Hudson Valley foods & drink have prominent place inauguration lunch
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President Barack Obama's inauguration luncheon will be a bit sweeter with the inclusion of ingredients grown and made in the Hudson Valley.
Crown Maple Syrup, an artisanal brand made in Dover Plains, and Gala and Ida Red apples grown at Golden Harvest Orchards in Valatie in Columbia County have been selected by head chef Shannon Shaffer, himself a product of the Hudson Valley as a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park.
"Serving Crown Maple Syrup and Golden Harvest apples at the inaugural luncheon shines a spotlight on two of New York's biggest -- and sweetest -- agricultural industries," Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Luncheon, said at a news conference Wednesday at the institute.
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Shaffer, who was on hand at his alma mater Wednesday, created the menu to reflect Schumer's choice of inaugural themes, "Faith In America's Future," by featuring traditional foods with a touch of modernity.
Shaffer, who was also executive chef at Obama's first lunch, will include Crown Maple Syrup in two courses at the luncheon, which will take place Jan. 21 in the Capitol for 200 members of Washington's delegation, including the president, vice president and congressional leaders.
The organic syrup, made from sugar and red maples at the 800-acre Madava Farms in Dutchess County, comes in three styles: light, medium and dark amber, with a corresponding flavor range of mild, earthy and sweet.
The syrup will be used in a butternut puree served with the second course of bison with red potato horseradish cake and wild huckleberry reduction.
It also will figure in the dessert of Hudson Valley apple pie with sour cream ice cream, aged Cheddar cheese and honey. The apples in the pie will be from the 200-acre Golden Harvest apple farm in Columbia County.
"It is an honor to represent the many world-class products available from New York State," Robb Turner, owner of the sugar mapling business, said at the news conference.
Two of the wines to be served with the first and second courses come from longtime wine-growing regions in New York.
Anthony Road Winery, Fox Run Vineyards and Red Newt Cellars collaborated to produce Tierce 2010 Finger Lakes Dry Reisling, which will be served with the first course.