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Cheesecake seems to be all the dessert rage these days. Perhaps folks are sick and tired of marble cake with chocolate frosting; maybe apple pie is becoming commonplace; could be that pudding is so 1970s. Whatever the reason, the rich, tasty and satisfying taste treat has emerged as the dessert of the new millennium.Cream and sugar: Carrie Fanizzi holds one of her cheesecake creations, white raspberry chocolate. MICHAEL DAVIS PHOTO
Until a few months ago, wandering around Armory Square and the surrounding area, you’d more than likely stumble upon every flavor of brew and food except one—Mexican cuisine. But that changed in July with the opening of La Taqueria, 409 S. Clinton St. (422-8811).Tengo hambre?: Try one of the burritos at Armory Square’s La Taqueria. MICHAEL DAVIS PHOTOS
While it’s no secret that diabetes, obesity and heart disease are problems nationwide, the statistics in nearby Cayuga County are staggering. In the small county just 30 miles west of Syracuse, the deadly diseases are the top three chronic illnesses among both men and women. Obesity rates locally and nationally are rising rapidly, and more and more individuals are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes each day.Pete McMahon: Will be playing the “blues” segment of this weekend’s Burgers, Blues and Baseball fund-raiser at Auburn’s Falcon Park. MICHAEL DAVIS PHOTO
Kids are everywhere at the New York State Fair, from the cow barn to the midway to the Youth Building. While they all get dizzy having fun engaging in their favorite activities, some spend hours before the Fair in their home kitchens measuring, mixing, sifting, slicing and laboring over a hot oven before achieving a moment of true Fair magic: competing in a culinary arts competition.Media darling: Genevieve Lima not only earned a ribbon at last year’s Fair, she also scored an interview on WSYR-Channel 9 News. This year, she’s entering the culinary competition as well as three non-food contests. MICHAEL DAVIS PHOTOS
Produce sections are ripe with strange-looking goodies that aren’t apples, bananas or pears
As you stroll through a local farm market, push a cart through your favorite supermarket or visit that quirky specialty retailer, look up from your shopping list long enough to discover the rainbow of fruits coloring the bins. There is sure to be a wealth of specimens you’ve never tried, some you can’t name and even a few you’ve never seen.“Pick one item that you’ve never had, buy one and try it:” Ryan Dwyer and Andy Boucounis (facing page) of Andy’s Produce show off some of the unusual members the fruit family available now (clockwise from left) water chestnuts, mango, aloe vera leaves, chayote squash, plumcots, tomatillos, red bananas and durain. MICHAEL DAVIS PHOTOS
Among the more familiar artists on the lineup for the Sterling Celtic Rock Festival is Hadrian’s Wall. For more than a decade, singer-guitarist Neil Emberg has built a solid fan base in Central New York. Hadrian’s Wall has been featured at the Tipperary Hill Irish Fest, and was just in town on Aug. 14 for a performance at the Scottish Games at Longbranch Park in Liverpool. Emberg frequently performs as a solo artist at Kitty Hoynes in Armory Square, and is scheduled to play there Friday, Aug. 20, and Saturday, Aug. 21.
Josh Collins, keyboardist and former Syracuse scene regular, tells the story of his previous night’s gig in his current city of residence, Louisville, Ky. during an Aug. 13 phone conversation. Collins had performed with his newest band of musical brothers, the Dirty Church Revival, at a venue down south known as the Bluegrass Brewing Company.Dirty Church Revival: Kentucky rock’n’rollers host several Central New York sermons this week.
Fox Run Vineyards’ Glorious Garlic Festival marks 18 years this weekend
Years ago, David Letterman ran a segment on a New York City shop called Just Bulbs. It was all about light bulbs, but he could easily head to the Finger Lakes this weekend to replicate the scene. But this time the focus would be garlic bulbs. The Glorious Garlic Festival returns to Fox Run Vineyards for its 18th run. And the Penn Yan winery is expecting 8,000 visitors over the two days.
These midsummer taste treats offer an explosion of varieties, and uses
The pleasures of summer—its warm temperatures, its long days, its holidays and its bounty of fresh foods—make it an infinitely lovable season. It’s no wonder we look forward to it during the rest of the year. Many people plant fruits and vegetables in late spring, after the last danger of frost has passed, but the wait to harvest those treats can be long. Luckily, a bounty of fruit is ready at the start of summer, in the form of sweet Bing cherries.Red delicious: In-season cherries, like these at the Regional Market, provide a taste treat eaten out of hand. MICHAEL DAVIS PHOTO
“Welcome to CiCi’s!” bellowed the staffers at the new CiCi’s Pizza on June 26. The workers at the 3237 Erie Blvd. E., DeWitt, location, which is the first CiCi’s franchise to hit the Central New York market, are supposed to utter that phrase to greet every new customer. And considering that deep line of more than 200-plus that snaked down the building’s side and into the CiCi’s parking lot, with some car owners forced to park in the nearby Chimneys Plaza, the CiCi’s gang must have been hoarse by all that welcoming.