Yes, Long Island, There is a Santa Claus

Santa Claus visits the Huntington Farmers Market.

Santa Claus visited the Huntington Farmers Market, leaving me with visions of pulled pork ravioli dancing in my head.

Three days before Christmas, the winter farmers market at the Jack Abrams School in Huntington Station was really bustling. Folks were grabbing bunches of fresh kale and aromatic rosemary, breads and scones still warm from the ovens, pungent cheeses and smoked sausages, local honey and jams ripe with summer flavor. In the midst of this weekly indoor market I spied the jolly old elf himself, Santa Claus. Clearly fortifying himself for his big night, Santa was loading his sack with bread, barbecue sauce, carrots (for his reindeer) and cheese. He had just spent the past two hours posing for the traditional Santa photos with everyone at the market.

Thankfully, Santa gave me a few moments to chat outside before he hopped into his sleigh (a pickup truck with New York plates reading SANTASLA). Just like in “Miracle on 34th Street”, this Santa is the real-deal, genuine article Santa Claus. Yes, he had twinkling eyes, merry dimples, rosy cheeks, a cherry nose and a beard as white as snow. And, you know what else? He has a New York State driver’s license with the name Santa Claus on it. His credit cards say Santa, too. He is Santa Claus, body and soul, 365 days a year.

Santa Claus and ELI editor Betsy Davidson at the Huntington Farmers Market.

In his off-season, Santa has created a bit of a name for himself in the competitive barbecue world. When faced with pounds of leftover pulled pork, the ever-resourceful Santa created pulled pork-stuffed deep-fried ravioli … and it was a hit. So much so that he has started a business called Santa’s BBQ and is now looking to retail his one-of-a-kind ravioli and put the whole barbecue operation on wheels with a catering trailer (sleigh).

Now that Santa has Edible Long Island on his nice list, look for us to get together with him again, once barbecue season begins in the fall.