On Oct. 26, the Singapore Student Association held its annual Makan-Mania in the Okenshields Dining Hall. Makan means “to eat” in Malay. That is exactly what this event served as: An opportunity to eat traditional Singapore dishes that celebrated Singaporean culture and food in the Cornell community.
In true Ithaca fashion, Apple Harvest Festival is something caught between a nostalgic, agrarian county fair and an eclectic, trendy Brooklyn food festival. It’s a celebration of all things apple — apple pies, apple cider and candied apples — but more than that, it’s a celebration of the Finger Lakes area and the people who shape it. With millions of acres of farmland (52,000 of which are devoted exclusively to apple orchards), Upstate New York is a mecca for farmers, chefs, bakers and wine makers who come together one weekend in late September to share their passion for food with the masses.
This past weekend, the Sun dining department’s writers ventured out to the 37th Annual Apple Harvest Festival to experience one of the most iconic food festivals Ithaca has to offer. We’ve recounted some of our most memorable moments and favorite delectable delights from the event, noting local favorites and treats from farmers far and wide.
Every spring, dietetics students of Nutritional Sciences 4880: Applied Dietetics in Food Service Systems learn how to operate and manage a food service system with practical, hands-on application culminating in themed dinners in West Campus dining rooms. Students are “divided into teams to work with Cornell Dining chefs to design a nutritionally balanced, yet creative and delicious dinner for the greater Cornell community,” and several of us in the dining department had the pleasure of experiencing and reviewing each themed dinner this year. Here’s what we thought!
On a breezy Thursday afternoon, I breathed in the brisk spring air as I took my routine walk across the Ag Quad to Trillium for lunch. With a hurried pace and pumping heart, I mentally prepared to re-enact the Hunger Games in order to secure a spot in the line for the burrito station and a highly coveted seat. Before I could reach Trillium, however, something peculiar stopped me in my tracks. Tucked in a corner of the Ag Quad were clusters of people bouncing between a row of small tents. I immediately recounted the dreamy, warm days of early September, spent having leisurely lunches with friends while sprawled across red checkered picnic blankets on the grassy quad. The Cornell Farmers Market was back for spring, and I could not have been happier.
The produce is some of the best in the region, but what truly makes Ithaca Farmers Market shine is the abundance of incredible food vendors, each which feature deliciously unconventional cuisines from around the globe. Nearly all of the stalls advertise tasty vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options to satisfy every preference and diet. The vast array of choices is a welcomed sensory overload, so upon arrival, make your rounds through the pavilion to take it all in, snatching some free samples of local cheeses, fruits, honey, cured meats and pestos along the way.
All in all, if you don’t want to go to Wizarding weekend for the people dressed up as wizards living out their Harry Potter fantasies, then at least go for the the variety of food and the atmosphere of excitement during the day.