While some Americans appear to be pleased with the outcome of the presidential election, others are desperately trying to figure out how best to cope with the impending Trumpocalypse. If you’re in the latter camp, the concept of a pantry (or bunker) full of shelf-stable food must sound appealing. If you don’t already practice the homey arts of canning, preserving and pickling, now might be a good time to learn.
If you’re looking for inspiration and advice from the masters, you’re in luck: The Sunday before Thanksgiving means that the International Pickle Festival is coming to Rosendale. This event – the 19th annual edition – will bring a mind-boggling selection of the piquant and the puckery to the Rosendale Recreation Center, located at 1055 Route 32 South, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on November 20.
There you can sample the diversity of ways in which the world’s cultures apply the fermentation process to a panoply of vegetables. Learn to think outside the cucumber box altogether. Discover what probiotic sauerkraut can do for your intestinal flora. Or open your mind and palate to new culinary applications for the humble pickle (deep-fried on a stick is wildly popular at this event).
The Picklefest hosts a myriad of knowledgeable vendors of pickled products, both prepared on-site for immediate consumption and packaged to stock your home larder. It also features ongoing live entertainment from some of the area’s best local bands, plus the Pickle Triathlon, consisting of contests in Pickle Eating, Pickle Juice Drinking and Pickle Tossing. And of course, there’s a competition for home picklers, with categories that include Kimchi, Dill Pickles, Sweet Pickles, Pickled Onions/Garlic, Dilly Beans, Pickled Fruit, Pickled Beets, Pickled Veggies, Pickled Brussels Sprouts, Chutneys, Fermented Liquid or Semi-Liquid Product, Miscellaneous and Best of Show.
Admission to the International Pickle Festival costs $5 for adults, a portion of which always goes to support local civic efforts and not-for-profits; kids get in for free. The Trailways bus stops directly across the street from the Rec Center, and there’s an ATM on-site. For more info, including how to enter the Home Pickling Contest, visit www.rosendalechamber.org/pickle-festival or call (845) 204-8827.