After last week’s 90-degree heat wave, the 35th Annual Apple Harvest Festival truly snuck up on us. While the presence of strong breezes allowed us to finally whip out our fall coats, clear skies made for an amazing Applefest. For those of you who had one too many prelims to make it to the Commons this weekend, here is the definitive ranking of Ithaca’s very own Smorgasburg.
8Indian Creek Farm
Indian Creek farm’s hot apple cider, while a necessary buy for washing down all of the delicious food, was nothing particularly unique to Applefest. Hot apple cider is an easy find. If you’re looking for a substitute for Applefest amidst prelim szn, you don’t have to look far- Manndible Cafe’s hot apple cider tastes the same.
Perhaps it was because I got the last of the tray, but Coltivare’s smoked gouda apple macaroni and cheese was somewhat disappointing. Not only was it not warm enough nor salty enough, but it was also missing the essential cheese pull- the true indication of superb mac. Fortunately, Applefest provided multiple other options of mac & cheese to choose from.
One of several macaroni and cheese stands/trucks, Macarollin’s buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese was by far the most unique. Apart from the ideal level of spiciness, the breadcrumbs paired with the soft texture of the pasta gave it a leg up over Coltivare’s.
Littletree Orchards’ apple cider donuts are yet another fall classic. While clearly an overall favorite of most Applefest-goers, as seen by the absurdly long line, this treat was not worth the ridiculously long wait. Apple cider donuts are an easy find at most apple orchards. But hey, if you’re really dying to try them, you could always ask a fellow donut fiend for a bite of theirs and skip the wait.
4Gourmet Caramel Apples
While I’m not a huge caramel fan, Gourmet Caramel Apples’ sundae was the go-to for satisfying any sweet tooth. It’s definitely an essential Applefest purchase- I mean, how can you go to Applefest and leave without tasting a caramel apple?
3Pumpkin Funnel Cake
Fall festive meets carnival- the pumpkin funnel cake was the basic white girl take on an all-time carnival classic. While a little sugary and oily for a Sunday morning, this snack brings us back to stress-free, childhood days.
2The Center Cafe
The Center Cafe was definitely a spot to hit for the apple crisp. The apples were well cooked with the perfect amount of mushiness, and the granola, while a little chewy, was sweet but not too sweet. If you were to try it in the afternoon, I would definitely recommend adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream to top it off.
Who would’ve thought that apples would taste good in an omelet? My top pick of Applefest was definitely the egg, cheddar, and candied apple omelet. The sharpness of the cheddar paired with the sweetness of the apple was a perfect combination. (see 1a) The OmNomNomelettes special of the weekend was The Crump. An egg and sliced apple sandwiched between a buttery, fresh english muffin. While too greasy for my palette and not nearly as good as the omelet, The Crump would be a perfect fit for the Louie’s menu.
Apart from walking away with an incredibly full stomach, Apple Fest was a great opportunity to escape campus for a moment and become a part of the larger Ithaca community, even if just for an hour. I’m already counting down the days until next year’s festival!