I apologize for being incommunicado but I've been on the road. Before embarking on a 4-week European adventure, I went back to upstate New York to spend some time with my family. By and large, these annual visits take place during December when it's cold and snowy so it was a complete treat to experience a hot, humid New York summer again.
I can't write about this leg of my journey without paying tribute to some of the delicious local
specialties I happily devoured. First, Hofman hot dogs and coneys from Syracuse, New York. They've been around since the 1870s so you know they're doing something right. We ate their franks and snappys grilled alongside Caprese salad (the tomatoes and basil were still warm from the garden sun), Italian green beans (also freshly picked), French potato salad and local sweet corn. And for dessert, (I have to take a big breath), the most delicious rhubarb bar with meringue and coconut. It deserves a post of its own so I promise to get the recipe and share it with you.
There were plenty of other noteworthy hometown specialties (Basilio's Buda Sausage and Central New York salt potatoes) but my flight to Zurich leaves in a mere 2 hours so I best move on to the subject at hand: Friday fish fries.
Anyone from New York or the surrounding areas knows about the Roman Catholic observance of eating fish on Friday (which, on a side note, happened to be the impetus behind McDonald's Filet-O-Fish sandwich). While filing through the cafeteria line to get the same old fish every Friday for years became tiring, the local fish fries were anything but. So on my first Friday home, my parents took me down to Johnny's Pier 31 to get a crispy haddock sandwich. It's not my intention to sound hyperbolic but words cannot describe that first bite - such a thin, crispy batter surrounding perfectly juicy fish - it always blows my socks off.
I think I might need to get back more often.