Epicureans everywhere agree that winter’s most glorious aspects are of the culinary persuasion. In the depths of the seemingly endless cold, festive foods can do wonders to boost your mood. Now is the perfect time to indulge your appetite at one of the following mouth-watering food events—from a historical feast at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park to a chocolate and ice festival in Salem—that are all easy to reach without a car.

What: Pies on Parade
Where: Rockland, Maine
When: January 24-26, from 1-4 pm
Why: Pies on Parade is an all-American celebration of flaky crust with luscious filling. Several dozen local businesses serve heaping portions of homemade pie, with 100% of the proceeds going to a local food bank. Pie is liberally interpreted to include everything from whoopie pie to lobster pie to pizza pie, so there’s a taste to satisfy all. Your $30 ticket buys you a recyclable fork and all the pie you can handle. If your craving is still not satiated, book a room at the Berry Manor Inn. Overnight guests are privy to a pantry stocked with delectable pies made by the innkeepers’ mothers. For more ideas on things to do in the area, read oM’s story on Rockland.

What: Lamb Nose-to-Tail 
Where: The American Bounty Restaurant at the CIA, Hyde Park, NY
When: March 4 at 6 pm
Why: The Nose-to-Tail dinner celebrates good food and sustainability by serving you three different dishes made from different cuts of the same animal. Paired with their own organic New York State wines, this unique meal is the perfect way to honor where your food comes from while honoring our home state delicacies at The Culinary Institute of America. A seat at the table can be yours for just $95; all food, drink and entertainment is included.

What: Chocolate Expo at the Cradle of Aviation Museum
Where: Cradle of Aviation Museum, Garden City, NY
When: March 1, 10-7 pm
Why: Shop for gourmet sweets among the planes, spaceships and hot air balloons at this sky-shattering museum. Forty of the regions best chocolatiers set up shop with candy displays sprinkled around the animal exhibits. They’ll be offering tastes as well as selling their finest products just in time for Valentine’s Day. A bevy of celebrity chefs will be concocting chocolate-infused delights. Cozy up to chocolate-covered bacon, chocolate-drenched waffles and chocolate-scented bath soap while enjoying the aquatic wonders. It’s an easy day trip with Metro-North and an Uber that’s perfect for families. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for kids.

What: Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate and Ice Festival
Where: Salem, MA
When: February 7-9
Why: Salem is a historic coastal town with a dynamic food scene. The February festival is a weekend-long cold weather celebration anchored by the Chocolate and Wine Tasting on February 5. You’ll sample wine, sweets and other tasty tidbits from Salem’s premier purveyors. The village will be aglow with giant ice sculptures that add whimsical flair to the pedestrian-friendly streets. If you want to dive deeper into this town’s culinary happenings, book a guided walking tour with Salem Food Tours. Owner Karen Scalia will show you the village’s every yummy nook and cranny. For more ideas on things to do in the area, read oM’s story on Salem.

What: Wilbur’s of Maine Hands-On Chocolate Factory Tour
Where: Freeport, Maine
When: March 7 from 10-2 pm
Why: Wilbur’s is a family owned business that specializes in high quality chocolates and confections. They’ve won numerous awards for their efforts to incorporate sustainable practices into the candy-making process. From old-fashioned favorites like fudge to newfangled flavors such as a seductively spicy Mexican meltaway, it’s a fantasy for anyone with a sweet tooth. Visitors may tour the factory and lend a hand making sweets, sampling the goodies along the way.  The tour costs $4.50 and kids are most welcome. For more ideas on things to do in the area, read oM’s story on Freeport.

What: Saratoga Chowderfest
Where: Saratoga, NY
When: February 1, 11-4 pm
Why: Scores of dining establishments open their doors to the public, serving up steaming mugs of hearty chowder for only a buck. Live music, face painting and a variety of soul-satisfying soups assure tasty fun. Special doggy chowders will be served, so bring the four-legged members of your clan. For more ideas on things to do in the area, read oM’s story on Saratoga Springs.

Photo: CIA

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