Friday, August 31
My fellow food friends, the day is nigh. Oh wait, I wasn't talking about the "Casual" Charlie Trotter and Friends Final Feast at Trotter's. That's sold-out (at $250 a pop) though they say there's a waiting list. Oh no. I'm talking about the blessed 31st annual Taste of Melrose Park! Get your sfingi (think doughnut holes), arancini, cannoli and fried bologna sangwiches around Village Hall (1000 N. 25th Ave. — and remember, that's Melrose Park, capisce?). Check out food photos from last year's TOMP on LTHForum.com. This Taste runs three days through Sunday. Admission FREE, food and drink additional.
Saturday, September 1
Ahh, an all-American Labor Day BBQ with ćevapčići and pljeskavica (think Serbian grilled sausages and burgers). Discover those and more at the Taste of Serbia at St. Basil of Ostrog Serbian Orthodox Church in Lake Forest. Still not convinced? See for yourself, the proof is in the krempita (a high, custard cream pie). Admission FREE, food and drink additional.
Monday, September 3
Don't carboload and drive from the 33rd annual Taste of Polonia at the Copernicus Center. If the pierogi and potato pancakes aren't enough, there's Polska kiełbasa and Polish beer too, plus polka bands and "American bands" like the Waco Brothers to nudge you from your nap. Admission $7 general, $5 seniors, FREE kids under 12, food and drink additional.
Thursday, September 6
Get thee to the Honey Mead Dinner at the Morton Arboretum with Wild Blossom Meadery & Winery (the city's only meadery) owner Greg Fischer, who will talk bees and how mead is made (honey and water fermented to what's widely believed to be the world's first alcoholic drink). The history of mead is fascinating, pre-dating ancient agriculture, and its flavor is not what you think, ranging from dry sparkling to sweet. Each course is paired with a different mead. The dinner kicks off Honey Bee Weekend. Admission (to dinner) $50 members, $55 non-members.