I’m not gonna lie, one reason I was so excited to participate in the Farm To Fork Fondo in Lancaster, Pennsylvania was the promise of locally-grown food at the rest stops and the post-ride barbecue. During the ride, knowing that there would be freshly made ice cream at the last rest stop helped keep me going through the toughest climbs of my life. Now that the ride is over, I’m sharing my Farm To Fork Fondo food review!
Wrenegade Sports sponsored my participation in the Farm To Fork Fondo.
Farm To Fork Fondo Food Review
1. Colavita Gourmet Farm Dinner at The Country Barn Loft. Colavita (of olive oil fame) was a sponsor of the event, and hosted a gourmet farm dinner at the Country Barn Loft, which was the staging site of the Lancaster, PA Farm To Fork Fondo.
The dinner was held in the lovely Country Barn Loft, a restored 150 year-old barn with some original brick walls and beams–and new insulated floors so any line dancing in the loft won’t disturb others in the room below!
Such a beautiful setting!
Appetizers included “farm crudites,” skewers of watermelon/mint/brie, and ceviche. Dinner started with salad, then we helped ourselves to a buffet with chicken, beef and vegetarian options (as you can see I tried them all!), and dessert of homemade berry pie topped with just-made ice cream!
In addition to water and soft drinks, we could enjoy a special strawberry-infused gin drink from Thistle Finch (a local distillery) and white wine from Colavita.
The food was fantastic, and the dinner was a great opportunity to meet fellow cyclists, learn more about the history of the Country Farm, and hear from Tyler Wren (the organizer of the Farm To Fork Fondo) about his mission to encourage the cycling community to support local farming communities.
2. Country Farm Breakfast at the Manor View Inn. As part of our First Class package, we stayed at the Manor View Inn, which is a bed and breakfast across the road from the Country Barn (and part of the same family business). While breakfast usually is served at 8:30, the owners graciously agreed to have it ready by 7:00 am.
It was a feast–eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage, blueberry pancakes, toast, and fruit. After our gourmet dinner Friday night I wasn’t very hungry, but the food was so delicious it was easy to fuel up for the ride. 😉
3. Fresh Picked Peaches at Cherry Hill Orchards. The first rest stop was only 8 miles into the ride, but I already knew staying hydrated in the humid weather was going to be important. At the Cherry Hill Orchards rest stop, I enjoyed a cup of cider and my first of several fresh-picked peaches–they really hit the spot!
Other options for fueling at every stop included a variety of Cliff bars, Turkey Hill Farms iced tea and lemonade, Gu hydration drink, and water.
4. Whoopie Pies at Riehl’s Family Farm and Lil’ Country Store & Miniature Horse Farm. The next rest stop (at about mile 28) was at Riehl’s Family Farm, the first stop with Whoopie Pies. Even the pro women from the Colavita-Bianchi cycling team were enjoying the classic Lancaster treats! I also enjoyed a few handfuls of potato chips–to help replace the salt I was sweating out–and another peach.
The next rest stop, Lil’ Country Store & Miniature Horse Farm, also offered Whoopie Pies and salty snacks. This time it was pretzels seasoned with a sour cream & onion spice mix, which I found surprisingly delicious. I washed them down with some lemonade–so refreshing!
5. Homemade Ice Cream at Pine View Dairy. The last rest stop of the Medio route (at about mile 52) was Pine View Dairy, where homemade ice cream helped make up for some of the hills we just climbed. I started with a scoop of vanilla and a side of fresh-picked blackberries.
When I heard people raving about the espresso Oreo flavor, I got a small scoop of that–for the energy boost. 🙂 Still on a mission to stay hydrated, I also ate a fresh-picked nectarine.
Bonus: Country Barn Barbecue. The post-ride party included a buffet-style barbecue back at the Country Barn. I opted for “Farmer Jim’s Almost-Famous Chicken” which was very tasty, locally-grown potatoes, corn, and watermelon. There also were vegetarian options, including pasta salad made with Colavita pasta, and beer from Lancaster Brewing Company.
As you can see, staying well-fueled was the easy part of this ride. The fruit and salty snacks were important for keeping me going, but the Whoopie Pies and ice cream gave us even more to look forward to as we were waved into a rest stop. 🙂
Have you participated in an athletic event that involved eating along the way?
Have you ever been line dancing?