If you’re a cheese lover like me, you’ve gotta check this one out. The 4th annual Finger Lakes Cheese Festival was July 25th, and my first year going. I was not disappointed!
It’s held at the same place every year; (except its very first year) at Sunset View Creamery in Odessa, which is 5 miles southwest of Watkins Glen. It’s definitely a Finger Lakes type festival; right in a wide area of land next to the cow pastures of the creamery; just how we like it. Admission is $5, and this gives you a wristband which allows you to taste all the different samples. This year there were approximately 10 creameries in attendance, but that wasn’t all this fun festival has to offer!
It’s a known fact that wine and cheese go together like peanut butter and jelly. Since the area is best known for the lovely fermented grape juice, it only made sense to have wine there too! So along with your sampling of cheeses, you could enjoy a taste of many different wines from several different wineries as well.
There were a lot of different types of cheeses here – just about anything you could think of! I came across blueberry cheese, many, many cheddars ranging from mild to extra, extra sharp, and other things like cheese curds and gouda. There was also some goat cheese and even kefir cheese, which was really interesting! I enjoyed talking with the man from the creamery that made the kefir cheese, and he told me the kefir they used came all the way from Russia.
If you were to come to the festival to shop and mingle not only for cheese, you would be in luck! There were some food vendors there, serving things like pulled pork, ice cream, and chocolate covered cheesecake on a stick. If you wanted some fruits or veggies, they had some there too – almost like a mini farmer’s market! There were also craft creators and artisans there as well, selling everything from alpaca wool mittens to wooden dishes. The alpaca people even brought a few of their alpacas to pet, and they were so soft.
Along with the shopping and nibbling, there were activities for the little ones too. I saw face painting and an entire tent with little activities and things for the kids to participate in. This type of event is fun for the whole family. I will say, however, that it’s the type of thing that you’ll probably only want to spend a few hours at; it’s not really an all day type of thing, especially if you do bring your kids.
The Finger Lakes Cheese Festival is one of the most fun and looked-forward-to festivals of the season around here, and if cheese speaks your language, I’m sure this festival will too!
For more information on the cheese festival and the cheese trail, visit www.flcheesetrail.com.