Sunrise Market to bring Iron Range favorites to the cities

A nondescript building that holds a treasure trove of foodie delights

A nondescript building that holds a treasure trove of foodie delights

The foods from the Forti family bakery have been fortifying the people of Hibbing for more than 100 years. Christmas morning isn't the same without a loaf of their honey-spiked, walnut-studded potica smeared with fresh cream butter, and transplants from the Iron Range have longed for their pasties and squishy, fat loaves of Italian bread. Now, there's no need to make the three hour journey up north to satiate those cravings because the Forti family's Sunrise Market is open for business in St. Paul.

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The market is run by Tom Forti, the fourth generation of a family that has long shared its Italian specialties with hungry Minnesotans. First, the Forti's line of dried pastas (including a divine butternut squash linguini) began popping up at farmers markets and at the Italian family-run business, Morelli's Market in St. Paul. Shortly thereafter, we could find those brightly colored ribbons of carbs on the shelves at Lunds and Byerly's stores.

The pasta was just the beginning. Now, inside their new market, shoppers will find an entire line of Forti family foods including pasties, fresh pastas, sauces, stromboli, and more. The signature Sunrise Bakery potica is in stock, but so is potica coffee cake and bars. They also have entire porkettas (not to be confused with Italian porchetta) rubbed with a bewitching mix of Italian seasonings and tucked away in the freezers.

For the uninitiated, there are several dishes that are ubiquitous in Northern Minnesota but can be more difficult to source when you move farther away. Pasties, for example, are a savory, flaky pie-like crust wrapped around a filling of meat and potatoes (and possibly rutabaga, depending on what camp your ancestors raised you in). Potica is a special occasion bread that is rolled paper thin and spread with warm spices, sugar, honey, and chopped nuts before being carefully rolled into a beautiful, sweet loaf. Porketta is a hunk of pork, usually a shoulder roast, rubbed with a mixture of fennel, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper and roasted until tender. They are all regional dishes worth planning a road trip around, but now there's no need to leave the Twin Cities.

And it's not just Forti products on the shelves. Fraboni's sausages and Chiquis chocolates are available here, alongside Jars of Summer's wonderful jams, such as the just-sweet-enough grapefruit with smoked sea salt variety.

865 Pierce Butler, St. Paul
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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