Tasty turnout

By on June 10, 2015
Teresa Trabal navigates the immense paella pan in front of Zest! during last week’s Taste of Lititz. The gourmet shop’s Valencia recipe was one of the many highlights at the community event. (photo by Laura Knowles)

Teresa Trabal navigates the immense paella pan in front of Zest! during last week’s Taste of Lititz. The gourmet shop’s Valencia recipe was one of the many highlights at the community event. (photo by Laura Knowles)

Lititz may be famous for its tastes of chocolate and pretzels.

On Friday, June 5, downtown Lititz celebrated all its other great tastes, like Spanish paella, pork barbecue, tomato pie, fresh strawberry soup, sesame almond crunch salad, sausage tacos, strawberry wheat beer and firecracker burgers.

The second annual Taste of Lititz offered a variety of food, beer, wine, music, art and entertainment.

And yes, there were pretzels from Sturgis Pretzels, oldest bakery in the country, along with tasty chocolate treats from Café Chocolate and other sweet shops in Lititz.

“Our goal was to share the many talents in Lititz…the culinary artists, the musicians, the visual artists and the acrobats, jugglers and magicians,” said Donna Edson Felton, board member for Venture Lititz. “Paired with yummy samplings of food and libations, Taste of Lititz is food for all the senses.”

The tasteful street fair took place from 5 to 9 p.m. along East Main Street, which was closed to vehicle traffic from the square at Broad and Main to the square at the Moravian Church.

Visitors had the opportunity to buy tickets to allow them to taste the different foods and beers. There were $10 food tickets and $10 libation tickets. Or you could get one of each. The food tickets were so popular that they sold out just as the Taste of Lititz opened. Those without tickets could still purchase items from the food stands, but the tickets did provide a “taste” advantage.

One highlight was the Spanish paella from Zest! And it was authentic, made by Teresa Trabal of Barcelona, who patiently stirred the flavorful dish of chicken, rice, tomato, peas, peppers and seasonings. As she explained, paella is a classic dish in Spain that can be made with many different ingredients, like seafood, sausage, chicken and pork. It’s made differently in different regions and even by individual cooks who often use family recipes. Her recipe was from Valencia.

The huge three-foot paella pan used by Trabal was flat, so that the ingredients would cook properly, and the rice would get a perfect crispness as the paella simmered. It was an unexpected taste for Lititz, and folks lined up to savor the dish.

“I never had paella before; it’s delicious,” said Lynn Martin.

There were other surprise flavors in Lititz, like the Asian-influenced sesame almond crunch salad from Zig’s Bakery & Café. Co-owner Brandon Ziegler explained that the healthy salad was made with kale, bok choy, purple cabbage, carrots, onion, ramon noodles, almonds, and sesame seeds in a light soy dressing.

“It’s a huge hit with customers,” said Ziegler, adding that the classic chicken salad with a touch of sweetness was popular too.

Ziegler and his crew wanted to make sure everyone knew that the bakery had moved to the restored Brick Gables barn building on East Newport Road, and a café had been added.

At JoBoy’s brew pub, a Bohemian pilsner and a Polish beer were on the menu, along with Southern-style barbecue. Sturgis Haus brewery had a summery strawberry wheat beer, along with other Lititz-brewed tastes.

The other food stops included Dosie Dough bakery and café with a vegetarian quinoa salad with kale, white beans and a strawberry vinaigrette dressing, and Tomato Pie Café with its signature quiche-like tomato pie, fresh strawberry soup, and lemonade.

Kendra Greaves, one of the aerial entertainers at Taste of Lititz, had a bird’s-eye view of East Main Street. (photo by Laura Knowles)

Kendra Greaves, one of the aerial entertainers at Taste of Lititz, had a bird’s-eye view of East Main Street. (photo by Laura Knowles)

Also on the menu were Scooter’s Restaurant & Bar, Sugar-Whipped Bakery, Appalachian Brewing Co., Isabella’s Ice Cream, Rabbit Hill Kettle Corn, Danner’s Deli, Rooster Street Provisions, and Roma Pizza.

Libations were provided by Appalachian, Waltz Winery, Stargazer Vineyards, Sturgis Haus, and the Bulls Head Public House.

At the Sutter Inn, a colorful turquoise, yellow and orange painted upright piano stood just outside, providing fun for those who wanted to strike a few keys. Even the Sutter’s famed Pearl bathed in a miniature bathtub on the piano.

Later, Trixie and the Hot Walkers took over the piano and played ragtime hits. Just up the street, the Lititz Community Band, Nina Scarcia & Wade Yankey, Tonic for Dogma, and Matt Wenger performed for the crowd.

Street performers include a juggler, magician, balloon artist and a caricature artist, while kids enjoyed interactive activities like a Lego sculpture display and a chalk maze.

Food and drink were the subjects of an art exhibit in miniature, with small foodie canvases up for Chinese auctioning. There were glasses of wine, bowls of pasta, pretzels, peppers and bread. An exhibit of local artists was also set up near McElroy’s Pharmacy.

As for thrills, those were courtesy of aerialists Rachel Lancaster and Kendra Greaves, both from the Philly area. They’ve been doing their high-in-the-sky acrobatics for some 12 years.

Setting up their framework high above East Main Street near the Moravian Church, Lancaster and Greaves did several individual performances using a red twisted cloth that they used to climb to the top of the platform.

As Greaves held herself upside down and bent one leg behind her head, turning and twisting in a circle, while smiling at the crowd, one woman could be heard to say, “I don’t think my body could ever do that!

Laura Knowles is a freelance reporter who covers local events for the Record Express. She welcomes reader feedback at lknowles21@gmail.com. 

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