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Ithaca/Elmira Area NY Local Specialties?

littlegirltree Jun 12, 2009 12:18 PM

We'll be driving through Elmira, Watkins Glen and Ithaca during the 4th of July weekend and I'd like to bring home a cooler of local goodies. We are hoping to find s good local butcher and bring back some great local sausages/hot dogs (we only have skinless hot-dogs in the South). Any suggestions on some great local butchers?

Also looking for any other great local delicacies to pick up. We'l l probably pick up some fruit and local jams from the Ithaca farmer's market on Sat morning, as well.

Thanks, ya'll!

  1. l
    lawgirl1984 Jun 15, 2009 12:43 PM

    Ithaca's farmer's market has lots of fresh meat as well. I went to Cornell Law, but unfortunately didn't find too many local delecacies (though the Farmer's Market is fabulous). I will say if you are looking for a nice lunch or dinner, Dijon, is a great restaurant, even compared to NYC. If you go at lunch time as them if it's possible for them to make you the 4 cheese grilled cheese that was on their menu at Mustard (which closed). It's out of this world.

    1 Reply
    1. re: lawgirl1984
      littlegirltree Jun 15, 2009 01:48 PM

      Thanks, that sounds really promising!

    2. s
      shrike4 Jun 15, 2009 07:08 PM

      I have good friends in Ithaca who love Just A Taste, a small plates/wine bar kind of place. I think JaT makes a point of featuring local ingredients. Also, make sure you sample wines from some of the Finger Lake vineyards!

      1 Reply
      1. re: shrike4
        s
        Solstice444 Jun 17, 2009 05:05 AM

        I second the Just A Taste recommendation.

      2. t
        tsackton Jun 17, 2009 12:09 PM

        While at the farmer's market, check out The Piggery -- great sausages and other pork products, definitely worth stocking up on. I think the farmer's market is your best bet for meat -- I lived in Ithaca for 7 years and never found a great local butcher. Most people seem to get their meat from the farmer's market or Wegman's.

        I'll also third the recommendation for Just A Taste. Great place, features ingredients from many local farms.

        1 Reply
        1. re: tsackton
          littlegirltree Jun 19, 2009 08:28 AM

          Thanks, t! That's just what I wanted to know! (-_^)

        2. m
          mrsx Jun 22, 2009 07:23 AM

          You've got to get yourself some Hofmann Coney's, or "Snappy's," a white, german-style natural casing frank. Made in Syracuse since 1879; I just checked and you should be able to find them in Wegman's or any other large supermarket in Ithaca, Elmira or Watkins Glen.

          http://www.hofmannsausage.com/about/

          5 Replies
          1. re: mrsx
            littlegirltree Jun 22, 2009 02:17 PM

            That sounds like perfection! Thanks so much for the great suggestions, MrsX!

            1. re: mrsx
              i
              ickymettle Jun 23, 2009 08:11 PM

              I concur with this. My family has a cottage on Seneca Lake, which I visit every summer, and I never like a summer to go by without eating some "white hots." You really can't find them in any other region.

              1. re: mrsx
                a
                another_adam Jun 28, 2009 12:11 PM

                Yeah, the white hots/white sausages do seem to be an interesting quirk of upstate NY! I think of them as more of a Syracuse/Rochester thing, since the meat markets around Ithaca when I was a kid didn't make them, as I recall-- but then again, maybe I just didn't pay attention to them. They're definitely available in Ithaca, though.

                The central southern tier has always struck me as more of a chicken-oriented place: Cornell-style barbecued chicken, spiedies (which are really a Binghamton thing), and so on. I think town fairs, fire stations, etc., are most likely to have barbecued chicken or a fish fry, so I think of those as the local speciality. If you're in a supermarket, you might look for bottled Spiedie sauce. Tops definitely has it, Wegmans probably does too.

                I'm not sure there's much in the way of meat that's truly Ithaca/Elmira-specific, or that originated there. There's certainly some good Finger Lakes wine to check out, though, and some people claim that ice cream sundaes originated in Ithaca (though this is very much disputed!)

                1. re: another_adam
                  i
                  ickymettle Sep 1, 2009 05:00 PM

                  Mmmm. Cornell Chicken-- my all-time fave.

                2. re: mrsx
                  o
                  Old Red Jun 28, 2009 05:54 PM

                  Another good white hot is made by Zweigle's in Rochester. I prefer the Snappy Grillers but if you get both you can post your preference.

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