This weekend was a very successful celebration of hard ciders and grilled eats at Ciderfeast. The event, hosted by Food Karma Projects, The Good Beer Seal, and Beer Sessions Radio, took place in a nondescript lot right on the East River, with beautiful views of Brooklyn across the river and of Manhattan buildings towering behind us. We arrived just as people were setting up, and slowly the air begin to smell of delicious roasting meats and we heard strumming of guitars accompanied by lovely voices. I was reminded of Austin, Texas (from where I had just returned the day before) with their world-famous barbecue and music scene. We were super excited to try some food and drink!
We saw some familiar faces at the Copenhagen Street Dog team, serving the same fantastic hot dogs as we had at their launch party last week. Ciderfeast was a much less crowded and more intimate event, so we got the chance to chat with some of the Revolving Dansk team (hello Martin and Sera!) about their wonderful wieners.
Next door at Jimmy's No. 43, we had some grilled chicken mango salsa tacos, topped with slivers of jalapenos and cotija cheese crumbles; creamy polenta that tasted like peppery mac and cheese; and grilled portobello mushroom on bread. All were amazing, but the real star of Jimmy's both was the Mexican grilled corn! The corn itself was so juicy that Alex ended up splashing me with corn bits every bite he took, but my favorite part was the chipotle mayo that was slathered on each kernel. It was just the right amount of spice and saltiness to go with the sweet corn. I was in heaven, and I don't think I've ever had corn on the cob as good as this one.
Between bites, we also sipped all sorts of lip-smacking ciders. Ciders are my preferred alcoholic beverage, so I was thrilled to be in attendance. One of my favorites was Original Sin's Apricot, though Alex preferred their Cherry flavor. The most dangerous cider came from Downeast Cider House, jokingly referred to as "Down Easy" because the original flavor is just so smooth and tastes just like a nice cold spiced apple cider that I might forget it had alcohol in it! I also enjoyed their Pumpkin blend, which was like a typical fall-themed drink but so pleasantly sweet and subtle that I'd drink it year-round. Finally, for most original concept and flavors, I would shout out Big Apple Hard Cider for their "Hipster vs. Old School" showdown. Both ciders had vanilla and baking spice flavors (i.e. cinnamon, clove, ginger, etc.) but in different proportions. I was an ardent fan of the Hipster, while Alex enjoyed the Old School. (Figures.)
Writing about Ciderfeast now makes me really want to sip a cold hard cider, and I'm so pleased to have learned about so many new cider makers! The event itself was perfect: we couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather, it wasn't too crowded, and we got to try a little of everything. Thank you to Jimmy Carbone, Food Karma, and all the other sponsors and participants!