Taste Of Greece Festival Tickles Duluth Superior Palates

By KBJR News 1

July 10, 2011 Updated Jul 10, 2011 at 9:50 PM CST

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter)
Greek is one of the many flavors that make up the Northland melting pot.
But, if there are a lot of Native Americans, Scandinavians, Slavs and Italians here, Greek is just a small pinch of spice in the recipe.

"There's a very small Greek population; probably in the hundreds. Most of them attend the Greek Orthodox Church." said Lee Regas.

This festival is called "A Taste Of Greece."
It's a fundraiser for the Greek Orthodox Church and this is the 19th annual.
Dancers in regional regalia from Athens to Crete offer a taste of Hellenic culture.
Cooks give a taste of the cuisine.

"Shish kabob and gyros, baklava dessert and we have a Greek sausage that we introduced this year for the first time." said Regas.

Much of the food comes from the outdoor cooking tent where members of the Patronas clan, famous for their char–burgers, sweat over grills on an already warm day.
Some of them feel non–Greeks are genetically incapable of creating their own great gyros.

"No, you have to be Greek. You can make an okay one but you can't make a great Greek one!" said Jason Patronas.

Nearly three thousand people let the real Greeks cook the gyros for them this weekend.
If there are only a few hundred real Greeks in our region, that means about twenty five hundred souls were at least Greek for a day.
Festival organizers like that augmentation to their culture.

"Now it's more of a melting pot but we want to keep that Greek tradition going!" said Regas.

In Duluth, Dave Anderson, the Northland's News Center.

The money raised by the "Taste of Greece" event benefits the 12 Holy Apostles Church on East Second Street in Duluth.