Festa Italiana arrives this Week in Food

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Festa Italiana takes over Harriet Island Friday and Saturday
It's a packed Week in Food, with a wine-tasting club, Festa Italiana on Harriet Island, and a lesson in Argentine cooking. Luckily it's all spread out over the week, so if you're dedicated, there's no reason not to hit up each and every one.

9/18
Just because you're young doesn't mean you can't be a wine enthusiast! Minnesota Monthly's New Vintage wine club is aimed at wannabe connoisseurs in their 20s and 30s looking to bone up on their bottles. The club devotes one evening a month to a panel of wine experts, and September features a variety of Mendocino California wines. You'll sample the wines and learn how to identify each varietal's unique aroma and characteristics. Appetizers provided by La Belle Vie will round out the event. The evening runs from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Minnesota Opera Center and will set you back $20.

9/20
Local chef Jenny Breen is back after a year in Argentina with plenty of new culinary ideas to share in this new class, Argentina with a Locavore Focus, at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Breen will interpret Argentine dishes from a Midwestern locavore's perspective, and the menu will include ceviche; quinoa and goat cheese empanadas; gnocci with sauce; asado (Argentine grilled meat); and ricotta cake with white chocolate and dulce de leche glaze. Each course will be paired with wine to round out the meal. The cost of the experience, which runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., is $50 for members, $60 for nonmembers. Reserve your seat by calling 952.443.1422.

9/21
Friday night kicks off Festa Italiana on Harriet Island in St. Paul, and you can bet that means plenty of hefty Italian food for your gullet. An all-start cast of local Italian restaurants like Pazzaluna, D'Amico, Mancini's and even the Dari-ette will be slinging everything from meatballs and cannolis to lasagne and tiramisu. A $2 wrist band allows you to nab some wine as well (entry to the festival is free). The festival runs 3-10 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday.

9/22
Minneapolis is called Mill City for a reason, and those curious about its history can attend The Science of Wheat and Flour at the Mill City Museum Saturday at 1 p.m. to learn about how Minneapolis's tradition of high-quality wheat flours, begun in the 19th century, continues today. Members of the Grain and Flour Quality Lab of General Mills will perform demonstrations about wheat and flour quality testing and its effects on baking. The presentation will cover the role of the Grain Lab in the wheat and flour industry, followed by a baking demo featuring comparative samples of breads -- and you'll get to taste the results. Come armed with questions as well! The class is free with museum admission of $11 for adults, $6 for children.


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