Taste New York Introduces Fairgoers to Local Products and Produce

Sep 2, 2013

The New York State Fair is serving up moonshine and other local goods this year—thanks to the “Taste New York” exhibit…creating an inaugural tasting trail.

Taste New York offered tastings of unique products made and grown in the state
Credit Maria Catanzarite/WAER News

“We’ve been around making the corn whiskey and we make bourbon.  We were actually the first distillery to be licensed in New York City since prohibition,” says Nicole Austin of the King’s County Distillery in Brooklyn.

The Fair selected her business to be under Taste New York’s main tent on Sunday. Austin says the event is great exposure for the state’s distillery industry.

“A lot of people think moonshine is illegal, but the moonshine when we say it, we just mean moonshine in the historic sense.  So it’s a corn whiskey the way corn farmers used to make it and that’s totally legal now.” 

State Fair Spokesperson Dave Bullard says Taste New York matches the main reason why people attend the State Fair. And that’s the food.

“But they’re not just coming for deep fried food, they’re coming for new experience.  And the thing about Taste New York is it’s a new experience.  These are nine products in there that I guarantee most people have not sampled before.  This is an opportunity to taste them and to see what those might be like in your house and in your pantry.”

Utica Coffee and Jones Farm two of the possible 'tastes' in the Taste of New York tent.
Credit Maria Catanzarite/WAER News

Heather Delia of Utica Coffee Roasting says Taste New York is stimulating sales for the Mohawk Valley company.

But Taste New York also gives young people a chance to showcase their marketing skills.


Rochester Recreation Department’s Michele Aman works with city high schoolers who are staffing the farmer’s market tent. 

"It’s a lot of different people who come to the fair so they’re learning a lot about how to interact with the customers and what draws in the customers."

Rochester-area high School students marketed local produce at the Taste New York tent at the State Fair
Credit Maria Catanzarite/WAER News

Aman says the produce tent has been a one-stop shop for people who missed the farmer’s market to come to the State Fair.

Taste New York continues through today…which is the final day of the State Fair.