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Savoring Kentucky showcases the wonders of Kentucky's food, farms, farmers, restaurants, chefs, distillers, brewers, orchards and markets. We applaud local food, its producers and champions. We delight in news of improvements in food and food systems. We take pleasure in fine food. We thank our wondrous sponsors for supporting our work and local goodness all around.

What's Stirring, January 22, 2015? Tea, Bourbon, Chocolate, Janet Patton, National Avenue Renewal

I can't say I'm surprised to read the clear, research-based information on caffeine in teas that Bruce Richardson of Elmwood Inn Fine Teas just published in his blog, The Tea Maestro. Bruce is that very maestro, and also an impresario, as evidenced in the upcoming Ultimate Tea Dinners at Woodford Reserve, featuring inventive food that makes good use of both tea and bourbon, and featuring Bruce himself as well. Initially the organizers planned a single event on January 25; they added a second date, January 24, after the first sold out. Call 859-879-1953 for tickets (fingers crossed that some remain for you!)

Teas and tea things at Elmood Inn Fine Teas, Danville, Kentucky

I enjoy Janet Patton's newsy, interesting Wednesday food updates. The January 21, 2015 edition was particularly rich.

And I enjoy Good Foods Coop, of course, several times most weeks. Their upcoming 50 Shades of Free Chocolate event sounds like heaven for any choco-phile.  (That's my title, not theirs.) Free chocolate in drinks, savory foods, and, of course desserts. Be there on Friday, February 6, 5-7 PM.

Photo supplied by Good Foods Coop. Lots of chocolate in the house!

It's a fine story from a great newspaper, but even with photos and good prose, it's hard to describe the current that's flowing, buzzing in Lexington's National Avenue area. It's a place that has its own intriguing tone, better understood first hand than in descriptions. The food scene in this renewed retail area keeps expanding as National Provisions adds to more beautifully styled food businesses (restaurant, bakery and beer hall so far, and still adding.) Along with the yoga studio, dry hair salon, home decor stores, barbeque joint, juice bar with a gluten-free focus, fitness locations, good causes, vintage clothing and the cool recording and magazine studios in the area (hi there, STORY!) I also nominate Ruth Hunt Candy for a pioneer award. Several years ago the beloved Kentucky candy emporium moved onto Walton Avenue, diagonally across from the (then) decrepit buildings that are now looking fresh and interesting. Cleverly, Ruth Hunt installed a contract branch of the U.S. Post Office right inside. Shortest lines in town, people! And best smelling post office ever. A candy store, after all, figures prominently in Jane Jacobs's description of a vibrant, healthy urban space in her book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Andrew Simmons (possibly this Louisville native), who wrote the article on the area, gave some attention to the pace of development. Simmons quotes Greg Walker, the "community-minded developer" who owns many of the buildings in the area:

"We take great responsibility in changing the landscape forever," Mr. Walker said. “This organic growth may have taken us 10 years, but the life span of these buildings is 150. A year is a speck of sand. We don’t mind waiting.”

Sponsors included in this post: Good Foods Coop.

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