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Jun 12, 2009 12:18 PM

Ithaca/Elmira Area NY Local Specialties?

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!

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  1. 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. 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

        I second the Just A Taste recommendation.

      2. 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

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

        2. 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.

          5 Replies
          1. re: mrsx

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

            1. re: mrsx

              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

                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

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

                2. re: mrsx

                  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.