Tag: Event (page 1 of 2)

2017 Minnesota State Fair: The Year We Did The Classics

I won two MN State Fair tickets participating in a Midwest Travel Bloggers Twitter chat. Thanks Roseville Visitor’s Association!

I uttered the words, “What if this is the year I don’t try any new foods?” And like a self-fulfilling prophecy, they (sort of) came true.

Usually I scour the new Minnesota State Fair food guides and critic reviews from the first day. Then, we make a list and try as many as possible. This year was different. We’re finally back home with more move under our belt. New jobs, new house, new neighborhood. . . I wonder if we were really craving the old reliable. At least we were for this year’s visit.

Our core favorite Minnesota State Fair foods come down to curds, corn, cookies, and corn dogs (or pronto pups).

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Follow The Man Holding The Fish Sign On A Stick For Lutefisk

Last weekend, on our first cold, snowy night, I attended my first lutefisk dinner. Lutefisk is a Nordic food tradition of preserving cod fish with lye. You know, that stuff used in soap making or added to oven cleaners and drain openers? Yup. That’s the stuff. “This is totally not a metaphor,” I kept saying.

If you google “Lye” you will also find that it brings up articles related to “tissue digestion.” A friend reminded me that lye’s also used to make bagels so I felt a little better. After the fish is treated with lye, the flesh takes on that striking jello-like consistency. After a six-day soak in water, it’s fit for human consumption.

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Picking Peaches At Eckert’s Farms + Dinner In The Orchard

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Eckert’s Farms and the ALIVE Influencer Network

Having lived in the Upper Midwest most of my life, I’m used to short summers and finding local rhubarb, berries, sour cherries (if you are very lucky), ground cherries, melons, and lots and lots of apples at the farmers markets.

These are all things I didn’t think about much, until we moved to Missouri. Although we’re not exactly in the south, we’re still farther south than we’ve ever lived before. The summers here are insanely hot and the winters are delightfully mild. You can still find most of these fruits at the farmers markets in St. Louis, but you can also find peaches.

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A Tasty Takeover Recap:STL Beer, Blogging & Chef Talk

St. Louis is an incredible food city. Seriously, it is. There’s always a unique pop-up,  food event, or restaurant opening. Jake and I try to visit a new restaurant each week and feel like we’re just starting to scratch the surface of the dining scene.

A few weeks ago, the ALIVE Influencer Network hosted a “Tasty Takeover” of a weekly event called Venture Cafe that connects local entrepreneurs. This event was open to everyone to attend at no cost. The theme focused on innovation in food and beverages. Local chefs, beer brewers, and food media folks spoke on panels and shared samples. As a newish STL resident, I enjoyed the opportunity to learn and connect with others also interested in food.

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Sights, Tastes & Sounds From North Coast Nosh Curated By The Sioux Chef Sean Sherman

Last Thursday evening, my cousin Alexandra and I attended our first North Coast Nosh. We had been looking forward to attending this event since Heavy Table and The Minnesota Historical Society released tickets in December. The event sold out and the lobby was packed with others like us who were excited to celebrate native food traditions. This particular North Coast Nosh was curated by The Sioux Chef Sean Sherman who’s creating a lot of momentum and interest in native food traditions and producers. He’s in the process of opening a restaurant in Minnesota that focuses on pre-colonial, Native American cuisine and its techniques, both traditional and modern. In this Heavy Table interview, Sherman states:

A culture without food is a lost culture. I think it’s extremely important to bring back some of this knowledge, this food, and to be able to serve it in a modern context that everyone can appreciate.

At seven p.m., the doors to the Nosh opened and we streamed into the Minnesota History Center. Powerful drumming echoed throughout the building.

Vendors were located on all three levels of the history center. Many served samples of food showcasing Native American ingredients or techniques and others displayed artwork.

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A view of the Capitol from the third floor.

I have to admit Alex and I lost track of time. We were having so much fun visiting with the purveyors that we missed some of the presentations. However, we arrived in time to hear Chef Lenny Russo of Heartland Restaurant encourage attendees to advocate for the food they want to eat with their pocketbooks and Chef Sherman touch on how Native American food traditions nourish our bodies and the earth. Sherman coordinated about 20 purveyors. Here are some of the foods we tasted:

Refreshing black bean, sweet potato and wild rice salad from Dream of Wild Health, a Native-owned organic farm in Hugo, MN. They even provided their recipe.

Wild Rice

A sweet potato cake with a creamy cheese topping from Mississippi Market Co-op

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Duck confit tacos with salsa diablo, pipian sauce, pickled vegetables, and cotija cheese from Harriet Brasserie located in Minneapolis, MN. At the event, people kept telling us to try these duck tacos. The meat was tender and the flavors were so memorable, I wasn’t surprised to see it appear in last week’s Heavy Table Hot Five. You can still order these from Harriet Brasserie’s regular menu.

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We sipped Spirit Lake Native Farms pure maple syrup and enjoyed tiny slices of cake made from wild rice flour. This purveyor was located next to Fabulous Catering who served little cheese-stuffed burgers on wild rice buns and blueberry tarts. My cousin encouraged me to try dipping the burger into the maple syrup which made for a perfect sweet and savory combination. Neither of us never keep enough maple syrup on our homes, because we love adding it to our coffee.

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A sparkling maple candy (feel free to leave a comment if you know who provided these).

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Buffalo meat Tanka BarsI first learned about Tanka bars while studying herbal medicine in Minneapolis because many of the herbalists ate them. If someone was hungry, someone usually had a Tanka Bar in their pocket. My favorite flavor is Spicy Pepper that’s flecked with sweet, dried cranberries. Unlike typical beef jerky, these bars are meatier and more tender. The company’s Tanka Fund supports the return of buffalo to Great Plains Native American communities.

Tanka Bars

Hot Cedar Maple Tea from Dinner on the Farm/WonderGather. I’ve never tasted tea like this. It reminded me of the essence of a Christmas tree.

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Smoked fish spread from Red Lake Fishery. We had a lot of fun talking to Robert Blake whose passion and enthusiasm for the fishery’s products stuck with us. The fish are sustainably wild-caught by tribal fisherman and filleted by hand. Red Lake Fishery ships fish to both restaurants and homes.

Red Lake Fishery Collage

We tasted many other foods and made new friends with our table mates. I wish I had taken a better photo of Sherman’s incredible bean soup with maple braised turkey. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was the best bean soup I’ve ever eaten.

As someone who is not very knowledgable about Native American food traditions, I’m thankful for this opportunity to learn, taste, and connect. Sherman’s business The Sioux Chef also offers catering and pop-up dining opportunities.

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