Kicking off Restaurant Week is the Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival.
Story, photos by Sharon Kozden
“Surely the apple is the noblest of fruits.” – Henry David Thoreau
Autumn and apples “pear” well together. What can I say about this pun but that I’m fruity? Separating fall from those crisp, pomaceous and antioxidant-laden fruits would be akin to depriving myself of post-meal desserts. So when I was pegged (along with Explore-Philly team member Dana Prophet and Dana’s friend Amy) to spend two hours judging the best apple-themed desserts at Manayunk’s StrEAT Food Festival on the evening of September 14th, I was all in.
Arriving at a designated location, our host and guide, Leksey Maltzman, Marketing Director of Manayunk Development Corporation greeted us, then off we went at a zippy pace to the apple-themed vendors to sweet-teeth satisfy.
The ample quantity of apple-dessert consumption I indulged in assured no apple-a-day doctor’s visit would be needed for quite some time, although I suspect this oft-mentioned quote refers the fruit in its simple, pure state. What we were tasting was in polar opposition, more suggestive of a diabetic coma-onset. I could have simply tasted the samples and still judged the finest. But what of those starving children my mother warned me about if a morsel remained on my dinner plate? I ate them all and awoke groggy and felt sluggish the following morning, but hey, that evening I was living (and eating!) in the moment. No regrets.
There wasn’t one bad apple to spoil the bunch, and yet judging does demand decisiveness, choice and action. To say it was a tough call is an understatement, as everything I tasted was sublime and apple-licious, if you will. We weighed in, then tagged along with Leksey once again to present framed award certificates to the deserving top three among the food trucks as well as a single winner in the gourmet food vendor category. As the photos below demonstrate, the smiles on the winning participants’ faces were ripe and delicious to witness.
The top three winners in the Food Truck competition were:
First Place: Cannoli World
Second Place: Revolution Taco
Third place: All of a Sudden Desserts
The Gourmet Food Member winner (only one in this category was judged):
Made in the Shade Lemonade
Thirst-quenching Apple Ginger Beet lemonade included ingredients I never would have thought to blend together, but that’s why I’m a writer, not a lemonade connoisseur. Delicious flavor, nothing overwhelming. Perfectly blended.
While I’m familiar with the myriad of apple varieties, I had no idea that lemonade could be anything other than the yellow- or pink variety from the grocery store, which may be why this is considered gourmet.
Manayunk and Winnie’s go together like green eggs and ham. One without the other? Not on your life!