Even though a bottle of wine is always appreciated, the next time you spend a weekend with friends or are invited to a dinner party on the North Fork, think about bringing a basket or bag of local treats that your host or hostess can keep all to themselves. Below, find a handful delicious options, but be warned: You may find yourself buying extra for your pantry at home.
Wooden basket: Everybody needs at least one of the sturdy gathering baskets that line the rafters at the inviting farm stand called the Wells Homestead, 460 Main Rd., Aquebogue ($6.50).
Local offerings abound at farm stands like that of 1760 Homestead Farm, 5412 Sound Ave., Northville (from $7.50). While you’re there, pick up a bouquet of snapdragons or other flowers, kept ultrafresh in a cooler.
North Fork Sea Salt
Goat and sheep’s-milk cheeses
It’s tough to choose, but you can’t go wrong at Catapano Dairy Farm, 33705 County Rd. 48, Peconic ($12 each; 3 for $30).
Hot pepper jelly
That from Sang Lee (see above) has just the right amount of clean-tasting heat and is especially delicious paired with goat cheese from nearby Catapano (see above; $8.99).
The hot pepper relish (fabulous on hotdogs and burgers) from Country View Farm Stand (see above) is an instant classic ($7). Apple-raisin chutney, one of a mouthwatering trio made by the Fork & Anchor General Store & Deli, 8955 Main Rd., East Marion, takes a ham or turkey sandwich over the top ($11).
Single-origin organic coffees
Aldo’s Coffee Co., 103–105 Front St., Greenport (from $16). Aldo’s freshly roasted beans have been perfuming this fishing village since 1987. And yep, picking up some biscotti or scones as well is a good call.
Stand-outs include Concord grape jam from 1760 Homestead Farm (see above; $12) and the six different jams from six different berries (including black, golden, and red raspberries) from Oysterponds Farm, 24850 Main Rd., Orient ($10).
This story was originally published in the July 2017 edition of northforker magazine