There’s a simple but powerful statement that Southold poultry farmer Abra Morawiec of Feisty Acres makes in our this month’s third annual Food Issue of Northforker magazine. Looking back on her motivation to become a farmer, she writes, “I love food, and I want to feed people.”
Loving food shouldn’t be controversial, but in truth many Americans have some weird ideas about eating. People kick themselves for what they consume or how much, and they judge others for the same. They alternately overindulge and restrict. They reward themselves (for a job well done, for a day that went poorly) as if food were a special treat to be earned and not the necessary fuel of life.
In a nation of anxious eaters, the North Fork gets it right. People here flat-out love food. Maybe it’s because we’re able to meet people like Abra that plant our produce, raise poultry from chicks, harvest our shellfish, responsibly fish our waters and supply all of this bounty to local markets and restaurants. Because these are our neighbors, we can approach every meal as we would a dinner party hosted by friends — relaxed, in good hands, grateful for the generosity and happy someone else did the hard part.
This issue is full of the food we’re loving this year. It’s a diverse mix from Spanish-style tapas night from Luchi Masliah at Goodfood in Mattituck to a sustainable nose-to-fin seafood menu from Axel Irizarry and Will Horowitz at Anker in Greenport. And of course, we’ve combed the North Fork for homey favorites like cider apple donuts, farm stand pies and our perfect NoFo sandwich (every ingredient is local down to the fresh eggs in the homemade mayo).
Most of all, we wanted our Food Issue to highlight some of the people behind our favorite meals. Their love of food and desire to feed people makes eating on the North Fork a decidedly pleasurable experience, freeing us up to be weird in much more interesting ways.