Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Dan Neman


Get your Taste of the Nation

Getting hungry yet?

You should, even though the 17th Annual Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation — Toledo event will not be for another three months. Some 40 restaurants from across the region (from Revolver in Findlay to the Beirut in Toledo to Evans Street Station in Tecumseh, Mich.) will be on hand to offer small plates of some of the best food they make.

And it is all for a good cause. The money collected for tickets goes to four local organizations to help them feed hungry children: Aurora House, Toledo Day Nursery, Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank, and Toledo GROWs.

But why are we even mentioning an event now that will not be held until April 29?

Because the tickets are relatively few — they are limited to 400 — and because they always sell out. In other words, if you want to go, you might want to start thinking about it now.

The tickets are also relatively expensive at $150. But that money gets you a good-sized taste of 35 entrees and five desserts, or so. Plus, there is the added joy in knowing you are doing well. And if you happen to buy a raffle ticket, too, that is more good work you will be doing (not to mention having the chance to win some lovely prizes).

The event will be from 5-10 p.m. at the Toledo Club, 235 14th St. You can get more information or reserve tickets online at or by calling 419-460-0775.

Some chili

Too much chili? Is such a thing even possible?

You can test your hunger, your resolve, and even the strength of your stomach at the Great Chili Cook-Off, on March 24 from noon-4 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Stranahan Theater.

This is the 20th year for the event, and once again there will be dozens of competitors putting out bowls of their best red (and in a few cases, their best white), all vying to win the title of the Best Chili in Northwest Ohio.

Understandably, the title is highly coveted. The best part is that everyone gets to vote for the winners; the People’s Choice Award is selected by everyone who attends — just put money in the jug of your favorite or favorites. The team with the most money wins, and all the cash is donated to Mobile Meals of Toledo, which delivers meals to the elderly, ill, disabled, and homebound. A panel of judges also gives out awards.

Admission is free, hence the need for donation-votes, and you can have as many samples as you like. To help all that chili go down smoother, a DJ will spin appropriately festive music.

And if you want to try your hand at participating in the cook-off, there is still plenty of time to register — the deadline is March 5. The cost is $25 for amateur teams, $50 for restaurants, $250 for corporate teams, and free for media teams. For more information, call 419-255-7806 or visit

More chili

And speaking of chili cook-offs, Owens Community College will have one on Tuesday from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Student Health and Activities Center.

But don’t worry. That’s not as alarming as it sounds. The Student Health and Activities Center is not a hospital, it is a gym, complete with video games and a food court.

Anyway, the chili: It will be prepared by teams of students, and attendees can vote for their favorites. The winning team will not only win fame and immortality, but their chili will also be sold at the school’s dining halls, the Fireside and Jaguar grills.

Owens is on Oregon Road in Perrysburg Township. Attendees will receive a tasting kit to sample the assortment of chili selections. The Chili Cook-Off is open to the campus community as well as the general public. The college’s Office of Student Activities is encouraging individuals to donate $3 per person, which will benefit Riders Unlimited. The charity uses horses to assist in activities and therapy for patients with physical, mental, emotional, and psychological disabilities.

For more information, call 567-661-2569.

Beer. Wine.

It is perhaps a dream come true: We are awash in beer and wine tastings.

For its tastings in the month of February, the Beer & Wine Cave will be featuring the beers of Michigan. It is the store’s way of honoring the Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Beer Fest (a sold-out event taking place Feb. 25).

Wednesday and Thursday they will offer beers from Bells Brewing Company ($10) and French and Italian wines chosen by Grand Cru Wines’ Rachel Nasatir ($15). On Feb. 8 and 9, they will have an assortment of beers from Michigan. On Feb. 15 and 16, the beers will be from Arcadia Ales in Battle Creek, Mich. ($15)

On Feb. 22 and 23, the beers will be from Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids ($10), while certified sommelier Krystal Kovacik will be opening wines that are newly arrived. And on Feb. 29 and March 1, more Michigan beers will be featured ($10) along with wines they are calling Daylight Saving Time Wines ($15).

All Beer & Wine Cave tastings are from 6-7 p.m.

Meanwhile, The Andersons store in Maumee will have a wine tasting Thursday from 5-7 p.m. featuring wines made from unfamiliar grapes: Scheurebe, Bobal, Monastrell, and a sparkling Shiraz. Samples will be $1 or 75 cents.

On Saturday from 1-3 p.m., they will have tastings of beers perfect for the Super Bowl: Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout and Southern Porter (both are from New York state) and Otter Creek Copper Ale and Woodchuck 802 Hard Cider (both from New England). Samples are 25 cents.

Help people at all times

By now, you have probably been approached by a Girl Scout offering to sell you some cookies, and you even may have bought a box or boxes, depending on the girl’s adorableness.

And now, courtesy of a poll sponsored by Good Morning America and, we now know which cookie is the country’s favorite.

The winner, which frankly comes as no surprise, is Thin Mints, which received 49 percent of the vote. Second place went to Samoas (the ones with caramel and coconut) with 28 percent. Tagalongs (chocolate-covered peanut butter patties) got 11 percent, while Do-Si-Dos (peanut butter sandwich cookies) and Trefoils (shortbread) tied with 6 percent apiece.

Happy munching.

Items for Morsels may be submitted up to two weeks before an event to

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