Not only is Fiesta Latina a melting pot of Latin American cuisines, but the free street festival — now in its 18th year — also offers traditional dances, a kids area (also known as Niñoville), raffles, live music and other vibrant displays of entertainment.
The collective menu is formidable, including various tacos, quesadillas, burritos and tamales inspired by the Mexican palate; ground beef or chicken empanadas representing Argentina; pupusas (handmade corn tortillas) stuffed with meat and cheese for a taste of El Salvador; and rice, beans and Cuban sandwiches to invoke the Caribbean.
Musical performances come from local Latin sextet Sol Rhythms, traditional mariachi group Sombras de Mexico, Mexican musicians Tecno Caliente and local act Montuno. Meanwhile, periodic dance acts decorate downtown with “an explosion of brilliantly colored costumes and time-honored cultural traditions,” according to an event release.
“Tlaxochimaco is one of the most exciting performances I have ever experienced. It is a traditional Aztec ritual performed for everyone to enjoy,” says Enny Guerrero, organizer and patient assistance specialist at Western North Carolina Community Health Services. WNCCHS is the event’s host sponsor, so it’s no surprise that Guerrero’s team is planning to emphasize health and nutrition.
In addition to attracting thousands of attendees of all backgrounds, Fiesta Latina aims to please all ages.
“As a family-friendly event, children will be able to enjoy the Fiesta,” Guerrero says. “Every year, we focus on providing the same level of excitement for the little ones [as we do for adults]. Dora, Diego and Sponge Bob will be present throughout the event.”
Fiesta Latina is at Pack Square Park on Saturday, Oct. 10, from noon until 7 p.m. Visit avl.mx/1sp for more information.
Christina Bertelli’s fall vinegars workshop
With a background in medical herbalism and wilderness education, Christina Bertelli “has been known to dance with delight when delicious food and potent medicine just happen to overlap,” according to a description of her upcoming workshop at Villagers. The hands-on event covers vinegars and vinegar infusions with an emphasis on benefits and applications of the pungent liquid. During the session, Bertelli will cover preferred ingredients and tools used to make infusions in addition to providing sample recipes and suggested herb-vinegar pairings.
Bertelli leads the workshop at Villagers, 278 Haywood Road, on Sunday, Oct. 11, 5-7 p.m. Information and tickets ($20 per person) are available at forvillagers.com.
Hops & Vines’ yeast and fermentation class
Not only do yeast cells handle the important work of converting sugar to alcohol (among other byproducts) during the beer-making process, but the microscopic fungi have other marked effects on the finished beverage. During an upcoming workshop, Hops & Vines owner Alex Buerckholtz will educate brewers on the various stages of the fermentation process, with a focus on how commercially available yeast strains affect flavor, texture and mouthfeel of beer. “We will also discuss wild yeasts and sour beers as well as the importance of fermentation temperature and aging,” he says.
Buerckholtz hosts the free class at Hops & Vines, 797 Haywood Road, on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 6-7 p.m. For more information, visit hopsandvines.net/yeast-and-fermentation/.
Asheville’s French Quarter’s reconfiguration
“The popularity and increased demand for Creperie Bouchon on a year-round basis is resulting in a move of the restaurant from the interior courtyard to Lexington Avenue,” according to a release from the French Quarter restaurant group. Owner Michel Baudouin says the early October space swap between Creperie Bouchon and his latest restaurant, Lafayette, comes in anticipation of fall’s influx of visitors. With a larger kitchen comes an expanded menu for the creperie, which is now offering buckwheat- and chickpea flour-based crepes, brunch and new desserts. Plus, the restaurant’s employees won’t have to contend with reduced seating capacity (a closed patio) during inclement weather, as they did at the old location. A quick service model and large takeout component make Lafayette less susceptible to outdoor seating woes.