Over the course of time I have visited quite a few wonderful places. From the south to the north, east and west there are beautiful towns that capture a spirit that lives in all of us. These towns have one thing in common; they are unique and carry a theme that transcends the prototypical architecture and layout that is planned and pedestrian. Usually there are added features such as an ocean, lakes, rivers, mountains that add a tranquility otherwise not captured by main street USA.
Below is a short list of the most beautiful towns I’ve been blessed to visit in North America:
- Key West, Florida
- Old Colorado City, Colorado
- Ashland, Oregon
- Alexandria Bay, NY
- Skaneateles, NY
- Cazenovia, NY
- Tiburon, CA
The closest I’ve felt to not being in this country while still being in it was Key West Florida. If you drive from Miami down the Florida Keys you will experience an unparalleled overseas highway that will take you approximately 4 hours to your destination. Along the way the vistas on either side of the highway sometimes make you think you are floating on water.
Once you arrive in Key West, an island in the Florida archipelago, you see the famous pastel-hued conch-style homes which became home for one of America’s most famous writers, Earnest Hemingway. At night the streets come alive with dancing to reggae music and other island genres. The whole town is a playground for artists, musicians, and of course writers. In addition to all that there is the fact that the seafood experience is ridiculous. Prawns, Yellow Tail Snapper, Mahi-mahi, and my favorite Grouper, are so fresh and delicious they levitate your senses to another level.
I could write a vignette on each of the towns above but the one I’m going to tell you about is not on the list above and is not in the US but in the south east of Canada. The town I speak of is Niagara-on-the Lake.
The town is a post card with cobble stone streets, 18th century clock towers, horse drawn carriages, world class restaurants, and world famous wineries. As you head east from Niagara Falls about 40 minutes you’ll see Niagara-on-the-Lake located in the Ontario Province of southern Canada. It’s located on a peninsula where the Niagara River meets Lake Ontario across the river from New York.
Just the location is spectacular enough but when you’re there you feel like you’re inside a Thomas Kinkade painting living in such beauty that can only be a fictional representation of reality.
From the Prince of Wales Hotel with its Noble Restaurant to the Peller Estates Winery and restaurant, not only is the food world class but so is the wine. Niagara-on-the-Lake is famous for ice wines.
Ice wine is made by picking grapes (usually Riesling) in the middle of a cold January night after the sugar content reaches 25 brix and immediately pressing them. Each grape then offers just a few drops of “liquid gold”. Try Inniskillin for an introduction into the sublime for an amazing ice wine experience.
As the town above reflects the PAZAZ ™ of a sensory gift so do the products that we have so carefully selected for your recipe creations. PAZAZ ™ to the town is the PAZAZ ™ to the kitchen unfolding the miracles unveiled to reveal the perfect experience.
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