By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer Published Nov 04, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Even if you're paying close attention, it's sometimes difficult to keep up with the latest in food news here in Milwaukee. So here's a ta0ste of what's new and notable – including new about Indulgence Chocolatier’s new bean-to-bar program, the resurrection of Candy Raisins, November wine classes at Ruby Tap, a Harvest Beer Dinner at SPIN Milwaukee, the annual March of Dimes Chef Auction, and half-price Piedmontese wine finds at Zarletti.

New offerings at Indulgence Chocolatiers
This month, Indulgence Chocolatiers will begin small-batch production of bean-to-bar chocolate at its facility at 211 S. 2nd St. in Walker’s Point.

Bean-to-bar refers to the process of sourcing, roasting, grinding and processing cocoa beans into chocolate. While Indulgence will continue to use the finest blended bean and single origin chocolate from around the world to make most of its confections, they will also offer a line featuring locally processed chocolate.

"While complex and relatively expensive, producing from bean-to-bar will allow us more control over the taste of the chocolate," says owner Julie Waterman. "Our bean-to-bar products will enable customers to really experience the ‘terroir’ of the beans along with unique flavor profiles chosen by our chocolate makers."

Single origin bars featuring relatively high cocoa percentages will be available at both Indulgence stores, as well as retailers throughout Wisconsin.

Midwestern confection is back, thanks to Milwaukee candy company
In early 2008, the last Candy Raisins, small gummy ginger-flavored confections, were produced in Pewaukee. Made by Stark Candy Factory for NECCO, the confections were a favorite here in Wisconsin, as well as across the Midwest.

For years, they were unavailable, but this October Osmanium Candy Company, founded in Milwaukee in 2004 and most famous for its Crackheads candy, released a new product called Candy Sunshine V150, a remake of Candy Raisins.  

According to Osmanium Director of Operations John Osmanski,  "The response to V150 has been extremely positive, we are very thankful to hear all the responses from folks who are so happy their favorite candy is back.  We have gone through quite a few revisions to get the desired flavor in V150."

According to Osmanski, it took almost three years to develop the current flavor profile for the candies, which underwent intense taste testing, and he reports that currently 9 out of 10 Candy Raisins lovers approve of the product.

Candy Sunshine™ V150 is currently sold at candy shops around Wisconsin, including Half Nuts, Winkies, Kehr's, select Walgreens, and select Woodmans. For a full list please visit the Buy page at  

Upcoming wine classes at Ruby Tap
As the holiday season approaches, it’s a great time to bone up on your wine knowledge. Whether it’s choosing the perfect bottle for your next dinner party or something special for a hostess gift, the folks at Ruby Tap have a class that will help you out. Here’s what’s new in the month of November:

  • Taste your way through the world of red wine. Sunday, Nov. 17, from 3 to 5 p.m., you’ll be able to delve into some of the most important wine regions of the world, identify your personal wine style and learn how to read a wine label from top to bottom. Tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased online.
  • What wines pair with turkey?  Find out on Sunday, Nov. 24, from 5 to 7 p.m. as you enjoy Thanksgiving foods paired with a variety of delicious wines.  Tickets are $15 per person and will include all wine tasting and food. Wines will also be available for purchase. Buy six bottles or more and your $15 entry fee is waived. RSVP by email at or by phone at (414) 456-1300.

SPIN over to the Fall Harvest Beer Dinner
When you think of SPIN Milwaukee, do you think of food? If you don’t, it might be a good time to start reconsidering.

Join SPIN Milwaukee’s Chef Joe Glisch on Nov. 20 as he prepares five delicious autumn-inspired courses to be paired with five equally delicious Wisconsin micro-brews.

According to Brand Manager Megan Giersch, this dinner will be the first of many offered by Milwaukee’s popular table-tennis-infused bar and restaurant.

Tickets for the dinner are $65 each or $120 per couple, including tax and gratuity. Limited to 24 guests. For reservations, contact Katie Ryan Pluer by email at or by phone at (414) 763-9650.

March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction
Enjoy world-class cuisine at the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction this Wednesday while raising money to help give babies in Wisconsin a strong, healthy start.

The event, chaired by The Pfister's Executive Chef Brian Frakes, includes an auction, live entertainment and 20 food stations with offerings from restaurants including Atlas BBQ, Juniper61, Maxie’s, Melthouse Bistro and Tenuta’s Italian Restaurant.

The event will take place on Nov. 6 beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Pfister Hotel, 424 E. Wisconsin Ave. Tickets, which are $200 each can be purchased online.

Half priced wines at Zarletti in November
Piedmontese wines are some of the finest in Italy, but they can also be some of the most expensive.

Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday in November, Zarletti, 741 N. Milwaukee St. will offer selected bottles of Barolo, Barbaresco and other Piedmontese wines for half off their regular price. Wine offerings will include library releases, older vintages, large format bottles, and wines from renowned producers and will be priced between $20 and $250.

Follow Zarletti on Facebook for details.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer

Lori Fredrich (Lo) is an eater, writer, wonderer, bon vivante, traveler, cook, gardener and girlwonder. Born and raised in the Milwaukee area, she has tried to leave many times, but seems to be drawn to this quirky city that smells of beer and alewives.

Some might say that she is a little obsessed with food. Lo would say she is A LOT obsessed with food. After all, she has been cooking, eating and enjoying food for decades and has no plans to retire anytime soon. 

Lo's recipes and writing have been featured in a variety of publications including GO: Airtran Inflight Magazine, Cheese Connoisseur, Cooking Light, Edible Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as on the blog Go Bold with Butter, the web site Wisconsin Cheese Talk, and in the quarterly online magazine Grate. Pair. Share.