Taste buds to get local workout

— The Pruyn House will become a miniature version of the Capital District on Thursday, Aug. 23, when local food, art and music is spread across the grounds for “A Taste of Local: An Evening of Food, Wine and Talents.”

Diane Conroy-Lacivita is organizing the event, sponsored by the nonprofit community volunteer organization Friends of Pruyn House, and said at least 24 vendors will set up shop to give attendees a sample of their communities.

“We started with the immediate community in the Town of Colonie and expanded. We’re trying to look at people producing products (locally) and looking at individuals who may be making cultural … contributions to the community,” said Conroy-Lacivita.

There will be cheese, chocolate dipped fruits, tea, local restaurant samples, meat from Ralph’s Pork Store, Shaker desserts from the Shaker Heritage Society, folk dancing, skits, a sculptor, multimedia art and more. There will be Japanese, German, Chinese, Thai, Lebanese, Polish, Greek and Turkish dishes to try.

Katrin Haldeman will be on hand to debut café food made entirely with local ingredients. The dishes are brand new because the doors of Dali Mamma in the Harmony House Marketplace in Cohoes won’t open until Wednesday, Aug. 1.

“It’s farm to fork. I’m using local produce, local farmers, community gardens, all natural meat products and sustainable to-go containers,” said Haldeman.

She said Dali Mamma fills an increasingly popular culinary void.

“I don’t think there’s too many choices out there for good, healthy food and if it’s not available we can’t consume it,” said Haldeman. “Supporting our local farmers has got to be important to everybody so they can continue on.”

Haldeman creates each menu item based on seasonal produce and ingredients. There’s a turkey sandwich with carrot apple ginger slaw and a chicken curry salad. Vegetarian options include couscous salad and beet salad and some of her soups are lentil, chili or corn chowder.

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