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Events & Festivals 6

Kutztown Festival

joypirate | Jul 12, 2005 12:29 PM

Read an article in Saveur Magazine about this festival in Kutztown, PA and decided to hit it up. It’s over now, but in case anyone’s interested in heading up next year. A nice time and good chow.

Food I ate:

-The Roast Ox. Man, Babe may be blue but she sure is tasty. I have an excellent photograph of this beast on its spit. The roast ox was served on sesame buns with nothing else (I added some mustard) and man-oh-man, what delicious meaty wondrousness. The problem though, as I thought about it, is that freshly-roasted anything is really good so it was difficult to come up with useful comparisons on whether freshly roasted ox is tastier than other freshly roasted quadrupeds, just rest assured that freshly roasted ox is mighty delicious. It’s a smidge gamey-er than beef but certainly not in a bad way, sort of in a heartier way, like there’s more flavor in the meat. $6 a sandwich.

-Flavored honey. The honey booth had $0.25 little pixie-stick-like tubes full of flavored honey. A tasty treat even though a bit of work to get it open. I enjoyed the raspberry honey.

-Bratwurst (Bradwurst): There were a few places to get this; I stopped at a place down and to the right as soon as you walk in the main gates. A fine sausage though perhaps overdressed with onions. Unlike, say, a Johnsonville brat, this tasted more like meat and less like spice, which isn’t to say it was too mild. When you tasted this guy, you could taste the relationship between it and a knockwurst, different but in the same family.

-Apple dumpling: probably the biggest disappointment. I was hoping for some sort of dough ball, filled with apple bits and deep fried, but this was a mini apple pie with an overdone (and not very interesting) crust. To be fair, there were two places to get apple dumplings and this was at the farthest place. The inside of the dumpling held an entire apple, cored, and stuff with a spice mixture. The inner-apple was good, but not great.

-Dutch pretzel. Good, but sort of like an underdone Auntie Annie’s. The girl working this booth was, like, 13-years-old so we were pretty forgiving.

-Kutzdown sodas: tried the Birch Beer and the Strawberry Cream Soda. Birch beer was great, strawberry cream soda was pretty good too. They also had Sarsparilla which I did not taste, would have enjoyed a sip. Caught myself wondering how a Dark & Stormy would be with birch beer instead of ginger beer.

-Fudge. We got chocolate walnut fudge to go. Pretty tasty though nothing amazing.

Things I wish I ate:

-The $12 all-you-can-eat sit down meal. Pretty sure my wife would’ve killed me if I abandoned her to eat food alone for an hour so didn’t do this. They had several items I wanted to try: shoo-fly pie, something called a milk tart, a dish called chicken pot pie which was really more like a chicken stew with pastry squares floating on top. Maybe next year.

-The ice cream sandwiches made with waffles. What a great idea. We were deciding between this and the apple dumpling and some friends who went the next day told us the sandwich was the way to go. Again, maybe next year.

-Whoopie pie (and shoo-fly pie, again). Didn’t try the homemade whoopie pie. Also, I think I’ve seen shoo-fly pie around Philly so I don’t feel like this was my only chance to get to try it. I also would have to eat it alone because the wife saw the recipe in my Saveur magazine and noted with disdain that the crust was made with leaf lard. I tried telling her that, odds are, not ALL of them are made that way, but there was no convincing her.

-Lemon drinka or Orange drinka: these were $3 per drink but everyone seemed to have one so perhaps they were worth it. Next time we’ll give them a whirl.

-Black cherry soda. This looked good too, and it looked like they were making it on the spot. There was a big pail of cherries, and beside it, a big pail of cherry juice.

-They also had something I don’t think I’m especially curious about trying but it seemed interesting. It’s called a lemon stick, and they take a lemon, roll it around to get the juice flowing, cut a small hole in it, and then put a hollow piece of a peppermint stick inside the hole to act as a straw. Sort of neat.

As for the rest of the festival it was pretty cool. Pennsylvania Dutch stuff, woodworking (almost bought a rocking chair actually), hex-signs, musicians playing “Valderi! Valdera!” (I am certain my singing along never got old), baskets, a cool retro-farm equipments display (I milled corn, it was sweet). Lots of little gourmet booths selling various dips and jellies with samples. We picked up a pretty tasty pumpkin spice spread that I think we’re going to incorporate into an ice cream somehow. Also, they apparently do a hanging re-enactment that we missed. Bummer.

And can I get a ‘hell yeah’ for the wheat-weaving they had up in that piece?

It was about an hour and a half drive from Philly, though a nice drive, and the signage was impeccable. We could have gotten there without the website’s directions. Wasn’t too crowded either. $10 to get in, though I found coupons on the Internet for $2 off per person.


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