Oysters, pumpkin, and coffee kick off October's week in food

Normally our week of food events has a running theme, like heaps of beer tastings or charity dinners. But this first week in October is full of random, which is just how we like it. You can get over your fear of bread, learn to make cheese, brew the perfect cup of coffee, and shuck an oyster all between Monday and Sunday.

10/5 Does the idea of baking your own bread scare the crap out of you? Then the Wedge's "Bread Without Fear" class has your name all over it. David Cargo teaches how to confidently bake bread from scratch and shares the three essential skills for successful breadmaking. The ideal class for those who want to be enjoying fresh baked bread from their own oven. Class runs 7-9:30 p.m. and costs $34 for members, $37 for nonmembers. To sign up call 612.871.3993.

10/6 If coffee is your nectar, then check out the new exhibit "Coffee: The World in Your Cup" at the Bell Museum tonight. Learn about and experience the world of coffee as Dunn Brothers representatives offer up aroma challenges, demonstrate grinding, and eventually brew the perfect cup. University of Minnesota experts will also be on hand to help you explore the exhibit and learn about one of the world's most traded commodities. The event runs 5:30-8:30 p.m. and is free with museum admission of $5, and the exhibit runs through November 27.

10/8 You know you're curious: Dale Kohlmetz will teach the basics of cheesemaking at Midwest Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies while also explaining different types of cheese, which kinds of milk work best, how the different cultures and rennets work, and the effect of various temperatures and the aging process. The best part will probably be the samples--hey, you gotta know what you're going to be making! Kohlmetz will start a batch of soft cheese to show how to separate curds from whey. Class begins at 10:30 a.m. and is free. To sign up call 952.925.9854.

Meritage will be awash in oysters on Sunday
Meritage will be awash in oysters on Sunday

10/9 All day oysters, kids. Meritage's Oysterfest will feature tastings of all oyster species, including the "holy grail of oysters," the Olympia. Watch oyster farmers shuck like mad at shucking stations, and check out classes and seminars on topics like cooking oysters and oyster farming. Lift Bridge Brewery launches its Oyster Stout at the fest, which is made from Meritage's own oyster shells. Be sure to explore the pairing station to learn about pairing wine, beer, and cocktails with oysters. Of course, the food will be oyster-centric but will also include seafood standards like lobster rolls, fried clams and more. The event kicks off at noon and you will have to buy a general entry ticket ($25) at the door because advanced tickets are sold out.

Don't want to harm the oysters? Then head to Kingfield Farmer's Market for a day, which is dedicated to all things pumpkin. Watch your neighbors battle it out in front of a celebrity judge panel for the honor of winning the pumpkin bake-off. Sample the goodies and get the winning recipe to make yourself. The contest begins at 10:30 a.m., and the fun lasts until the food is gone.

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