This week on Food Tour Spotlight, Queens Food Tours head upstate to interview Amy Koren-Roth of Taste of Troy Food Tours. Troy is a 200 year old city in Upstate New York on the eastern bank of the Hudson River, it is vibrant, home of the first craft brewery in NY’s Capital City and it has an expanding culinary scene. Just like us, Amy shares in the mission of showcasing a side of New York that is slightly “off the beaten”. She is a true ambassador of the upstate region.
Tell us about yourself and Taste of Troy Food Tours?
My name is Amy Koren-Roth. I am the Founder and Forever Foodie of Taste of Troy Food Tours, a Women-Owned Business. We are a food tour company in the 518 area of Upstate New York that focuses on Troy – a 200 year old city that is experiencing a revival and always surprises visitors with its vibrancy. Taste of Troy Food Tours’ Central Troy Historic District Food Tour has been simmering in my mind since 2013, as retirement from public health looms nearer. I am a registered dietitian/nutritionist, who has worked in public health for 26+ years and want to continue my involvement with food in a new way. I have spent time in 31 countries and lived overseas for 6 years. While overseas, I cooked for a community of 50-150 people and ultimately ran the kitchen. When I returned to the States, I earned a master’s in community nutrition. I have lived in the Capital Region of New York for more than 22 years.
I wanted to combine my passions: food, travel and history, and share them with others. I keep up on new food venues, reading reviews, tasting to find my favorites and sharing recommendations with others. I was inspired by the more than 16 food tours I have taken around the country and the world and wanted to bring this unique experience to the Capital District for both residents and visitors to enjoy from May through October.
When did you start Taste of Troy Food Tours?
Our first tour was in May 2016. I can’t believe that our first season is almost finished. I will have had 24 tours by October 29th, with more than 130 guests. Our next season’s tours are already posted on our website’s calendar. Taste of Troy Food Tours, currently offers one tour a week on Saturdays, from May through the end of October. The tour meets in the heart of Troy’s Central Historic District at 10 am and lasts for 3 hours.
Tell us about your city and what made you start a Taste of Troy Food tours there
Troy is celebrating its bicentennial this year and has been called the New Brooklyn and the Silicone Valley of the 19th Century. In the mid-1800’s, it was the fourth wealthiest city per capita in the United States. While its fortunes waned in the 1900’s, they are on the rise again with the rise in popularity of new urbanism and the creative food entrepreneurs who are opening up shop. Troy has a rapidly expanding food scene and is a perfect walkable city to host culinary tourism. Located on the East Shore of the Hudson River, it is the northern-most navigable point of the Hudson. The City has preserved many of the historic facades from the 19th Century and its layout lends itself perfectly for food tourism.
- The 17 year old, year round Farmers’ Market is the number one draw to Troy’s vibrant Central Historic District. The Farmers’ Market has more than 80 food growers, food preparers, bakers and crafts people.
- Brown’s Brewing Company, opened in the North River Street Historic District in 1993 and was the first craft brewery in NY’s Capital District. It was one of one hundred craft brewers in the country when it opened.
- Even locals have a lot to learn about the rich history of Troy and the creative food and beverage entrepreneurs who are helping put Troy back on the map.
- Troy is very close to the Berkshire’s, so an easy day trip for those who summer in Masachusetts. It is close to Saratoga, so provides a change of pace for those up for the Saratoga Race Track or the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. It is one of the three major cities, together with Albany and Schenectady that make up New York’s Capital District.
- There are multiple colleges and universities in the area, so Troy offers students a great place to take their visiting families.
- Troy is building its multi-use infrastructure, so that it can be a draw to cyclists and pedistrians.
- Troy has a wonderful relationship with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and offers many new ideas, a great setting for incubation of new enterprises.
- New restaurants are opening up weekly and while Troy doesn’t have a defining food, the creative chefs offer a range of ethnic cuisines, top notch cuisine and interesting takes on food truck classics.
- Troy offers Troy Night Out, the last Friday of every month. Between the Chowder Fest, the Victorian Stroll, Enchanted City – Steampunk Celebration and the summer’s Rockin’ on the River, Troy offers a special event for everyone.
What makes Taste of Troy Food Tours different and unique?
We are the only food tour in Troy, Albany and Schenectady. There are many other interesting tours in our region however we combine great food tastes, with history, architecture and culture. We have an insiders tour of the complete Tiffany designed interior of the historic register’s St. Paul’s Church. Our tour is timed to allow our guests time to shop and explore the amazing Troy Waterfront Farmers’ Market. We link our taste offerings to foods that have been served or available in Troy since the 1800’s and to some of the immigrant groups that settled here. All of our vendors are local businesses, three of them have women chefs and all of them support locally grown suppliers. Bringing food tourism to the Capital Region, hopefully will draw residents out of their own hamlets and communities and entice them to be food tourists in their own backyard. We hope to highlight reasons that Troy would be a great tourist destination in Upstate New York.
What type of food do we get to try on Taste of Troy Food Tours?
We start with hand rolled bagels and store salt cured lox from the Capital Region Living Magazine’s number one bagel shop in 2016; then we visit a tea shop to learn about tea and other infusions; then we are offered a salad and a riff on a Reuben Sandwich by one of our award winning female chefs; next we taste two craft beer flights, paired with an upstate NY classic – chicken wings, from the first craft brewer in the Capital Region and we end with delicious macarons from our treatery, also an award winning female chef. Our guests report being comfortably full by the end of the tour and alternate offerings are available for specific dietary needs (vegan, vegetarian and gluten free.) Each taste stop is spaced with insights on Troy’s architecture, culture and history. Tastings may vary from tour to tour, but we guarantee you will have some favorites and be satisfied with the offerings.
For more information on Taste of Troy Food Tours:
Sounds delicious! Thank You Amy. We’ll definitely be making a drive upstate soon.