Ribs and Raiders

The first Great Midwest Rib Fest will be July 25-27 at Mystic Lake Casino’s outdoor grounds, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd. NW. in Prior Lake. The free festival will feature eight rib cookers from seven states competing for $15,000 in cash prizes. About 72,000 pounds of meat will be cooked. There also will be almost 50 artists’ booths, along with live bands on the main stage each night, including Paul Revere and the Raiders and the Oak Ridge Boys. For details, visit www.midwestribfest.com.

New olive oil store on Selby

Apparently we can’t get enough top-quality olive oils. Olive You has opened at 526 Selby Av. in St. Paul, offering gourmet oils, vinegars and spices, along with some kitchenware for adults and kids. Business partners (and sisters) Heather Tetrault and Heidi Olson say they wanted to be part of a revitalized Ramsey Hill/Cathedral neighborhood and are decidedly not a franchise. In fact, they are prone to whipping out hula hoops on occasion. They’re hosting a grand opening and ribbon cutting at 1 p.m. July 16, where you might be tempted to sample some white honey ginger balsamic vinegar. To learn more, visit www.OliveYouStore.com.

Make your own Sriracha

With all the hoo-hah last winter about a Sriracha factory in California being threatened with closing as a public nuisance for its pepper fumes (they’ve since gained a reprieve), sauce lovers may have wondered about making their own. “The Hot Sauce Cookbook,” by Robb Walsh (Ten Speed Press, $16.99), shows you how. First step is making a fermented pepper mash from red jalapeños that requires one to two weeks. The book contains recipes for a rather fascinating array of hot sauces and dishes, including Fire and Ice Cream, a spicy coconut-flavored dessert.

Mix runs its course

Sad news: Mix, the publication about local co-ops, has published its last issue with July’s installment. Founded as “Co-op Consumer News” in 1994, the publication dates back to when there were just six co-ops in the Twin Cities. Now there are more than a dozen, some with multiple locations. Mix covered food news, co-op events, wrote about local farms and restaurants and the changing food landscape, educating consumers and diners. An editor’s note explains that “the way that information is shared has also changed considerably in the past two decades, bringing new challenges to the world of print publications. The Mix has not been immune to those changes.” Readers are directed to www.strongertogether.coop, the website of the National Cooperative Grocers Association.

Amaize amazes again

Amaize sweet corn, a super-crisp variety of non-GMO white corn that made a splash last summer, is back this month, exclusively at Lunds and Byerly’s stores. Developed to resist getting mushy when cooked, this Idaho-based corn is the life’s work of two breeders who “tasted more than 50,000 ears of corn over the past 40 years” to attain this variety, according to product info. To learn more, visit www.AmaizeSweetCorn.com.