Prize winning apple pie, first place celery root and a blue ribbon camo wedding gown. All to be found at the 2011 PA Farm Show. Great stuff.
But what I enjoy most is meeting local folks who own small food related businesses. The one who make jams, hot sauces, spice rubs and cheese. So, for me, the Main Hall of the 2011 Pennsylvania Farm Show was a bit of heaven.
Here are some of my favorite products from the commercial exhibits.
Christina Maser – I first found her soy candles at Lilypad in Lititz (34 East Main Street) and I’ve been swooning over owner Gretchen Maser’s products ever since. Her White Bean Chicken Chili mix, Mediterranean Spice Rub and Blueberry Basil Lemon Jam are just a few of the flavor filled offerings (and the packaging is sharp and contemporary.) Gretchen was at the show with her son Neil and she found out yesterday that her space at the show won Best Market Place Display. Congrats, Gretchen!
Kelchner’s Horseradish – I’ve been a fan of this horseradish for a long time. It’s second only to my dad’s hand grated horseradish. Sorry, dad has to hold the first place position. I was so excited when Kelchner’s became a staple at the Good Taste! Pittsburgh show and thrilled to come across their booth at the Farm Show, where they were giving samples of their goodies, including the new creamy Horseradish Sauce. Yum.
Miller’s Mustard – It’s not just the name that I like ( Miller, get it?), but the mustard is darn good. It won first place at the 2010 Fiery Foods International Gourmet Food. And it’s made right here in Western PA in Gibsonia.
Farmstead Fresh Cheese – Made from organic raw milk, from grass fed cows. If you’re new to raw milk cheese, the Colby, Yogurt or Mozzarella varieties are good starting points. The Baby Swiss is a winner too. Did you know that Pennsylvania is the second largest US producer of Swiss, at 10.7 million pounds per year? Holey moley!
And last, but not least . .
Torchbearer Sauces – Spicy hot sauces right out of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Not for the timid, these sauces have a real kick and have won national awards. With names like Zombie Apocalypse and The Rapture, Torchbearer’s goods would make the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your favorite “hottie.”
Stay tuned for Part 3. The Food Court.