You may have spotted a vibrantly colored bus at local festivals and farmers' markets recently: The Liberación Juice Station (www.liberacionjuicestation.com), based out of Chatham County, is the brainchild of Zulayka Santiago, a native of Puerto Rico. Fresh-pressed juice, tea and organic smoothies include nutrient-rich concoctions that aim to boost immunity. A popular favorite: Green Liberation, which includes kale, banana, ginger, prunes, soaked almonds and flax.
Santiago's family has struggled with chronic health issues. Combining her personal history with a decade of experience in public service (she is the former executive director of El Pueblo Inc., a statewide Latino advocacy organization), she envisioned a way to nurture her health-conscious community. "In the past few years, so much of my personal work has been focused on the liberation of my individual and our collective imagination and spirit. Indeed, this is my life's work," she says.
Just in time for the chill, Liberación Juice has introduced hot drinks, including Magical Chocolate (made without processed sugars and with a hint of cayenne pepper) and Flaming Cider (spiked with fresh ginger root). Find the truck at Chatham Marketplace Friday, Oct. 30, from 4 to 6 p.m., at Pittsboro's First Sunday celebration Nov. 1 from noon to 4 p.m. and at the Durham Farmers' Market on Saturday.
In mid-November, Santiago starts her winter hiatus; check the Web site for updates.
One of the central Latino cultural observances is Día de los Muertos, celebrated on Nov. 1. Neither morbid nor maudlin, the holiday honors those who've passed on with food, candy, gifts and altars. In Durham, on Nov. 2, Dos Perros (200 N. Mangum St., 956-2750, www.dosperrosrestaurant.com) hosts a four-course Day of the Dead dinner for $30. Among the choices are candied fruit bread, roasted hen in adobo sauce and spiced lentils with plantains and pineapple. The regular menu is also available.
On Nov. 5 at 7 p.m., Durham's Regulator Bookshop (720 Ninth St., 286-2700, www.regulatorbookshop.com) welcomes the Lee brothers, authors of Simple Fresh Southern: Knockout Dishes with Down-Home Flavor (www.simplefreshsouthern.com). Inspired by their Charleston, S.C., roots, Matt and Ted Lee offer reinvented classics like collard greens with poblano chilis and chorizo and pork tenderloins with Madeira and fig gravy. Watts Grocery caters the event with snacks made from the book.
Wine events pop up in the Triangle every weekend. One that caught my eye this week has a locavore twist in the urban heart of Raleigh. On Nov. 15, Cary's Chatham Hill Winery (www.chathamhillwines.com) sponsors a winemaker's dinner at Raleigh's Irregardless Cafe (901 W. Morgan St., 833-8898, www.irregardless.com). "Gathering Around Our Table: A Locavore Wine Dinner" includes five courses of locally grown dishes paired with Chatham Hill wines. The cost is $115 per person, and proceeds will benefit Learning Together, a local nonprofit benefiting the youth of Wake County. The event will fill up fast; for information and tickets, visit www.learningtogether.org/gathering.
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