All American party

The Pittston Tomato Festival features a wide variety of ethnic foods, primarily Italian, but make no mistake about it, this four-day party is an All American festival. That’s what went through my mind Thursday evening when as part of the opening ceremony, a young lady began singing the National Anthem. Save for very few who just went about their business, hundreds of festival-goers and vendors working their booths, snapped to attention, most with hands over their hearts. Many sang along. It was something to behold.
I was dispatched to the festival by my wife with directions to bring home something for dinner. The choices were left up to me, which is dangerous because I tend to buy everything I see. In Thursday’s case it was a bowl of tripe from Marianacci’s (Mary Kay’s favorite), a bowl of ravioli from Gramma Aita’s, a cheesy wimpie from Tony’s Pizza (alas, Victor Guiliano was not offering his Hot Sloppy Tonys this year), and two Italian pork sandwiches with provolone and broccoli rabe and an order of eggplant rollatini from Valenti’s.
But wait. There’s more.
Johnny Argento and the family, who traditionally sell the best sausage and peppers you’ve ever tasted, have added a pepper and egg sandwich this year. I could not resist. So, I scarfed one down right there, knowing Mary Kay wouldn’t mind.
And since my stop for the tripe was right next to Patti’s Pies, I allowed myself some blueberry lasagna.
While enjoying my blueberries, vanilla pudding and whipped cream, out of the corner of my eye I noticed something new: garlic knot sliders. I’ll be back for those before the festival ends.
And while eating my pepper and egg, I noticed these cake pops decorated like tomatoes at the Royal Bake Shop booth. I was already juggling all the aforementioned food and ready to walk back to my car, but I just had to pick-up a half-dozen cake pops for two young ladies from the community college selling their arts and crafts at the LCCC Art Club booth in the new art area behind the Pittston Library. I’ll be back another night to purchase some of their wares. And undoubtedly another pepper and egg sandwich.

Ed Ackerman