Today's independent bookstore owners will tell you it's not enough just to sell books. They have to plan events, serve lunch, and offset the bottom line with booze. That's just the nature of the business, but who doesn't like to curl up with a good book and sip from a glass of wine while nibbling on a pastry or panini?
It’s one of the United States’ most iconic candies—just maybe the most iconic this country has ever produced. After all, what other sweet treat has had its durability tested by a world-renowned university, guest starred in a hit television show, boasted its own world eating championship, and be featured in annual art contests? No candy other than PEEPS, the sugar-coated, brightly-hued marshmallow confection made in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania by the third-generation family-owned outfit Just Born, which also produces Mike and Ike, Hot Tamales, and Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews.
Food traditions, regional agriculture, local novelties, and simple good tastes are celebrated across the U.S. with countless seasonal festivals and themed parties. It’s easy to fill up your travel calendar with foodie events. To help you get started, here are a few suggestions; this is by no means a comprehensive list! These featured foodie events aren’t necessarily the best known or largest of their kind, but they all offer a variety of events and last multiple days.
“If you like oysters, then you probably love oysters,” says Dylan Block-Harley, director of operations at Walrus & Carpenter Oysters. “And if you love oysters there’s nothing better than eating them right out of the water.” But if you don’t work at the aquaculture farm in Charlestown, Rhode Island, you can’t really have that experience—unless you manage to snag a coveted spot at one of its summer farm dinners, which happen on a sandbar right in the middle of the oyster farm.
Crawfish season officially gets under way in early spring, and the bright red crustaceans usually remain in supply through June. The majority of crawfish in North America come from Louisiana, where rice fields are flooded in late summer to make way for the Cajun delicacy. Louisiana leads the nation in crawfish production, with crawfish farms producing more than 100 million pounds a year.
Marking a major expansion of its acclaimed garden-based education program, The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) has opened a new $28 million Edible Academy. The indoor-outdoor campus, designed by the distinguished architecture firm Cooper Robertson, is at the cutting-edge of sustainable technology and will allow NYBG’s edible gardening program for children, families, teachers, and the general public to double its capacity to 100,000 people annually and operate year-round.
The most-awarded craft whiskey distillery in the U.S. is located near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.Surprised?Pittsburgh’s booze boom—specifically, its whiskey scene—is legit. In late February, Meredith Meyer Grelli of Wigle Whiskey, the nation’s most awarded craft distillery, received her second-consecutive James Beard nomination for “Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Producer." As Grelli says with a grin, “This year Wigle was one of five distilleries in the U.S.to receive the semi-finalist award. We are completely honored and delighted! And now we get back to work!!”
Farm-to-table dining is a term most popularly used to describe restaurants that source ingredients from local or regional producers—in such relationships, the executive chef proudly sources ingredients directly from food producers (from farmers to winemakers, ranchers to cheese makers, and so on). It’s an arrangement that can yield fresh results.
A bouquet of roses for Valentine’s Day or any romantic occasion may be a no-brainer, but roses are also an ethereal edible treat. “Rose is commonly used in Indian dishes and drinks, likely through a Persian influence on the cuisine developed through the Mughal era,” says Corporate Chef Manish Mehrotra of New York City’s Indian Accent. The Mughal(or Mogul) Empire was founded in 1526—so roses have been tempting palates for a very long time!
Home to the state’s highest peak of Mount Mansfield, Stowe, Vermont is best known for its skiing. It is so much a ski destination, in fact, that the tiny town is referred to as both the Ski Capital of the East and the Swiss Alps of the East. When snow is on the ground, you can fill your days with endless outdoor activity: not just alpine skiing, but traversing cross-country trails, skating at an outdoor ice rink, ice fishing on frozen ponds, dog sledding or “fat biking”—which, despite what SoulCycle might have you believe, is mountain biking on bikes with wider tires made for snow and ice. It’s easy to have a healthy, exercise-heavy vacation in Stowe, especially in January, when resolutions are new and, in the quiet after the holidays, your time is finally your own again.