Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Friday and Saturday in Plymouth, PA: How much fun can you have at the Plymouth Kielbasa Festival?

Come the end of August, Nancy and I headed back to the Valley with a Heart where Nancy's baby carriage set its brake. She was going for the fun of the 6th Annual Plymouth Alive! Kielbasa Festival--2 days of the most intense exhibition of grease-drenched food in the world. I was going to start the road trip with her father. Fourteen kielbasa vendors were on hand along with the requisite potato pancake stands, to feed the fawning public. Eleven contended for the prize of the King of Kielbasa in both fresh and smoke categories. A docu-drama is in production as I type.

Julian, our nephew, and I did the Tour de Main Street, wait, it's really the Degustacja Kielbasi--the kielbasi tasting. Between us we tasted them all and enjoyed full-fledged sandwiches from more than a few. Nancy, eschewing kielbasi, because she's a "vegetarian," focused on potato pancakes, butter with an ear of corn under it, and a deep-fried Oreo. I'll take the meat, thanks.

Along the way, I interviewed a number of people, like these kids working the Komensky's stand and Chief Collins of the Plymouth PD, and that spurred the idea for a docu-drama. It will be coming to a You Tube near you as soon as I can figure out how to edit it and get it to be less than a gigabyte. In the meantime, here are a couple teasers.

All of the vendors had free samples so you could try the multitude of things that creative and innovative people do with a simple kielbasa. And there's also plenty of horseradish to taste as well. Decisions, decisions. Plain white horseradish, or the beet horseradish. Oh, what the hell, how about a little of both. And a Lipitor (registered trademark goes here) . Then there are the combos, like kielbasi balls cooked in a horseradish cream sauce.

They have a different look on public health back there in the Valley with a Cholesterol Clogged Heart--on the one hand, a vendor selling books about heart health and next to him, a 24/7 fitness place selling chocolate covered bacon. The heart-healthy person sticks with the deep-fried Oreos.

There's judging, of course. Here's the mayor of Plymouth, the Honorable Dorothy Petrosky, judging the fresh entries. It's all a double blind contest, so no chance for local favorites, which may account for why the local favorite, Fetch's Market, hasn't won since the very first festival when they may have been the only entry. I wasn't there so I don't know, but it didn't measure up on my kielbasi meter. They did try to influence the passers-by, in my opinion, by bringing in some "kielbasi candy" as it were.

But, when all was said and done, the Inagural [sic] King didn't score in the top 3.
But these guys did!

Bosak's Choice Meats, first in Fresh, second in Smoke
Plains Meat Market, first in Smoke, second in Fresh
Komensky's Market, third in both categories.

The judging was a difficult and serious undertaking. Here, Nancy's friend from high school, comments on his role as a judge.

These guys from Quinn's Market also finished out of the running, but for my money, they had the best sandwich on Main Street--the fresh patty, grilled, with horseradish cheddar cheese, and some extra horseradish on the side. They'll be back next year!


Karen said...

Can't wait to hear the stories! Maybe in person?

Ronna said...

Deep fried Oreos? I tried a deep fried Mars bar once. Ouch! Great post!

Karen said...

You're getting to be a regular Michael Moore!

Elisabeth said...

I am envious.. that Kielbasa Festival seems like a hoot!
Potato pancakes, you say....
Love you post. Going from Amuse things to Fair food. Priceless!
(I do hope you have plenty of Tums around!)