The 2010 Pride of New York Harvest Fest returns to Syracuse to celebrate New York state’s wine, food and beer. Approximately 100 growers and producers from across the state will offer the public the opportunity to taste and purchase award-winning wines and beers as well as sauces and marinades, meats, cheese, ice cream, baked goods, honey and maple products, organic offerings and more.
The Syracuse event will be held Saturday, Nov. 6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 7, noon to 5 p.m. at the New York State Fairgrounds’ Horticulture Building. Advance tickets of $20 are available through www. ticketmaster.com; at the door, tickets cost $25. Admission includes complimentary samples and one seminar, based on availability.
“The Pride of New York Harvest Fest showcases quality products grown and produced right here in New York state and helps remind consumers to buy local and support area businesses,” says state Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker. “We received an overwhelmingly positive response to the event last year and look forward to continuing to highlight outstanding New York state products this year.”
The Pride of New York Harvest Fest will also include cooking demonstrations presented by restaurateurs from across the state and educational seminars presented by the New York State Wine and Grape Foundation and the New York State Brewers Association.
The inaugural Syracuse event took place in 2009 and attracted more than 4,000 hungry visitors. “Probably one of the best shows I have ever done for McCadam,” says Chris Pierson, marketing director at Cabot/McCadam, which exhibited here last year. “The attendees were informed, attentive and anxious to learn more about the foods they buy and consume.”
Dan O’Hara, director of the New York State Fair, adds another comparison. “Albany’s fair is in its 15th year,” he says, “and last year it attracted 1,600 people. In our first year, we saw 4,000. Since it is the job of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets to promote state products, we see the Harvest Fest as doing that through this one event.” In fact, Albany’s event takes place the following weekend, Nov. 13 and 14, so Central New Yorkers get a jump on all the state-produced goodies.
This year’s event features an impressive giveaway to one lucky patron, 21 and older. Each vendor at the festival is adding a product to a Pride of New York Basket of Bounty to be given away on Sunday, Nov. 7, at approxi mately
5 p.m. Just enter to win as you enter the fest; the winner need not be present.
The Pride of New York Harvest Fest is organized by the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets, the Pride of New York program, the New York State Fair, the New York Wine and Grape Foundation and the New York State Brewers Association.
For more information, visit www.prideof nyharvestfest.com.
Empire state: The Pride of New York Harvest Fest gathers the bounty of this region under one roof.
Think fall in Central New York. One thing comes to mind: Apples! Apple cider, apple juice, apple picking, candied apples, caramel apples, apple pie, apple bread, apple wine, apple vodka, apple jam, apple jelly, apple crisp, apple cobbler, apple tarts, apple pancakes, Apple computers.
And now there are apple chips. Seneca Foods started making Seneca Apple Chips in 1994, according to Kathy Sheldon, vice president of category management for the corporation based in Marion, outside Rochester. Seneca’s chips were the first of its kind to hit the market. The chips are made from fresh apples grown in Yakima, Wash., “the heart of apple country,” according to their website. Hmmmm, we thought Central New York enjoyed that designation.
Seneca Apple Chips come in a variety of flavors: Original, Cinnamon, Caramel, Granny Smith, Sour Apple, Golden Delicious
and Apple Pie a la Mode, as well as limited-time flavors Gingerbread and Candy Cane. Some of these flavors can be found at Wegmans. All flavors are available to order on Seneca’s website, www.senecasnacks. com, where tou have to buy in bulk—12, 2.5-ounce bags for $12.75.
Upon opening a bag of Seneca Apple Chips and peeking in, there is no question as to whether these chips are made from fresh apples—the core, red skin and sometimes even stem are still there. The aroma that wafts out is a cross between an apple and potato chip.
Seneca keeps it simple with ingredients.
The chips are made from apples, canola, sunflower and/or safflower oil, corn syrup, citric acid and ascorbic acid. According to Sheldon, to make the apple chips, Seneca Foods uses a vacuum-frying process that results in less fat absorption. A serving of Seneca Apple Chips has 11 percent—that is to say, 7 grams—of an individual’s daily value of total fat, and 5 percent—1 gram—of the daily intake of saturated fat. A serving also holds 30 percent of the daily value of vitamin C. The chips are low in sodium—1 percent of the daily intake—and contain no cholesterol or trans fat.
Healthier than potato chips, Seneca Apple Chips are a good alternative for kids’ snacks. While eating healthy, kids can appreciate the novelty of chips made from something unique rather than the average potato chip. Billy, what did you bring for lunch today? Your lunch has Pringles? Well, mine has apple chips. Just try to top that, you wienie! What a cool kid.
That being said, the taste of Seneca Apple Chips leaves a little to be desired. For someone who is a fan of sweeter apples, the Original Seneca Apple Chips are a little sour.
The taste of the apple chips is, however, as unique as the concept. It has layers. Layer 1: a little bitter. Nothing a Sour Patch Kid expert couldn’t handle, but a little sour nonetheless. Layer 2: more apple-y. Think the taste of a cooked apple. Third and final layer: apple aftertaste. Minutes after eating an apple chip, the apple taste still lingers, which is more than one can say about the actual fruit.
The best aspect of Seneca Apple Chips is the idea. Using a healthy alternative to potatoes or corn to make chips is unique and beneficial idea. The worst thing about apple chips is what the chips must aspire to: apples. As we Central New Yorkers know firsthand, when it comes to apples, there is no beating the real deal.
Following in the large footsteps of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Empire Brewing Company has expanded operations to Brooklyn. “For years we have been asked when our beer would be available in the Metropolitan New York area,” says company founder David Katleski. “We are at capacity in our Syracuse brewery. Brewing our award-winning ales and lagers in Brooklyn allows us to minimize access to the market and reduce our carbon footprint while maximizing freshness.”
It helped, too, that Tim Butler, Empire’s director of brewing operations, found water quality downstate that parallels Syracuse’s water. “Great water is the foundation of all great beers and Brooklyn’s water quality resembles the water that our upstate operation pulls from Skaneateles Lake.”
The brewery’s Empire Cream Ale is brewed at Greenpoint Beer Works in Brooklyn, and served at several Big Apple hot spots, including the Dinosaur’s new digs in Harlem.
Tim Butler, Empire’s brewmaster: The quality of Brooklyn’s water led to the brewpub expanding operations to New York City.