TUPPER LAKE - The Wild Center highlighted local foods and flavors Thursday at its second annual FlavorFest.
In the mid afternoon, Interpretive Naturalist Kerri Ziemann, the event's head organizer, said things were going well.
"It's been great," Ziemann said. "Since we opened at 10 a.m., we've had people streaming in, and everyone's happy and wandering around enjoying the fresh, local food, and the vendors have been selling their products."
Wild Center employee Tawnya Kentile gives a visitor some fresh vegetables with an herb dip, created from products by Fledgling Crow Farms, Summit Farms and Underwood Herbs, at the museum’s FlavorFest Thursday.
(Enterprise photo — Jessica Collier)
When visitors checked in to the admissions booth, they picked up FlavorFest passports, which led them to 20 tasting stations set up in and around the museum and its outdoor pond and walking trails.
Food samples included berry rhubarb crisp, Adirondack potato salad, Lake Placid Pub and Brewery beer and a platter of cheeses from the McCadam plant in Chateaugay. Hallie Bond from the Adirondack Museum helped Wild Center employees make campfire bread by the Wild Center's lean-to, and the line for homemade ice cream was long under the bright sun.
Coinciding with the museum's weekly farmers market, visitors were also able to purchase many of the products needed to re-create the samples at home from food producers based throughout the North Country.
Ziemann explained that the Wild Center coordinated the samples, buying food from the vendors and giving it to Adirondack Artisans, its caterer, which created the samples to give out to visitors. The idea is to promote the products through the samples, Ziemann said, in order to encourage and promote the local food movement that is growing in the Adirondacks.
This is the second year the Wild Center has put on FlavorFest, and Ziemann said that in addition to getting more samples and more vendors this year, she and her interns focused on getting the ingredients for the tasting stations directly from the people who sell food in the farmers market.
"So we've been working for the last two months to coordinate where can we get the honey from, what fresh vegetables are you going to have come Aug. 16," Ziemann said. "We coordinated all 20 food stations, got it to Adirondack Artisans, which is catering the event, and they put all the local food into these tasty dishes that everyone's enjoying."
Ziemann said most of the vendors at the event are members of the Adirondack Farmer Market Cooperative, which runs many of the farmers markets around the region.
In addition to having vendors sell food, there were several booths where people could learn about growing their own food. At one station, visitors could take garlic cloves to try planting at home.
"Because you can't get more local than your backyard," Ziemann said.
Regular Wild Center programming also focused on food topics, including a mushroom walk with mycologist Susan Hopkins and a Planet Adirondack program focusing on food production throughout the world.
There were also a number of extra fun activities, like craft projects with vegetables, face painting and a photo booth.
Ziemann said she was happy with the turnout for the event Thursday. It helped that people came to FlavorFest last year, enjoyed it and told their friends, she said.
"We got the word out, and people are passionate about food," Ziemann said. "It's great to know that they're interested in learning about our local food sources."