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Molalla's food of choice seems to be kettle corn, Colton's zucchini bread; Canby, what's yours?

PMG PHOTO: CINDY FAMA - A welcoming table at Celebrate Molalla includes a tempting kettle corn display.

I told someone the other day that I was planning to go to Molalla and play tourist, to see the things I usually just drive or walk by and to explore downtown.

What was going to make this day even more fun, I told them, was that it was Apple Fest/Celebrate Molalla Day in the downtown area.

Now to explain further, this person is my daughter who now lives in Lexington, Kentucky, and I asked her as someone who lived here most of her life and misses Oregon, what she would say is the favorite food of Molalla.

I mean Philadelphia has Philly steaks, New Orleans has jambalaya, Boston has baked beans, Chicago has deep-dish pizza and Portland has fancy doughnuts. She thought about it for a while before responding with "kettle corn." I laughed and thought I just might ask other people for suggestions.

But at the festivities downtown, when I walked around the barricade into the event, there on the welcoming table beside a beautiful chrysanthemum plant was a large bag of kettle corn. As I watched the crowd enjoying the day, I noticed about every fourth person was carrying a bag of the popped goodness.

There were a lot of good food choices and some nice wines, but the take home (and for street walking munchies) was indeed kettle corn. And did you know this treat is not available in all states? Me either. I brought a bag home and had some for dinner (called it a veggie).

I couldn't stop there with just the choice food of Molalla; I wanted to know the go-to food of Colton.

Thinking about recent visits to the homes of the friends, I immediately came up with the answer — zucchini bread. I did ask for other suggestions, and the traditional Swedish foods — potato sausage and pickled herring — were mentioned, but most responders seemed to agree with the zuke bread.

"Definitely," Peggy Barton said. "Last week, everywhere I went, I was asked if I wanted to take home, a loaf, or three, of zucchini bread."

Dean Blades of Colton Winery said they already have eight loaves in the freezer, "because you never know when there will be a shortage of zucchini." That statement might have been met with some eye rolling and laughter.

But the very best suggestion came from Jessie Stober, who said she makes grilled cheese sandwiches using zucchini bread. Every time I have mentioned this recipe idea to someone, they (and I promise you all of them) have done that cute side-tip of the head that the dog does when I ask, "wanna treat," and then each one said, "Hmmm, I'm going to try that." Why? Because they have zucchini bread at home!

So now, what about the foods of other local small towns? Estacada is "fungus" — sounds yuck, but, oh, so good. Canby, what is your food of choice?

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