I am not a foodie traveler, but I do make an effort to eat local when I’m on the road. In fact, Rule of the Roadtrip #5 is Always Eat Local. Upstate New York, along the coast of Lake Superior, is apple country.
After spending the night close enough to the Lake that I could hear and smell the freshwater waves all night, the next morning I stopped for breakfast at Ontario Orchards, a splendid farm stand along highway 104, just southwest of Oswego, NY.
Ontario Orchards doesn’t just grow apples, they grow nearly 30 varieties of apples! Along with a wide array of produce including pears, grapes, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, zucchini, several kinds of squash, radishes, asparagus, broccoli, potatoes, beets, garlic, onions, cabbage, cauliflower and sprouts. You name it, they grow it!
This wide variety of fresh foods, along with baked goods, bulk foods, bagged candies, cider, vinegar and a compliment of General Store stuff make for a mouthwateringly beautiful store! If more stores looked like this place, we’d all eat much healthier.
I took lots of photos and bought a bushel of Honeycrisp apples (my favorite!), a liter of Honeycrisp cider, and a fresh-baked apple muffin for the road. The rest of the day, driving back roads through orchard country, I slugged cider straight out of the jug with the sweet scent of cider-making wafting through my open windows (Rule of the Roadtrip #8: Roll down your car windows!). Ahhh, Honeycrisp Heaven on Earth!
Apples are a fascinating fruit. Check out Michael Pollan’s book the Botany of Desire, which recounts the agricultural history of selective breeding for sweeter and sweeter varieties of apples, culminating (some would say) with the Honeycrisp. Read more about my organic farming days in my post: A Place That I Used To Know.