The Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead hosted the second annual Taste the East End food and beverage event Sunday, featuring a variety of local food and drink businesses.
Guests had the opportunity to sample freshly prepared signature dishes paired with local wines and craft beers. After combing through the ever-popular event, indulging in plate after plate, sip after sip, I narrowed it down to my five favorites.
1. Ms. Michelle’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies: A cookie that everyone can and should enjoy. Gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO and soy-free, and they even have “Grandma’s” seal of approval. This classic cookie is taken up a notch with rolled oats and just the right amount of sweetness. Ms. Michelle’s sells four cookie varieties online and in stores. Ms. Michelle’s operates out of the Calverton business incubator.
2. Montauk BeverageWorks White Tea with Peach: Recently launched on April 23, this refreshing light white tea with an essence of fresh peaches and a touch of vanilla and cinnamon is a true taste of a country summer by the ocean. The company has five bottles of lemonades and iced teas. Montauk BeverageWorks is based in Southampton.
3. Lucky Lou’s Gourmet Rice Pudding: Creamy, luscious, and fresh; I just couldn’t get enough. This could possibly be the best way to end a comforting meal. Sweetened with pure cane sugar and the perfect consistency, I couldn’t resist a second (and third) sampling. You can find Lucky Lou’s, which is also based in Calverton, at various locations across Long Island.
4. Charlie’s Legendary Onions: The name speaks for itself. A family-owned business with what originally started as a small pushcart that expanded into the Famous Charlie’s Hot Dogs, that served Long Islanders for over 50 years. At the event, the onions were topped on grilled hot dogs, a signature pairing. This is the only condiment you need at the table. Based out of East Islip, the onions are available across Long Island and online.
5. Taínos Sofrito & Mojo: Add a little kick to your favorite poultry or fish dish! The Tostone Cups with Sofrito Ceviche & Mojo were an irresistible taste of the Caribbean. The symphonic aromas of the peppers, onions, garlic were an earthy, flavorful trio within the sauce. The cilantro dominated my palate. Available at select Farmer’s markets across Long Island, the product is also produced in Calverton.