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Pop-up citrus grove blooms in Schenley Plaza




A Citrus Grove will pop up in Schenley Plaza in Oakland from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday to promote Sunkist and cooking with citrus fruits.

Fresh greenery will create a canopy effect over the plaza to look like sunny Southern California. At rustic wooden bars, passersby will be able to sample foods and drinks created from citrus fruits by Cure and Morcilla Chef Justin Severino. Mr. Severino will do live cooking demos at 12:30 p.m. Thursday.

Sunkist also is bringing an immersive virtual reality experience where visitors, sitting on benches, can feel like they’re soaring over various California landmarks before landing in a citrus grove.

Pittsburgh is the only city where Sunkist is staging this event.

Why Pittsburgh?

Sunkist officials have noticed “innovation and the emerging food scene” in Pittsburgh, and given that the company’s Eastern sales office is located here, the city seemed like a good place to stage an interactive promotion, Sunkist Communications Director Joan Wickham said.

The pop-up event is designed to raise awareness that it’s still peak citrus season. Visitors will be able to taste various types of citrus fruits as well as Mr. Severino’s dishes: blood orange and rosemary glazed pork tenderloin, steamed artichoke with burnt lemon and herbed aioli, Meyer lemon roasted cedar plank salmon, preserved Meyer lemon and cucumber dill potato salad, Gold Nugget mandarin granite with Greek yogurt and honey, and panna cotta with fresh grapefruit and grapefruit preserves.

The Porch at Schenley Plaza is preparing Mr. Severino’s dishes for public sampling, but Mr. Severino also will demonstrate how to make them during Thursday’s appearance.

The citrus grove promotion will occur rain or shine because it will be housed in Schenley Park’s tent area.

Visitors will be able to take home copies of Mr. Severino’s recipes and free bags of citrus fruits, as well as play games such as corn hole, bocce and giant Jenga.

Correction, posted April 20, 2017: In an earlier version of this story, the first name of Joan Wickham was misstated. 

Rebecca Sodergren: pgfoodevents@hotmail.com; @pgfoodevents.







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