Thursday, October 8, 2015

Burgoo Stew & Uptown, Too!

by Brianne Riley

The weekend weather forecast looks like it holds a brief glimpse of Indian Summer.  And with such warm temperatures, locals and tourists alike will be flocking to Utica, our neighboring town, for its annual outdoor Burgoo Festival.

Beginning at 9 a.m. this Sunday, October 11, enjoy a "village street party" featuring over 250 vendors.  Plus, the real draw of this 44-year tradition is the Burgoo.

What is it? According to the Village of Utica website:
Burgoo is a traditional pioneer dish, a kind of stew that gives the festival its name. The theme of this festival is traditional food, and many varieties of homemade pies and other dishes are always festival favorites.
Early versions of burgoo were made with wild game such as venison or squirrel, and whatever the pioneers grew. Current state health laws prevent selling soup made from game.
For this local Burgoo festival the ingredients are beef, carrots, potatoes, hominy, celery, tomatoes, cabbage, onions, peppers, and other vegetables carefully blended with special spices and herbs. It is cooked outdoors for between 12 and 18 hours over a wood-burning fire that gives it a special taste. Squads of volunteer vegetable choppers and kettle stirrers spend the night preparing this pioneer dish.
According to veteran “burgoomeisters,” there are many different recipes for burgoo. Most are well protected secrets, guarded by “burgoomeisters” who are in charge of the day-long preparation and cooking.
Whether you're drawn to the notion of taste-testing the secret recipe, or if scoping out the flea-market wares is more your speed, we invite you to make a day of it.

But be sure to stop by and see us afterward.  We'll have plenty of outdoor and patio seating available so you don't miss out on every ounce of warm weather the day has to offer.

Plus, we have our own menu full of handmade soups, sandwiches, desserts and more!

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