A flavor tasting station at the FlavorFest in Tupper Lake.
On Aug. 16, The Wild Center hosted its second annual FlavorFest, an event celebrating local food from throughout the region.
“It was great,” said Kerri Ziemann, an Interpretive Naturalist for The Wild Center who coordinated the event. “It was high energy, there were people waiting at the doors at 10 o’clock for us to open, and everyone had a good time with great food.
“I have a ball seeing the kids at the ice cream station, getting their face painted, or waiting for the photo booth,” added Ziemann.
As part of the experience, the museum had twenty tasting stations where visitors could sample fare of all types made from local ingredients from across the region. The event was held in conjunction with The Wild Center’s weekly farm market held each Thursday during the growing season.
“We tried very hard to directly connect where we bought the food from – bought from local farmers – and took it to businesses and caterers who produced the yummy dishes,” said Ziemann. “It helps give people an idea of local dishes they can produce in the Adirondacks.”
“I liked tasting all the food,” said Tara Bunnley, 13, who with her brother, Austin, 14, and mother Jill had come from East Stroudsburg, PA. “The maple cotton candy and homemade ice cream were great!”
“We homeschool, so this to me is part of their education,” said Jill. “They learn so much here.”
And kids weren’t the only people learning.
“The presentation by the brewmaster [from the Lake Placid Pub and Brewery] was excellent,” said Doug Farrington, Tara’s grandfather.
“I think it’s saying a lot for the museum when the kids ask us to come back here,” added his wife Diane.
Indeed, kids cited all sorts of reasons they enjoyed their day, from otters to ice cream.
“I liked all the information,” said Will Garifal, 14, of Queens, NY. “And the food was a nice break from walking around. It was great.”
“I liked the farm video,” said his twin brother Alexander. “It taught me something about the joy of farming.”
“I love the idea of growing food on a small scale – of going organic,” added their father William. “We’ve lost something in quality in the mass production of food, and we’ve lost an appreciation for what I guess you could call a simpler life.”
“FlavorFest is a celebration of creating and eating Adirondack foods,” concluded Ziemann. “We want to make people aware of the food that comes from the land, as well as the people and businesses which produce them. It is a celebration of Adirondack food.”