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Sample world cuisines here at home

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Need a spring break? Want to travel the world, but can't afford the plane fare? Over the coming weeks, you can sample cuisines of the world right here at home.

Cup a Joe in Chapel Hill (1129 Weaver Dairy Road, 967-2002, www.joevangogh.com) encourages you to "Drink Global, Eat Local," during March. Joe's coffee of the month is Shade Grown Panama Santa Clara, which will be marked down to $1.69 per 16-ounce cup and available for sampling during a monthlong series of events featuring local bakers. (Read: free goodies!)

From 9-11 a.m. on March 14, meet Hillsborough's Jennie McCray, The Accidental Baker (mccraymason@embarqmail.com), who focuses on healthy, whole food ingredients in snacks like whole wheat and oat scones and peanut butter energy bars. During the same time frame on March 21, meet Annie Pambaguian of Sweet Little Something of Chapel Hill (poupidou@gmail.com), which specializes in French pastries.

Panciuto (110 S. Churton St., Hillsborough, 732-6261, www.panciuto.com) is hosting Italian vintner Elisabetta Fagiuoli to "share her stories, experiences and wine knowledge" during a six-course dinner at 7 p.m. on March 12. Fagiuoli will bring six of her Sono Montenidoli (montenidoli.com) creations to share. Cost is $70 per person, which includes tax and tip.

Blu Seafood and Bar (2002 Hillsborough Road, Durham, 286-9777, www.bluseafoodandbar.com) will whisk you to the shores of Veracruz at 7 p.m. on March 18. Chef Tim Lyons and his staff, many of whom hail from the Yucatan, will prepare four courses inspired by the "New Orleans of Mexico." Mike Smith of the Country Vintner will pair each course with wine. Cost is $45 per person.

Zely & Ritz (301 Glenwood Ave., Suite 100, Raleigh, 828-0018, www.zelyandritz.com) hosts four international wine dinners in March and April. Cost and menus for each one are yet to be determined, but all start at 7 p.m. March 18 features a "Kiss Me, I Wish I Was Irish" whiskey dinner; March 25 highlights the wines of Chile and Argentina; April 8 pairs beef dishes with wine from Bordeaux; and April 22 is a night to explore Africa.

Nana's (2514 University Drive, Durham, 493-8545, www.nanasdurham.com) delves into the wines of South Africa on April 8. Chef-owner Scott Howell will prepare five courses, plus an opening "finger food," and each course will be paired with a South African red or white. Cost is $55 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

Finally, Mediterranean Deli (410 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, 967-2666, mediterraneandeli.com) has expanded. It's all part of a series of moves on that block of West Franklin. First, the paint-your-own-pottery store closed. Then Chapel Hill Comics, which used to be Med Deli's next-door neighbor, moved to the former pottery spot. This allowed Med Deli to renovate that space. The result is very nice—more room, new tables, same delicious food.

Know about a fun food happening in the Triangle? Send it to Now Serving at food@indyweek.com.

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