Our Iconic LongTable Gathering, Inspired By Local Food and Family, Is Back
There aren’t a lot of places where you can find Cuban ropa vieja, Indian samosas and Irish colcannon all on the same table. Especially a table – a very long one, literally – set under the sunshine on a bucolic New Jersey vineyard.
But for the past 15 years, for one evening each September, Mount Salem Vineyards has hosted just that with our iconic LongTable gathering. Here, 100 of our closest friends – from hardworking farmhands to serious wine buyers – join together at one table to share the dishes that best reflect their own cultures and upbringings. This Sept. 10, we’ll do it again.
However, don’t expect any pretentiousness under that late summer sky. As we do every year, we’ll ask each group of guests to bring a homemade dish – whether a starter, main, side or dessert – that reflects their own heritage and uses at least one locally-grown ingredient. What will result – as it always does – is a few hours of sacred reflection, reminiscing, laughter, sharing, and of course, some really delicious food.
Each year, our LongTable is graced with about 30 dishes from all over the planet. Fifty cultures have been plated on this very table since we began the tradition. And as that list has grown, we’ve been reminded why we started this farm-to-table movement before there was a farm-to-table movement.
Fifteen years ago, we simply wanted to gather our friends at the culmination of the harvest season to celebrate the year’s work which, for a farmer, is realized in just a week or two. At the same time, we wanted to join together family and community – as well as those who came before us. So, as winegrowers honoring the food and wine traditions of our European forebears, we did what they did. We arranged a table laden with foods shared by all who attended for a serious feast.
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As the years have gone on, so has this tradition, as families are less likely to gather nightly with everyone from young children to grandparents to eat, drink and talk. They’re less connected physically with their immediate communities, or “villages,” as they once did in ancient European cultures. But for one night a year, we don’t mind reminding them of what can happen when connection is forged over good food and wine.
Learn more about Mount Salem Vineyards by visiting us at 54 Mt Salem Rd., Pittstown or contacting us at 908-735-9359 0r mountsalemvineyards.com.