(Brittney Chew / News Photo Editor)

October 8, 2015

AppleFest: Ithaca’s Thirty-Third Annual Apple Harvest Festival

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(Brittney Chew / News Photo Editor)

An AppleFest vendor. (Brittney Chew / News Photo Editor)

However, the majority of the food I consumed at AppleFest didn’t contain apples. How could this be?

On Sunday morning, I was famished after a run, but waited to refuel until 10:00 a.m. when the festival magic began. When my friends and I arrived at AppleFest, I wanted some “real food” before diving into the sweet and savory apple concoctions available (fried apple bread, anyone?). Yet that first foray into summer rolls and pad thai set the tone for the rest of the day, and I ended up only sampling a few apple delights.

Yet the glory of Applefest is not necessarily in the apple-based food. Indeed, I was underwhelmed by the apple truffles I sampled, which, while chocolate and tasty, held no hint of apple and were rather goopy. And the apple fries I tasted later were delicious, but left me craving potato-based fries and simultaneously feeling like I had overdosed on fried food.

I finally took a break from the AppleFest craziness at Sarah’s Patisserie. In this quiet, beautiful pastry shop just off the Commons, the frenzy of the festival disappeared. In the soothing environment, I was able to enjoy a coffee and what proved to be the tastiest AppleFest apple item of the day: a perfectly crumbly, not-too-sweet apple streusel tart. Enjoyed with a good friend on a sunny day on the Commons, the streusel was the perfect reminder why Applefest is the perfect Fall festival. It provides the space and the sustenance to slow down, enjoy good friends and good food and feel at peace with the changing seasons.

But if you missed AppleFest, fear not. You can pick up a wide variety of freshly grown, delicious apples at the Cornell Orchards’ adorable store right off campus.