Classic Finger Lakes Summer Fare
No picnic in the Finger Lakes is complete without a bowl of steaming hot salt spuds, slathered in butter. New potatoes with thin skins but creamy texture are perfect with ribs, fresh corn on the cob and green salad. Cooking the potatoes in a pot of boiling water with tons of salt seals the skins and keeps them from being water logged like most boiled potatoes.
The standard fare of the Finger Lakes, created by immigrants in Binghamton decades ago. Who knew that the simple mix of well-marinated meat cooked quickly over a hot grill and then scooped up with simple white bread would turn out to be such an iconic food? Chicken, lamb or beef—whatever your protein choice is, if you’re a local, there’s a spied in your future.
Developed by Dr. Robert Baker, a Cornell professor, this is the most tender, tasty chicken on the planet. A 24-hour marinade in a mix of vinegar, oil, salt, spices, and of all things, an egg, s the perfect brine for your poultry. You can’t drive around the region without spotting a roadside barbecue serving Cornell chicken, and we’re all the better for it.
Whenever someone asks what the regional delicacies of the Finger Lakes are, you have to include grape pies. Sure, they’re not haute cuisine but even the snootiest of diners is a convert once they’ve eaten one. There’s even a grape festival in Naples every year where the pie plays a starring role. Good buttery crusts and sweet grape-y filling make for the perfect Finger Lakes dessert.
This piece originally appeared in our Summer 2012 issue.