Tuesday, October 27, 2009

#17 Apple Butter Festival, Kimmswick, MO, October 24, 2009

#17 - Apple Butter Festival - Kimmswick, MO - October 24, 2009

They call it Apple Butter, but it really is not butter whatsoever. There is no churning, no shaking, no bacterial changes, and no delicious fat globules bonding together. Instead Apple Butter is simply applesauce mixed with a couple of aromatics and cooked down by a man in a silly hat. Then it is bottled and sold to suckers like me. It is pretty damn tasty though.

I was getting hungry watching that man stir the sauce, and I came across what was described as a Deep Fried Cajun Turkey Sandwich. I pictured some crispy skin and spicy seasonings, or maybe even a giant fried turkey leg on a bun. Instead I got this. The turkey was in fact tender, but since it was held in a makeshift crock pot all of the juices came with the meat turning the bottom bun into a sponge. It was bland and could have used that magical something, but it did get my juices flowing in anticipation of Thanksgiving. I like to eat.

I have avoided these treats at the festivals thus far, but I could not elude their siren song when I saw them offered as one combo plate. Meet a combo plate of a fried twinkie, fried oreos, and fried pickles. I can't explain it, but somehow these items were in perfect balance of sweet, salty, and damn good. The twinkie tasted like a warm piece of cake with a sweet custard filling, and the oreos were like fudge brownies. The pickles were actually good when I copied the locals by dipping them in Ranch. I wonder how long before Ranch overtakes ketchup and salsa as America's favorite condiment.

What kind of festival would it be without meat on a stick? The Sweet Meat stand promised the best 12 inches in the Midwest. After deciding I was secure enough in myself, I tried the meat. It was amazingly tender and had a sweet smoky finish. The meat came off the stick with ease as I explored the mazes of Kimmswick.

This was odd, so I took a picture. I'm not going to pretend I understand the appeal of taking your picture with a chimp, but if you were in Kimmswick you could have. Apparently Kenzy has been on E.R., Hogan Knows Best, Speed Racer the Movie and the local news. He even has a myspace page. I'm not sure why I am giving this chuckle head the promotional power of this site, but it was definitely different than your normal festival vendor. I'm sure PETA is not happy about Kenzy.

Video of the Week: I don't know what his name was or even if he was an official part of the entertainment. He may have just been sitting outside with his accordion and decided to play a few diddies on such a nice day. For some reason that is exactly what I expect whenever I go to a small town. Regardless, it was a nice change of pace and a reminder of olden times.

This festival was surprisingly the largest one I had been to thus far. I mean they shut down the entire city, and filled every inch they could with vendor booths. Granted the town only has 150 permanent residents and you could literally walk from one end to the other, but the promoters say 100,000 people descend onto the streets of Kimmswick, and I just may believe them. In fact the sheer maze of booths made the festival surprisingly hard to navigate, and I am sure I did not make it to every booth during my visit. What apple buttery goodness did I potentially miss?

As I mentioned earlier, Apple Butter is not so much butter as it is reduced applesauce. I thought apple butter was either butter made from apples or butter that was infused with apple. Wrong on both counts. In fact if you want to make your own apple butter at home from fresh apples, or even store bought applesauce, then here is a recipe in a slow cooker. If you want a creepy guy showing you how to make actual butter at home in under 7 minutes by shaking a jar, then
click here. After watching the two videos, you will wonder why you thought butter could be made from apples in the first place. Or I am just an idiot.

With all the booths that sold Apple Butter at the festival, I was surprised I couldn't find a hot biscuit booth. In fact this would be a perfect opportunity for next year as a vendor. So what else can you use Apple Butter for? This site had some suggestions from cottage cheese to a salmon glaze. They all sound good, but they can't beat apple butter on a biscuit. Alas there were no biscuits to slather my apple butter on, so I had to wait until I got home. For all the whining I did about apple butter not being butter, the apple butter was excellent. It is smooth, rich, sweet and simply tastes like a warm autumn day on the porch. Maybe that is what the gentleman with the accordion already knew.

1 comment:

  1. Good read! Did you get a pic with the chimp or a pic of the chimp?