Tankard in one hand, turkey legge in the other, a pirate swashbuckled his way through the Shire.
“For me it’s all about the turkey legges,” said Dave Rubin of Bensalem, wearing black pants, a white shirt, red sash and tricorn hat. “The best place for turkey legges is the Faire” - the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire at Mount Hope Estate & Winery in Manheim.
“Everyone equates Renaissance with turkey legges,” agreed Candace Smith, sales and communications director.
But thanks to a new executive chef and more than 20 "Royal Kitchens," visitors can savor everything from artisanal flatbread pizzas to pork pita pockets.
“We take pride in our food,” she added. “As kind of a foodie myself, it’s interesting that we’ve gone the international route. We’re trying to have something for everyone.”
Think shrimp, soup, smoothies … meatballs, lobster rolls, egg rolls … potato pancakes, pho and al pastor.
“I like that they have the diverse stations,” said Lorie Daley of Gilbertsville while shepherding two costumed children.
Along their way: The Prancing Schwein serving currywurst and Braten Und Bierhalle offering rotisserie meats and colcannon, a classic potato dish.
“I told the chef I could just eat a bowl of that,” Smith admitted. “I don’t need anything else.”
Another Faire favorite: Scotch eggs - hard-boiled eggs wrapped in sausage, breaded and fried.
“We have the traditional Scotch egg, and we also started doing a jerk chicken Scotch egg and a chorizo Scotch egg,” she said. “They’re handmade going into the weekend and through the weekend.”
As for Rubin’s recommendation?
“I love the turkey legges. Let me say it one more time. I love the turkey legges!”
Eat, drink and be merry!
This weekend, travel back in time at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire’s Autumn Harvest, “commemorating vine-to-bottle and tree-to-glass with the fall libations we love” like spiced apple wine.
“You can serve it either chilled or warm,” Candace Smith said. “I personally like it warm because it brings out the flavors of a warm apple pie.”
In addition to Mount Hope Wines, sample Swashbuckler Brewing Company’s ales and lagers or sip some Lancaster County Cider, the hard kind in seasonal styles like pumpkin and salted caramel.
“There’s also a distillery on-site,” making rum, whiskey, vodka, gin, peppermint schnapps, apple and pear liqueurs.
Experience the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 27. www.parenfaire.com
The Prancing Schwein in the Faire’s German area serves this curry sauce on its currywurst.
4 ounces minced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Olive oil to sauté
1/8 cup curry powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups water
1.4 cups cider vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
4 cups ketchup
Tomato paste to thicken
Sauté onion and garlic together with olive oil until onion is translucent. Add curry powder, paprika, pepper, cayenne, nutmeg and cinnamon, sautéing gently to release flavors of spices (add a little more oil if desired as it could get a little dry). Add water, cider vinegar, honey, mustard, Worcestershire and ketchup, simmering on medium heat until sauce begins to reduce and thicken. Thicken with tomato paste to desired thickness. Sauce will thicken a bit when cooled down. Sauce will last a few weeks if refrigerated and kept in an airtight container. Yield: approximately 2 to 2 1/2 quarts.
RECIPE COURTESY OF PENNSYLVANIA RENAISSANCE FAIRE