So I know that recently it has looked like all we have been doing is house (and car) hunting/shopping but July did hold a few other treats for us- I’m just behind in posting about them.
July 26th we were more than ready for a real date-break from the stress of all of the transitions we are in the middle of. So we went to the Finger Lakes Cheese Festival in Odessa NY. We wanted to attend the year before but were in the Washington for my brother’s wedding. We drove out to this little town right outside of Walkins Glen on a sunny and humid Saturday getting there around one.
We parked in the field of Sunset View Creamery and paid our $2 each to get into the festival. For only it’s 3rd Annual year it was obvious word had gotten out of about this farmer’s festival and the place was busy. The festival started around 10 with several children’s activities including a dunking booth, petting zoo, guided farm tours, hay rides, and chances to milk a goat.
But we chose to come later in the afternoon for the grown-up activities; cheese tastings. We just barely missed out on the free wine and cheese paring; the tent was overflowing and they only had 50 samples to go around; but we did snag a brochure. Every pairing was local cheese being sold at the festival by the smaller artisan creameries with wines from Seneca lake wineries.
We listened in for a while then decided to explore the booths. In order to check out the more then twelve creameries at this festival we had to get in line after line to sample their cheeses and get brochures on where/how to buy their products. There was everything; soft fresh, hard aged, stinky, mild, jack, cheddar, mozzarella, feta, spicy, blue , herb, sharp and more. There was also goat cheese and every place offered slices, wheels, or curds of their most famous flavors. But the cheese booths were also partnered with other local goods such as honey, maple products, soaps, and veggies and fruit.
As we traveled around the booths sampling cheeses we enjoyed listening to one of three bands playing in the entertainment tent throughout the day. In the entertainment tent also was plenty of shaded seating for people to sit and enjoy their food and the music as well as two local wineries and breweries offering tasting for the adults.
Other than sample,s there were plenty of non-snacking food options including roasted corn, bbq, popcorn, ice cream, hand pies, and more. As it got to the warmest part of the day we decided to get ourselves a treat: a scoop of local ice cream-and it was good; creamy and flavorful and not too sweet: Luke had mint chip and I had a raspberry chocolate chip cheesecake and it was very good.
After wandering the farm grounds and festival booths we picked up some iced coffee and staked out our seats under the event tent for the beer and cheese pairing at 3:30pm. We enjoyed watching the people as we waited for this free pairing using local beers and cheeses. Once again this pairing was of only cheeses available to buy at the festival from the local creameries paired with beers from local microbreweries. The cheese were good the beer was decent also. Although the beer trail along the finger lakes area is still relatively new they are definitely growing with more than 60 microbreweries now in the area (or getting started).
After the pairing presentations and discussion we went up to talk to the presenters and ask about their suggestions for local porters and stouts as well as picked up filers for additional food/cheese pairings with different types of beers.
Believe it or not we didn’t pick up any cheese; we got out of the beer and cheese pairing around 4:30 and the festial ended around 5pm. Because the festival was so popular this year many of the local creameries had actually run out of supplies and left early. So we have learned our lesson; next year we come earlier and buy the cheeses we discovered we like.
When we got home we looked up also where we can get the cheeses at local stores for future reference. All in all it was a perfect foodie day-date.
For more on the finger lakes wine trail check out at: http://flcheesetrail.com
or visit them on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FLXCheeseTrail
Do you like cheese? What is your favorite kind?