There’s something about the holidays that always makes me feel an uncharacteristic surge of hometown pride. This news might not be particularly shocking if I grew up somewhere with the unsurpassable charm of Paris, or the breathtaking beauty of the Swiss Alps. It wouldn’t even be surprising if the place I called home was Manhattan– there’s nothing wrong with running back to the most interestingly diverse city on earth! But the lust I feel when I arrive in Glen Head, New York, is almost inappropriate, given (a) the appearance of the strip of shops that Glen Headers call “town”, but is actually just a sad looking block with a Chinese take-out place and a nail salon (b) the fact that I don’t spend my time in Glen Head doing anything more nostalgic than smiling in a bored-and-annoyed sort of way when I drive past my high school (c) that the town I’m actually feeling this overwhelming delight for is not Glen Head at all, but the neighboring town of Sea Cliff.
About a six minute drive from Glen Head, the entire town of Sea Cliff is only one square mile, and is in fact, perched on a cliff overlooking the sea. The sea is, of course, the now-polluted Long Island Sound; and the cliff is a bit weathered, so the town’s Victorian houses don’t float majestically above the water as they did in its heyday (town lore has it that Sea Cliff, not Manhasset, is actually the East Egg of Gatsby fame). But literary prestige or not, Sea Cliff has a singularly lovely appeal that’s evident in every inch of that square mile, from the carefully manicured baseball fields to the deli that is as iconic (if exceedingly more popular) as the tiny town history museum. Sea Cliff certainly has it’s own brand of charisma, and with residents such as Natalie Portman and GooGoo Doll Johnny Rzeznik I don’t think the town needs my help attracting any new blood. While I’m happy to sing the praises of this little town by the sea, I’ll stop with my wistful tales of summers spent playing in backyards, trying to lick popsicles faster than the sun could melt them, and countless other sweet, happy, memories. It’s time to put sentiment aside because Sea Cliff is home to something far more interesting than a few kids holding sticky ice pop sticks: Sea Cliff is home to Pirate’s Booty.
That’s right, Pirate’s Booty, Greatest Cheesy Snack to come out of our (fleetingly) great country, was founded and has remained, through its worldwide popularization, in Sea Cliff, New York. Little town by the sea isn’t so little anymore, is it??! Sea Cliffians boiled with excitement when Natalie Portman, in her all Star Wars glory, bought an old Victorian not far from the Sound. When 90’s pop idol Johnny Rzeznik bought a place for himself and his fiancee everyone really thought that this was becoming the Hollywood of the East (or at least of Long Island). But there was no excitement as palpable, no buzz as audible, as when Pirate’s Booty opened up their headquarters on the town’s main drag.
With only 130 calories per bag, no cheesy chip has ever been so deliciously, naturally healthy. I do not believe that there is anyone on earth who dislikes cheese dust– that magical powder that clings to the sides of Cheetos and Cheez-Its and Sour Cream and Cheddar Lays chips, and here it is in an all-natural, real aged white cheddar form. I’m not telling you to buy Pirate’s Booty because of it’s connection with my beloved Sea Cliff, though that’s as good of a reason as any. I’m telling you because I know what it’s like to brood with jealousy after seeing a picture of Shiloh Jolie-Pitt strutting the streets of New Orleans, one little arm draped casually around her mother’s shoulder, the other clinging fast to a bag of Cheetos. Oh Shiloh, enjoy those Cheetos until your metabolism kicks in. Call me when you turn 22, I’ll send you a bag of Pirate’s Booty. I kind of know the owners.
Posted on Wednesday, December, 28, 2011, in Cheese, Chip, Creamy, Crunchy, Dairy and tagged Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby, Jolie-Pitt, Pirate's Booty, Sea Cliff, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.