The Pride Of New York Harvest Festival was held this past weekend at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. I was invited to attend by the the firm promoting the event so Katy and I decided to take a drive out with some friends to see what it was all about. I looked online at the list of vendors scheduled to be at the festival and was pleased to see over thirty wineries listed, most of which were from the Finger Lakes. Along with the wineries, there were several breweries and dozens of food vendors which guaranteed there would be plenty of tasty items to sample. Vendors were coming from all corners of the state which added to the diversity of products.
The festival was held in the spacious John Deere Horticulture Building which gave vendors and visitors plenty of room to spread out. It didn’t seem crowded even though there were thousands of people at the event. All the booths were busy but the wait times to sample items and talk to vendors weren’t long and vendors had plenty of time to talk about their products. I never felt rushed to make way for other people.
At first we were focused on tasting wine but were soon drawn in by the various food vendors whose products were too tempting to pass by. There were all types of hot sauces, BBQ sauces, mustards, and dips. Better Brittle featured a West African Peanut Brittle made with cane sugar rather than corn syrup. Although I love traditional peanut brittle, this brittle was delicious. It isn’t as sweet as traditional brittle, is a lot more healthy, and doesn’t stick to your teeth. Angelina Vagabonda featured a delicious Eggplant Camponata which would be great on toasted Italian bread or mixed with pasta. There was a fantastic Lemon Fig Chutney from Tanna’s out of Cooperstown which had big pieces of fig with a mild lemon flavor. Then there was the Gourmet Hot Apricot Relish from Koop’s Kitchen which hails from Blasdell, NY just south of Buffalo. This relish had a lot of flavor and the right amount of heat to make it interesting. Hot-che-Baba makes a Chipotle Chile Ketchup which would wake up any burger and fries and their Chipotle Chile & Garlic Mayonnaise would add a bold favor to a BLT. Being Italian, I know my people think they do everything better than everyone else so it was no surprise to see an Italian try to out-do all of Mexico by making an Italian salsa. That’s right, Bisco’s Italian Salsa takes the traditional favorite and replaces cilantro with basil and uses olive oil and other Italian seasonings to give their salsa an Mediterranean twist.
Cheese, did I mention the cheese? Muranda Cheese Company of Waterloo had several types of cheese including my favorite Raw Milk British Cheddar which I wrote about in an earlier blog post. Meadowood Farms of Cazenovia featured Artisanal Sheeps Milk Yogurt and Cheese. Another New York product that was well represented was maple syrup. I even had a taste of maple cotton candy. These were but a few of the wonderful New York State products on display at the festival. You can get a complete listing of exhibitors at the event website.
I did get a chance to see one of many cooking demonstrations. It would have been interesting to see more of them but there just wasn’t enough time. I was very impressed by the variety and quality of the products on display. I would definitely recommend this event to all Foodies. If you missed the festival in Syracuse, you get a second chance in Albany on November 13 and 14. See the website for details.
With all the food and wine sampled at the Harvest Festival, we managed to save room for a hot dog from Heid’s of Liverpool. They have great Hofmann franks and coneys with all the fixings along with Saranac Ginger Beer to wash it all down with. Of course, these are New York State products as well, so it was a fitting ending to a fantastic afternoon.