Turkey leg time! 11 foods, drinks (some new) you have to try at the Ohio Renaissance Festival
By Amelia Robinson
There'll be jousters, fire jugglers, blacksmiths and hundreds of other eye-catching sights at the Ohio Renaissance Festival, but you'll be no lord nor lady if you miss out on the grub that once gobbled.
Ren Fest spokeswoman Cheryl Bucholtz said giant "turkey leggs" (and that's not a typo) are among the most glowing symbols of the festival held on a 30-acres, re-created 16th century village just down the road at 10542 East Ohio 73 in Harveyburg.
"It is not a menu item you find in most places, a two-pound hunk of meat," she said.
Turkey legs are far from the only fare sold at the festival, now heading into its 27th year and second year under new ownership.
Everything from fish and chips to hot apple dumplings to haggis to bangers and mash can be found at the festival staged from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. eight Saturdays and Sundays Sept. 3 through Oct. 23, as well as on Labor Day.
Admission is $21.95 for adults and $9.95 for children ages 5 to -12. Children under 5 years old get in free. Visit renfestival.com for discounted tickets.
Now, sink your 21st century teeth into these 16th-century inspired foods.
Bready Set Bowl
They kept things simple in the 16th century so it should be no surprise that a place called the Bread Bowl would sell bread bowls. You'll find salad, a host of soup and stews for $9. Soups include chili, Peasant's Potato Soup, Westminster Stew, Minstrel's Mac & Cheese and a spinach artichoke dip bowl.
Bucholtz says the Bread Bowl is a popular spot when fall temperatures arrive.
A Whole Lot of Turkey Legs
Did we mention the turkey leggs? We assume the extra "g" is because they are extra good. Bucholtz said 35,000 turkey leggs are sold each year.
The festival dipped its feet into Italy last year with a themed restaurant named for the Italian Renaissance artist, inventor, scientist Leonardo da Vinci.
This year, Ren Fest is adding Garden of Eatin, Marco Polo's Bistro and Jerusalem Cafe.
Burgers and such will be found in the Garden of Eats. Go to Jerusalem Cafe for Middle Eastern foods like baklava and shawarma. Marco Polo's will have food inspired by the explorer's travels in the Silk Road.
Big o' Leggs
Not to harp on the turkey leg thing. But remember how Bucholtz described them as "two-pound hunks of meat."
That's a lot of meat.
"I bet there are many people who wonder what does the rest of the turkey like," she told me.
We couldn't find a picture, but Just as the name implies, it is a piece of steak on a stake.
"It is a fair amount of meat," Bucholtz said. "We are very protein-friendly."
If you are not sold on the turkey leggs yet, they are roasted and portable.
Wall o' Cider
You're going to need to wash all that meat down with something. That thing might as well be spirited.
In 2015, the festival is introduced a Wall o' Cider with eight varieties of Woodchuck Hard Cider on draft at Aleing Knight Pub, where items like the aforementioned haggis and bangers and mash are served with other pub grub.
The Ren Fest will serve domestic beers like Bud Light for $5 for a 16-ounce pint and everything else for $6.
The ale selection include brews from many local microbreweries.
There will also be wines from Valley Vineyards (honey wine included), Rex Goliath, Highland and Cellar Dwellar.
Turkey isn't the only fowl to be served at Ren Fest.
Bourbon chicken, grilled chicken covered in a bourbon sauce and placed on a bed of rice is also among favorites.
Something for the grown-ups
The festival features a new way to enjoy an adult beverage without the kids.
By popular demand, Bucholtz said The Naughty Bawdy Pub Show , an hour of "bawdy humor, cigars, and ale for ages 21 and over" will be held each day from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the The Dirty Duchess.
Admission is $15.
Cigars and beverages also will be sold.
To top it off, the hour will be hosted by a wench.
"It is something that people have honestly asked for that is more for an adult audience, so we are going to give it a try," Bucholtz said.
Turkey Leggs Time Machine
We are determined to make you respect the turkey legg. These turkey legs are known to make you feel like you are in another century.
"Some might be a little more (than 2 pounds), some might be a little under," Bucholtz said. "There something about walking around with a big turkey leg."
Who can pass up a seasoned pickle from a renaissance man? They are $3 each.