What's cooking: Chocolate, tuna, grapes

  • Updated: February 5, 2014 - 5:08 PM
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The University of Minnesota developed the Marquette grape.

Time for chocolate

Satisfy your chocolate cravings from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday when Mississippi Market Co-op’s Selby Avenue store in St. Paul hosts its fourth Chocolate Tasting and Gift Fair. Yes, they have Valentine’s Day in mind, but it’s also a chance to taste and learn about chocolates from local artisans as well as sweets from Seattle and other outposts. There will be prize giveaways, gift ideas, surprises and more at the store at 622 Selby Av. For more details, visit www.msmarket.coop.

Name the mermaid

Hard to believe, but the mermaid on each can of Chicken of the Sea tuna has been nameless for the 62 years of her existence. Now the brand wants to christen her through two contests as part of its centennial initiative, 100 Years of Good. The naming contest will award the grand prize winner with $10,000, which they’re encouraged to put toward a good cause. Another 10 winners get Chicken of the Sea seafood for one year. A second contest seeks nominations of community-minded individuals and nonprofits, with the top 10 receiving $10,000 each to benefit their charitable actions. Contest deadline is Feb. 14. Details are at www.chickenofthesea.com/100. Bet she won’t be named Jessica.

Cold grapes, hot wines

The Minnesota Grape Growers Association’s 10th annual Cold Climate Conference for winemakers and grape growers has more public opportunities this year. The conference, Feb. 20-22 at the Crowne Plaza Riverfront in St. Paul, will showcase Minnesota wines at Faces, Heartland, Pazzaluna, Kincaid’s and Restaurant 11 for diners on Feb. 20. On Feb. 21, the Winter Wine Fest at the Crowne Plaza will feature more than 30 wineries and 16 “notable epicureans” pairing their wares at food stations. Attendees receive a complimentary wine stem and can taste and vote on their favorite wine and food exhibitors. Tickets are $50 per person at www.mngrapegrowers.com/winterwinefest.

Muesli makes good

Cereals from Minnesota continue to make a splash. Now Seven Sundays, a line of gourmet muesli made in Bloomington by a Minneapolis couple, has added Target to its list of national and local retailers. Hannah and Brady Barnstable discovered muesli — an uncooked blend of whole grains, seeds, nuts and fruit — on their honeymoon in New Zealand in 2009. Two years later, they launched Seven Sundays, named to inspire people to enjoy seven days a week the sort of relaxing breakfast they have on Sundays. You can learn more about its four varieties at www.sevensundays.com.

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