ICC's 24th A Taste of Italy adds new flavors to traditional favorites
Festa Italiana is, of course, the city's major Italian festival and it takes place each July, bringing delectable Italian cuisine to the Summerfest grounds.
But each April, half a block west of the Henry Maier Festival Park, at the Italian Community Center, 631 E. Chicago St., A Taste of Italy draws Milwaukee in to check out the ICC and sample tasty Italian-American treats.
This year's 24th annual event takes place Sunday, April 28 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Among the traditiona; favorites are pizza, pasta, meatball sandwiches, arancini (rice balls), eggplant, panini, sausage sandwiches, sfingi, salads, soups, sfinciuni and pork tenderloin, along with dolci like cannoli, gelato, cookies, eclairs, pizzelle and spumoni.
But this year, there will be some new items making their event debut, including Italian beef sandwiches and stuffed shells.
There will also be coffee, soda, water, beer and wine.
Admission and parking are free. You buy tickets – $2 each or six for $10 – and use them to sample variety of Italian entrées, appetizers, desserts and beverages. Items cost one ticket each, except for the fried calamari, which requires two.
Entrée items, appetizers and beverages will be available in the Pompeii Grand Ballroom. Desserts and beverages will be served in the Festa Ballroom. Seating will be available throughout the building and, if Mother Nature allows it, you can sit around the fountain in the courtyard, too,
There will also be live entertainment and raffles for great prizes.
The annual event is a fundraiser for the non-profit Italian Community Center, which works to promote Italian-American culture and history in Milwaukee, via Festa Italiana, Italian language classes for children, bocce leagues, an historical photo collection and more.
A Taste of Italy is organized and run by ICC volunteers, who pour their passion and hard work into the event.
"A Taste of Italy is the only place you can go to sample 20 different Italian foods and six different desserts for a reasonable price," says Christina Ziino, who coordinates the event with Marie (Andaloro) Lieber and Val (Sanfilippo) Schleicher, adding that the event is the second largest ICC fundraiser after Festa itself.
Buon appetito, Milwaukee.
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