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Tantalizing tastes tempt throngs

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Rainy weather on Sunday didn't keep the crowds away from  Niagara Square for the 31st annual Taste of Buffalo.

By the end of the event yesterday, there wasn't much left in refrigerators and storage cases inside the vendor tents. The vendors seemed happy and those in attendance had extra long hours in the beer tents scattered along Delaware.

"Delaware Avenue and Niagara Square were packed to the gills," said Laura Jacobs, who will serve as the 2015 Chair of the Taste of Buffalo.

"This morning it did rain but we did actually have a pretty good crowd that were out here. They just brought their rain slickers and their umbrellas. So, it was pretty good and once the sun broke, everybody came on down to Delaware and it's been busy ever since."

Jacobs says there were a lot of new restaurants this year, many reflecting the large migration into this area showing up in local cuisine and gradually showing up in new restaurants serving Asian and African communities.

Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news
Ida Garris of Garris Bar-b-Que cooks up catfish nuggets, the festival choice as "best seafood."

Creative food choices once again provided variety to the event and plenty of consumers.

"We sold out yesterday and we're almost sold out today," said Tamre Varallo of Spring Lake Winery at Varallo's Vineyard. Their booth offered "wine ice cream."

"There's actually half a glass of wine in each pint of ice cream. And so, you can enjoy the taste of the ice cream and the end flavor is a little tip of wine."

Varallo says her winery works with a dairy operation in the Adirondacks to make the technology work, since alcohol usually melts things but it doesn't melt this ice cream.

Saturday & Sunday 6 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.