This past Saturday, EscapeMaker, a travel website for day tripping, presented its third annual Local Food & Travel Expo inside Brooklyn Borough Hall. In keep with its focus on getaways, the expo showcased attractions in or connected to New York State, Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. And Brooklyn also had a big part.
Hosted by Brooklyn Tourism, Brooklyn’s rising locavore scene took center stage at this year’s expo. In also celebrating the rebirth of the city’s agricultural past, a “best of” cornucopia of companies offered samples to visitors.
Stinky Bklyn in Carroll Gardens had soft and hard cheeses on display. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que celebrated the opening of its Park Slope location with pulled pork. Kelso Beer Company in Clinton Hill served up two choices of brews while Williamsburg-based Brooklyn Winery poured tastings of its red and white labels. Right outside of Borough Hall, a small farmer’s market offered additional edibles for sale.
Other Brooklyn-based outlets on hand included Edible Brooklyn, Allan’s Bakery, Coney Island’s Luna Park, Cacao Pietro, Urban Oyster Tours, and Brooklyn Museum.
While Brooklyn has much to offer visitors, EscapeMaker’s expo also recognized destinations within a day’s drive or train ride.
In heading upstate, the second level at Borough Hall centered on destinations outside of the city. New York State’s “Country Byways” encompasses a number of natural and historical attractions found in this region such as in the Finger Lakes and Greater Niagara. Howe Caverns Adventure Park offers hands-on activity, while town of LeRoy is known as the birthplace for Jell-O, invented there in 1897.
From Pennsylvania, Brandywine Country Cooking School featured dishes from its classes. To further go on about food-related trips, Vermont is a good place to go for good eats, and not just maple or cheese. Visit Vermont tourism board featured the state’s “Dig In Vermont” campaign is flavored with specialty foods, wines, and microbrews. Outdoor pursuits and places to stay were also represented.
Apples are New York State staple, and, at the expo, the New York Apple Association had plenty to give away. Informational materials on apple picking and different varieties were also available. Of course, we need transportation to get to places. So, in keeping with that portion of travel, ZipCar, Metro-North and Amtrak handed out materials on promotions. For those who like to going on foot, the Appalachian Mountain Club gave presentations on backpacking and hiking.
Overall, the EscapeMaker Local Food & Travel Expo had good resources to encourage exploring – culinary pursuits, especially.