Know how to say ‘elephant ear’ in Canadian?Published 9:28pm Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Canadians call them beaver tails. Italians refer to it as zeppole.
Depending upon what region of the United States you’re from, you might call them fry dough, pizza fritas, frying saucers or doughboys.
Smothered with indulgent sugar and cinnamon, this deep-fried yeast dough, best known in southwestern Michigan as elephant ears, will be among the old-time favorites served at this year’s Taste of Dowagiac, which returns to the downtown during Dowagiac’s “Summer in the City” Festival July 29-31.
Hosted by Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce, this year’s celebration was underwritten by a $10,000 fine arts grant awarded to the Downtown Development Authority by St. Denys Foundation; and corporate sponsors that include the Army National Guard, Creative Vinyl Signs, Dr. Charles Burling and Dr. Jon Gillesby, Leader Publications, Dr. Alan Montgomery, Lyons Industries and Southwestern Michigan College.
“Of all the foods most people associate with county fairs and summertime festivals, elephant ears typically top the must-have list for both children and adults,” said Kris Lamphere.
A member of the Chamber of Commerce, who also serves on its Board of Directors, Lamphere owns Who Knew? Consignment on Front Street.
During her second year as chairman of The Taste of Dowagiac, she is also overseeing community and commercial sidewalk vendors.
As summer 2010 continues to turn up the heat and humidity, the festive fare of visiting food vendors will likely keep you cool.
Lamphere selected a few visiting food vendors, who will join the familiar faces of local restaurateurs.
Antonio’s New Orleans Style features shaved ice and snowballs, as Bayou Billy’s 10-barrel soda cart will quench your thirst with 10 flavors of old-fashioned soda pop.
The highly-sought elephant ears and funnel cakes will be available from J&M Concessions, as JK Nut Hut serves up glazed almonds and pecans.
If you’re looking for something to start your day, Grandpa’s Doghouse will feature a breakfast burrito, along with tators and veggie dogs.
Lamphere said Little Store on the Prairie and Farmhouse Bakery, which joined the festival in 2009, will return to their Beeson Street location for the summertime bash, along with Cass County Democrats, who will roast corn on the cob.
Local restaurants that will hit the outdoors for the July 29-31 event include: Beeson Street Bar and Grill, serving roast beef sandwiches; Caruso’s Candy Kitchen with its Chicago-style hot dogs; Wood Fire Italian Trattoria with its ribs; and Zeke’s with its ciabatta pizza.
Farm House Bakery, located just north of Vandalia, will feature some of its most tempting baked goods.
Even the name of this delightful little bakery conjures up images of some of the best home-made pastries and baked goods that have ever gone from oven to one’s kitchen table.
Little Store on the Prairie from Decatur is another gem of southwest Michigan located a bit off the beaten path.
If your sweet tooth craves Michigan-grown products, its booth will feature pure Michigan maple syrup and locally-made honey, along with signature salad dressings, freshly-ground peanut butter, homemade noodles, gravy and biscuit mixes and packaged nuts.
In addition to The Taste of Dowagiac, Summer in the City also serves up three days of entertainment featuring performances by The Outta Towners, Positively Dance, Kalamazoo Avenue Band, Wildfire, Encore Dance Company, Due Process, Miss Kathy’s School of Dance and Dowagiac rock band Down Shift.
In addition to the acclaimed 5K and 10K Steve’s Run of Southwestern Michigan College, the event features such family activities as horse-drawn carriage rides, children’s games hosted by Dowagiac Band Boosters, Blueberry Hill pony rides and petting zoo, children’s inflatables provided by Judd Lumber Building Supply and Rental Center and the Army National Guard, a climbing rock wall and children’s clothesline art hosted by Lighthouse Children’s Center.
The Children’s Entertainment Tent on July 29 features the Bear Bus, which is Indiana’s first and only mobile bus for “stuff your own Teddy Bears,” and “Make a Splash” storytime and crafts, hosted by Dowagiac District Library and the Chamber of Commerce; “Aviation Takes Flight,” an interactive children’s workshop hosted on Friday by the Museum at Southwestern Michigan College, and the Ronald McDonald magic show; and on Saturday, Curious Kid’s Museum from St. Joseph.
There are also summer sidewalk sales featuring community and commercial booths and on Saturday the 17th annual Take Off With Hospice Drawing and Rubber Duckie Races hosted by Dowagiac Fine Arts Boosters.
In addition to the Ladies Library Association Book Sale, the library hosts sidewalk chalk art on Thursday and a magic show on Friday by John Dudley.