Lifestyle: Travel & Dining

A Feast, Not Just for the Eyes

By Hannah Selinger - November 3, 2020

If you’re searching for the best items to add to your Thanksgiving table this year, the truth is, you don’t have to look very far. The North Fork offers some of the best food and wine finds of any American region, and with handcrafted goodies right at your fingertips, you’d be remiss not to take advantage of what’s right here. Here are some of our under-the-radar picks for a better, brighter Thanksgiving of 2020. 

About Food’s French Tarragon Mustard

If this feels like a strange Thanksgiving pick, hear us out. This specialty food store in Southold is known for far more than its excellent series of mustards (in addition to the French tarragon, they offer brown beer honey, sober mustard, Dijon, and fennel). But the French tarragon is a savory mustard that pairs extremely well with a cheese board, which you can start your Thanksgiving feast off with. And, if you don’t polish off the whole jar in one sitting, it makes an excellent day-after condiment, too, when you’re composing those colossal gobbler sandwiches. 

Charissa Spice Rub

Several years ago, Earl Futz and his wife, Gloria Elmaleh, who was born in Morocco, began bottling and selling a spice mix native to Elmaleh’s native country from their Cutchogue base. When Gloria Elmaleh died, her husband took over the business himself. Charissa is available in both rubs and sauces (and in both spicy and mild iterations). For the purposes of your bird, a rub is best. This year, invoke the flavors of Morocco with this Cutchogue classic. Rubs are available in local stores, and also online: www.charissaspice.com/shop/

McCall Wines’ Ben’s Blend Magnum 2010

They call it an occasion wine for a reason. This mature blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot is essentially the North Fork’s version of Bordeaux. Red and black fruit marry with oak in a refined, complex wine that is suitable for this holiday of all holidays. If you’re feeding a crowd (or even just a few discerning drinkers), this magnum — which is essentially just two regular-sized bottles — is definitely a local way to begin the holiday season. 

The Concord Grape Pie at 1760 Homestead Farm

The Concord grape pie, which comes with a crumb topping, is possibly the most famous thing about this Riverhead farm, which was built in 1760 and still boasts original barns and outbuildings. Sure, there are free-range eggs, raw honey, vegetables, and plenty of other offerings, including plants for sale, in season. But the real draw is the seasonal pie, which always seems to command a crowd. If your hope is to show up and collect your prize, well, hope again (call in your order to guarantee that it will exist when you show up). This is a North Fork tradition you — and your holiday table — will not want to miss out on. The farm typically requires that orders for Thanksgiving be placed several days in advance. Call to inquire: (631) 831-1653.

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