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Fort Collins Foodie Walk brings beer and tasty eats Downtown

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Photo credit: Lawrence Lam

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Local businesses in downtown Fort Collins came together to satisfy the taste buds of curious shoppers and food lovers Friday.

The June Foodie Walk came to the shops of downtown Fort Collins Friday evening, offering participants a chance to enjoy a variety of beer themed culinary treats.

Nine retailers participated in the monthly self-guided food tour, and, in honor of the Colorado Brewers’ Festival, June’s theme was beer.

The Cupboard was one of the retailers participating, boasting a beer bread and beer cheese dip. According to Marcia Erickson, the Cupboard employee who prepared the evening’s selection, the beer bread was made with 1554 by New Belgium, while the cheese dip was made with Fat Tire.

“We’ve been doing it since they (The Foodie Walk) started,” Erickson said. “I like interacting with people, and it gives me a chance to educate people on food.”

This month’s event marked the first of the summer months for 2014, and with the heat comes a shift in the Foodie Walk’s culinary calendar. Lesli Tanski, owner of participating shop Crescendo, noted how the Foodie Walk changes with the seasons.

“In winter, we do more comfort foods and stews,” Tanski said. “Right now, we’re serving anything that can be eaten on the patio.”

Crescendo served five different kinds of popcorn. Salt and Vinegar, Chorizo, Spanish Lemon, Savory Caramel Corn and Truffle flavors were on display, with customers flocking to sample the varied options.

“The theme is beer, so we thought, ‘Popcorn goes with beer,” Tanski said. “Using oils, vinegar and spices allows us to cut back on ingredients like butter.”

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The Foodie Walk is about the sharing and enjoying of food. Linda Fitzgerald, a chef at Culinary Adventures who prepared Rocky Mountain Olive Oil Company’s Foodie Walk contribution, expressed her thoughts on the shop’s part in the event.

“I’ve been making salsa and pasta sauce for a lifetime,” Fitzgerald said. “I love this place. As a chef, it’s great.”

Rocky Mountain Olive Oil Company served mozzarella with cucumber, soaked in dill infused oil, with a selection of salsas and pasta sauces crafted by Fitzgerald.

Savory Spice Shop, another participating retailer,  embraced the summer weather, serving refreshing strawberries with lavender infused simple syrup and a chocolate zucchini cake, made with the shop’s black onyx cocoa powder and Dutch cocoa powder.

Rene Oya, an employee at Savory Spice Shop, said she enjoys the Foodie Walk because it gives her the opportunity to try new things with her cooking.

“We use recipes from the Savory Spice Shop website, as well as recipes we actually create,” Oya said. “Because the products are so fresh, it’s fun to experiment with different flavors.”

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The Foodie Walk participants were arguably the most excited about the event, enthusiastically inquiring on the ingredients and eagerly tasting the locally prepared foods.

CSU alumna and veteran Foodie Walk attendant Cynthia Reaves said that she has been at the Foodie Walk since the beginning.

“We’ve been going since it was only three places,” Reaves said.

As she sampled the various popcorn flavors of Crescendo, Reaves praised the Foodie Walk as a beneficial additional to the repertoire of Fort Collins events.

“The food keeps us coming back,” Reaves said. “It’s always something new, and it’s a nice change from everything. There’s music, and we always go to the Art Walk, but it (the Foodie Walk) is always a good component of food.”

The Foodie Walk takes place on the third Friday of every month in Downtown Fort Collins, and the next event is scheduled for July 18.

Collegian Features and Entertainment Editor Keegan Williams can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com.

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