Long Island’s late-summer festivals bring a melting pot of delicious aromas emanating from rows upon rows of specialty food vendors. Go around the world on a plastic plate by choosing the item that most represents the culture and traditions being celebrated.
Here are must-try treats from five upcoming Long Island ethnic festivals — from hearty meat dishes to sticky sweets
WHEN | WHERE 5-10 p.m. Aug. 24, 5-11 p.m. Aug. 25, 1-11 p.m. Aug. 26 and 1-10 p.m. Aug. 27 at Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption, Port Jefferson
The parish’s annual summer fest brings Greek dancing, fireworks and a revered big-ticket raffle in which the top five prizes are luxury vehicles or cash payouts.
MUST-EAT ITEM Galaktoboureko
Greekfest 2017, Port Jefferson
Greek desserts are just as deliciously varied as Greek entrees. After sating your hunger with spinach pie or souvlaki, satisfy your sweet tooth with a crispy, creamy and sticky-sweet galaktoboureko. Custard-filled phyllo dough is baked in a pan, drizzled with honey — lots of honey — and cut into squares. Wash it down with a Nescafé Frappé (whipped Greek coffee).
INFO $2 admission (free younger than 12); 631-473-0894, portjeffgreekfest.com
Scottish Festival and Highland Games, Old Westbury
The Scottish national dish, immortalized in poet Robert Burns’ “Address to a Haggis,” was originally made with leftover sheep parts “by the poor people of Scotland,” says festival chairman Andrew McInnes of Mineola. The version popular at the games is made by a traditional Scottish bakery in New Jersey, with sheep’s liver, oats, onions and spices, all wrapped in a sausage casing. Unsurprisingly, adds McInnes, haggis “has a liver taste.”
INFO $20 admission ($8 ages 7-17); 516-747-7589, liscots.org
WHEN | WHERE 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 26 at Old Westbury Gardens, Old Westbury
Many come to the annual festival for the sport of watching games of strength and skill such as tossing the caber or putting the stone. Scottish food and product vendors round out the day.
MUST-EAT ITEM Haggis
71st Labor Day Weekend Powwow, Southampton
Fry bread, a traditional American Indian staple, is made from secret recipes by members of the Shinnecock Nation, says Josephine Smith, the tribal cultural resources director and a powwow committee member. The fry bread becomes the shell for tacos with an assortment of toppings — including cheese, chili, veggies, venison, buffalo or beef. “I prepare mine with vegetarian or meat chili and top it with lettuce, tomato and cheese,” Smith says. Also try: Shinnecock chowder made with clams from Shinnecock Bay.
INFO $15 admission ($10 ages 6-12); 631-283-6143, shinnecockindianpowwow.com
WHEN | WHERE Sept. 1-4 with grand entry ceremonies 7 p.m. Friday-Sunday and 12:30 p.m. Saturday-Monday at the Shinnecock Reservation, Southampton
Drumming and dancing competitions of tribes near and far illuminate American Indian culture in what’s been a long-held Labor Day weekend tradition.
MUST-EAT ITEM Fry bread Indian tacos
Sumaq Peruvian Food Festival, Garden City
The protein-rich entree is an assortment of chopped raw fish marinated in lime with sliced onions and choclo, the large-kernel Andean corn. Festival representative Silvana Diaz says other popular authentic dishes cooked up for the fest include charcoal-roasted pork and quinoa tamales.
INFO $15 admission ($7 ages 2-12); 516-572-4111, cradleofaviation.org
WHEN | WHERE 11 a.m.-9 p.m. August 26-27 at Cradle of Aviation Museum, Garden City
More than 20 food vendors, including chefs from Lima, Peru, as well as New York City and New Jersey, will whip up specialties from the South American nation.
MUST-EAT ITEM Ceviche
Polish Town Fair, Riverhead
The traditional sausage-powered sandwich is one of the fair’s most popular items, served on a lofty bun. Also crowd-pleasers: pierogies, potato and cheese dumplings smothered in sautéed Bermuda onions and topped with sour cream or apple sauce.
INFO Free admission for street fair ($8-$13 polka fest); polishtowncivicassociation.org
WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, and Sunday, Aug. 20, Lincoln and Osborn avenues, Riverhead
Riverhead celebrates its Polish heritage — surely you’ve noted the stucco and wood facades and folk-art-painted shutters that mark buildings along and around Pulaski Street — at the the Polish Town Civic Association’s annual fair and polka festival.
MUST-EAT ITEMS Kielbasa and pierogies