Food Channel photographer and on-the-road correspondent David Nehmer reports back from Upstate New York, on the scene at some America’s summertime food-flavored festivals.
On-again, off-again rain showers and unseasonably cool temperatures could not keep us away from that first taste of an Italian savory delight—a fresh Sorrento Mozzarella Italian Crostini at the Sorrento Cheese Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo, New York. There’s just something about creamy mozzarella, fresh sliced tomatoes and pesto drizzled with extra virgin olive oil to perk up your palate. And did we mention the cannoli? Italian bakeries and concession stands served up the delicious Italian dessert, all claiming theirs were the best. The cannoli from Angelo’s Italian Pastries was heavenly.
Right in the heart of Buffalo’s “Little Italy,” over 50,000 people descended, children and umbrellas in tow, to take in the sights, sounds, food and culture. There were carnival games and rides, entertainment, a Miss Italian Festival, an Italian Idol contest, bocce, cooking demonstrations and more.
That’sa Spicy Banana!
I tried to meet up with Ken Ray, of MacOsKen.com, whom I’ve listened to on the Internet for years and who had recently moved to Buffalo. And although we couldn’t get our timing to match up, he recommended another Italian delicacy at the festival—a spicy banana pepper from Panaro’s stuffed with bleu cheese, gorgonzola cheese and crabmeat, all topped with provolone. Truly amazing.
Despite the struggling economy, the Sorrento Cheese Italian Heritage Festival continues to grow in attendance, special features, vendors and events. There was a familiar spirit in the air—one where everyone left their troubles at home and came together, in spite of the weather, to enjoy each other, their heritage, the food and the festivities. Find more reviews at BuffaloChow.com.
Hamburg, NY: Burgerfest or Dessertfest?
There were plenty of traditional and even Bar-B-Que burgers at the Burgerfest in Hamburg, N.Y. but the desserts were the stars of the festival. The honors for the consistently longest line belong to Danny’s Restaurant in Hamburg, Orchard Park and Cheektowaga for their Peanut Butter Pie. The culinary delight consisted of virtually pure peanut butter drizzled with chocolate syrup on top of a thin, crispy pie crust.
The festivities included the annual car show, live music, and arts and craft vendors, along with a tremendous variety of food that kept the festival goers “festing.”
For more festivals, see our calendar of events, here.