Placer Buddhist Church's 48th annual Food BazaarBy: Anne Stokes, special to the Loomis News
The Placer Buddhist Church held its 48th annual Food Bazaar this weekend in Penryn. Nearly 15,000 people went through 5,400 lbs. of chicken and 1,300 lbs. of noodles throughout the two-day fete, which also showcased cultural events such as Taiko drum performances, a kimono fashion show, and bonsai crafting demonstrations. But the big draw every year is the food. "You can't miss the chow mein, you can't miss the sushi, and you can't miss the chicken teriyaki," advises Ron Kawahata, Bazaar co-chairman. "A lot of the churches that put on events like this, they say Placer is number one in chicken teriyaki, chow mein, and sushi." In addition to their famous teriyaki chicken, the food bazaar offered a range of savory and sweet delights. From somen noodles and sushi rolls to shaved ice and mochi, there was something for everyone to enjoy. "It's a tradition in our family, we've come as long as we can remember," said Auburn resident Phyllis Boorinakis. "The food is delicious. We're Greek. It's not Greek food. It's definitely not food we cook at home, but we really enjoy it, so we come back every year." At the core of the festivities is the celebration of Japanese culture. Every year, the Placer Buddhist Church opens their doors to share their celebration not just with their fellow Placer community members, but to pass traditions down through future generations. "Because we have older members, half of our [congregation members] are over 80, we try to keep the traditions going and learn all the recipes," said Kawahata. "That's what we're trying to do."