My experience with The Valley Café over the last year has only made me fall more in love with the Hudson Valley. This region is full of history, hiking, crisp apples and waterfront views that would go unnoticed unless you were able to explore it for four years. I am grateful for my time to do this while at Marist College.
The Valley Café celebrates new cultures and cuisines with the fresh tastes of the local area. The farmers in the Hudson Valley and tri-state region are the cornerstone of this event and are worthy of praise for their dedication to traditional farming, green space and the community. These amazing local farmers teach us that the food we eat is tied to real hands and histories.
Therefore, The Valley Café is also a celebration of the region many of us have called home. It will always hold a place in my heart.
I have enjoyed every bite of The Valley Café and exploring each story of the people and places where our food comes from. I am also incredibly thankful for my experience with Marist Dining Services over the past year. Chef Anthony, Ted Alban and the staff do a tremendous job at making personal health and environmental sustainability a priority in each and every meal. It is their dedication that will continue to connect students and faculty with the meals they eat once I graduate in a couple of weeks.
The Valley Café will return in the fall semester without me, but I will take my love for fresh and local ingredients wherever I go.
Happy dining, locavores!
Apples were in abundance at this week’s Valley Café inspired by the Victorian household knowledge of Mrs. Isabella Mary Beaton. The apple soup, apples and rice, and butter apples were not only delicious, but also fresh from the local area.
Hudson River Fruit Distributors grows its apples less than 10 miles from campus across the Hudson River in Milton, New York and also just east of Poughkeepsie in Pleasant Valley. They are a vertically integrated company, meaning they do everything–grow, package, sell, ship and store the apples in order to ensure their produce is the highest quality possible. The Valley Café only sources from the best.
The business was started in July of 1963 by Isadore “Izzy” Albinder who immigrated from Russia in the 1930s. When he arrived in New York City he bought a pushcart to sell apples in the neighborhoods around Brooklyn. After some time Izzy became frustrated by the low quality of apples, so he traveled north to the Hudson Valley and formed relations with the apple growers. Eventually, Izzy and his son Harold purchased land and a packing house that has since developed into Hudson River Fruit Distributors. Izzy’s grandson, Dan, and Dan’s daughter, Alisha, have since helped run the business which has expanded to over 400 acres of apple farms in New York and southern Vermont.
The hard work and crisp local taste of Hudson River Fruit Distributors were apparent in Tuesday’s Valley Café meal. My friend and I were chatting with one of the workers at the event on Tuesday about how delicious the dessert was and she was very proud about how fresh the apples were, having been peeled and chopped and baked in the kitchen rather than defrosted. It is farmers like Hudson River Fruit Distributors that allow The Valley Café to keep the passion for fresh, healthy ingredients alive. And we are proud to support the local community in return.
See everyone after spring break for more locally sourced lunches at The Valley Café!
(Photos courtesy of Hudson River Fruit Distributors and from the Valley Cafe Luncheon)
Yesterday’s Valley Café sampler of the Hudson Valley fall harvest closed the semester on a great note. The Valley Café has had great attendance the past three months and Dining Services would like to thank the Marist community for its continued support!
I have had a great time working with the Valley Café and its local farms this semester. Have a wonderful winter break and the Valley Café will see everyone again in January!