
Photo by @ramziabed
People who don't like ice cream are either lactose intolerant or SOULLESS.
Photo by @dabito
I can't drink iced coffee any other time but the summer, so it totally counts as a summer food. Refreshing, cold caffeine... ahh.
Photo by @artbarhastings