Food Weekend: Taco USA, Taste of the Nation, Exotic Berries, Rancho Los Alamitos


Another weekend, another whole bunch of food-centric activities for you and your stomach to choose from.

Saturday morning, at the Mark Taper Auditorium in downtown L.A.'s Central Public Library, the Culinary Historians of Los Angeles continue their lecture series with a talk from Gustavo Arellano, editor for OC Weekly and author of "Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America." (Read our review here.) During the lecture, Arellano will discuss the rise of street vendors and the development of popular brands like Doritos and Taco Bell. "Themed refreshments" -- meaning, we're guessing, Mexican food -- will be on hand for the event.

Sunday morning in Silver Lake, a hands-on, two-hour course at Sqirl will be available (for $100 a pop) for students who want to know how to give their more exotic fruits a longer shelf life in a class all about food preservation. The berries included in this lesson include short-season boysenberries from Kincaid Farm in Redlands, Murray berries from Murray Family Farm, and blueberries from Lompoc. The class will also teach students how to make jams from said exotic berries.

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On Sunday, the Taste of the Nation tour returns to Los Angeles for its 25h year at The Lot in West Hollywood. The event -- tickets aren't cheap, folks; they range from $110 to $160 -- features tastings of more than 40 of L.A.'s best restaurants. The tasting will also include auctions, cook-offs, games, and food from Mo-Chica and ice cream treats from Scoops and Pazza Gelato.

And finally, Sunday down in Long Beach, the Rancho Los Alamitos (twice listed in the National Register of Historic Places, once as the ancestral home of the Tongva people, and once as an adobe core ranch house in the 1800s) is reopening its gates to the public after a careful restoration. The grand opening will include an opening ceremony by civic leaders, a performance by the LB Poly Aurora Quartet, and music and dance performances throughout the day. Crafts, food, and ranching demonstrations will also be ongoing.

For more food events visit kcet.org/events/food.

[Photo of tacos from downtown L.A.'s Grand Central Market by Flickr user LWY.]

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