To taste the salty bite of prosciutto in Italy, the smoky crunch of a German wurst or the hoppy flavor in a beer brewed by Trappist monks, people would need to pack their bags, fly across the Atlantic and remember their passport.
But on Thursday, Aug. 15, people can skip the flight and come to The Wild Center for an all-day food festival and pick up a passport that will let them travel freely from one great Adirondack taste to the next.
The passport will allow people to taste Adirondack delicacies like local cheeses and meat, seasonal vegetables, maple rhubarb crisp and homemade ice cream and locally brewed beers.
The tasting stations, catered by Adirondack Artisan Catering and located throughout the Center's campus, will focus on the best food and flavors found in the Adirondacks.
This year's focus is on maple, showing that it's not just for pancakes and French toast. Parker Family Maple will be on hand to show various methods of maple production from colonial time to the late 1800s through a living history demonstration by this 5th generation maple family. Attendees will be able to sample different grades of pure New York maple syrup.
Many of the ingredients highlighted at tasting stations will be available for purchase from the vendors of The Adirondack Farmers' Market Cooperative, Inc. and The Wild Center's special Farmers Market.
FlavorFest is an opportunity to meet some of the local farmers and take home some local seasonal foods.
Those attending will have the opportunity to see the new documentary "Nourish" and increase their food literacy. "Nourish" illustrates how food connects everyone to one another and the world at large.
Chris Ericson of the Lake Placid Pub and Brewery will talk about brewing different types of beer, how to taste beer, how to pair beer with food and provide free tastings of five of the Brewery's remarkable beers, including Ubu Ale, Lake Placid IPA and 46er Pale Ale. Real beer offers the consumer a wide range of flavors. Chris will briefly examine the ways in which beer, both on the whole and with the differences between all the different styles, pairs with different foods. Many times, beer actually pairs better with many foods than wine.
Chef Dave Hunt of Generations restaurant will have a local tasting Saut station where you can create your own dish using local vegetables and sauce sauted right before your eyes. He will be cooking with Hid-in-Pines wine to make a Juniper Hill Spritzer.
Herbalist Jane Desotelle will give an edible food presentation, lead a walk showing how to identify edible and medicinal plants that can be found on Wild Center and other Adirondack trails and sell her locally-made products including herbal teas, wild foods and catnip toys.
A century and a half ago, lumberjacks and farm workers ate a lot of bread, providing them with quick energy from complex carbohydrates, but it wasn't as easy as just picking up a loaf from the store. Hallie Bond will show the pleasures and pitfalls of being a baker a century ago.
There will be family games and activities focused on food throughout the day to keep the little ones occupied. Attendees can visit with farm animals from Harmony Hills Farmstead, strike a pose in the food photo booth, hand crank their way to their own ice cream treat, make a real Mr. Potato Head, and hop to the finish during a potato sack race.
There will be live music all day on the GreenLeaf pond, featuring Big Slyde and a variety of hoedowns, waltzes, polkas, jigs and more from Ed and Geraldine, an expanded Farmers Market to pick up some fresh items for dinner, and Master Gardeners from Cornell Cooperative Extension on hand to answer all of your growing questions, FlavorFest has something for everyone.
North Country Public Radio is the official media sponsor for FlavorFest.
The Wild Center is open daily from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. between Memorial Day and Labor Day. For more information, visit www.wildcenter.org.