Ommegang, OMG! Friday Foodstuffs – 8.15.08

The weekend has come upon us yet again! Sneaky, that weekend is.

Before I get to the usual weekend rundown, I have to mention the beer that we have been enjoying the last couple of days. I’ve been saving a bottle of Ommegang Three Philosophers that I had bought back in March when I was up in Cooperstown NY and visited Brewery Ommegang. What made this beer extra special was that I had purchased one of the bottles that had been cave-aged in Howe Caverns for five months. The cave aging process adds more complexity to the flavor, which I found out first-hand (first-sip?) back in March when I sampled both versions. I was simply amazed at the difference between the two.

I had been saving this beer for an occasion to share it with friends who appreciate beer. Well, such an occasion presented itself when a couple of foodie friends from Boston stayed over for a couple of days this week. On Wednesday night, I popped the cork on this wonderful Belgian blended beer (part Belgian ale, part cherry lambic) and we savored its contents all evening. This is not a beer for downing in large quantities; this is a beer you sip and take in all of the flavor…the richness, the fruitiness, the complexity and smoothness. It is beer, no doubt, but it makes one think more of a fine brandy or cognac rather than a brewski.

As much as I appreciate the few microbrews that are here in South Jersey, my hope is that they (or someone new to the scene) will be able to approach the levels being reached by places such as Brewery Ommegang and Dogfish Head in Delaware.

And now, onto your Festivals of Food events for this weekend…

If you’re into seafood, you have a couple of options. The Bellview Winery in Landisville is having its annual Seafood Festival on Saturday and Sunday. Seafood and wine…sounds wonderful together, doesn’t it? You also have Clamapalooza taking place near our neck of the woods in Waretown. I think you could safely assume that clams will be served.

Jersey peaches are still going strong, and the Riverview Estates in Riverton is having a Peach Festival on Saturday from 5PM to 7PM.

Lisa and I will be down in Vineland enjoying the International Food and Cultural Festival on Saturday…and hopefully will be staying as dry as possible. We have a couple of other places to hit before the festival on Landis Ave, and we will tell you all about them next week.

As always, check out the Festivals of Food link for a full listing of events. The Fall edition is being worked on now as we speak. Well, maybe not right as this exact moment; I mean, I do have to step away from the desk now and then.

And here are a couple of recent articles that I found interesting…

Bally’s in Atlantic City has evidently been running some kind of internal Iron Chef competition with its restaurant chefs. Hopefully, it will lead to some exciting meals on their menus.

PETA to Six Flags Great Adventure: Hold the cockroaches on Fright Fest!

Enjoy your weekend!

– John

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