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A sampling of foods at the Texas Folklife Festival

Texas Folklife Festival, June 8-10: 36 years of flavor

By James Benavides
Public Affairs Specialist

(June 5, 2007)--Through 36 years, the Texas Folklife Festival at UTSA's Institute of Texan Cultures has celebrated the diverse cultures of Texas. One of the most prominent expressions of the various cultures has been the food. From June 8 to 10, attendees can navigate the 22-acre ITC grounds to discover culinary treasures from more than 30 food participants.

A glimpse at the 2007 menu reveals some of the perennial favorites that many Texans can only get once a year. The Alsatian dish, "parisa" is often the first item on people's lists. The beef tartar with cheese and onion is cured briefly with lemon juice and served on crackers. Wendish noodles are another favorite. The long, spaghetti-like noodles are served in a broth with a chicken leg.

Some festivalgoers may prefer more traditional fare such as hamburgers, but they would be hard-pressed to find one at Folklife. The closest thing the festival can offer is a burger on American Indian fry bread, which has a spongy consistency. The unique bread also is used to wrap kielbasa sausages, rolled up for tacos or topped with honey or sugar as a dessert.

The next best thing to an American burger would be the Lebanese Kibbee burger. The ethnic dish is a kind of meatloaf made from lamb, pine nuts and crushed wheat and topped with yogurt or sour cream. For the more adventurous epicures, there is plenty more fare to sample.

The Scottish Society of San Antonio will prepare Scotch eggs, which are hard-boiled eggs with a sausage and pastry crust. And a visit to the Scottish booth wouldn't be complete without trying the haggis. Just don't ask what's in it.

The ethnic food experience includes several old and new favorites, from the decadent Belgian waffles served with powdered sugar, strawberries and vanilla ice cream, to the Thai bubble drinks with fruit puree and tapioca pearls, to a selection of brats and brews as diverse as the Folklife participants.

The Texas Folklife Festival runs 5-11 p.m., Friday, June 8; 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Saturday, June 9 and noon-7 p.m., Sunday, June 10. Admission to the festival is $10 for adults; $4 for children ages 6-12 and free for children under age 5. Advance $8 adult tickets are available at select partner locations in San Antonio. Group rates are available for parties of 25 or more by calling (210) 458-2259.

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For more information, visit the Texas Folklife Festival Web site or call (210) 458-2390.

Download a Texas Folklife Festival Visitor Guide (PDF format), which including a map and the complete schedule of events and entertainment.

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