The Story of Long Island’s Local Food Renaissance

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We know Long Island has a long agricultural history, on land and at sea. We also know that growing, crafting and cooking your own is enjoying a renaissance on the island. Now a new book by frequent Edible Long Island/Edible East End contributor T. W. Barritt bridges the gap between past and present, showing us that what seems new is actually grounded in our history.

Long Island Food: A History from Family Farms & Oysters to Craft Spirits (American Palate series, History Press, 2015) tells the stories of how L.I. Spirits turned the classic Long Island potato into a modern Long Island vodka, and how North Fork Potato Chips did the same with a better potato chip; how Restoration Farm in Old Bethpage brought the Powell Farm, established in the 1600s, back to life with a new game plan that took it from family farm to multi‐family farm with its community‐supported agriculture model; how the Blue Island Oyster Company is revitalizing the Blue Point oyster and the shellfish industry that used to be one of the bedrocks of the local economy.

Illustrated with historic images from the Suffolk County Historical Society and Zorn’s of Bethpage (poultry), as well as new images by Barritt, his brother, John Barritt, and newcomer Jacob Skoglund, the book takes readers on an island‐wide exploration of craft beer, roadside joints, pickles and more.

”I think of it as a tasting menu of Long Island food,” says Barritt, who, in addition to writing for Edible publications and his food blog Culinary Types, is a “highly trained amateur chef” and public relations expert. “It was an honor to be able to capture so many people’s stories. I learned so many things I didn’t know about how they do what they do, how they bring forward family traditions and how they create products which really define Long Island.”

 

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