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Sun Country awarded Cuba flights

Plus: Coastal Seafoods sold; explaining Minnesota’s food; the history of meat raffles; and more.

Your trip to Cuba just got a bit easier. In Star Tribune, Kristen Leigh Painter reports: “Sun Country Airlines has been approved to fly nonstop from the Twin Cities to two cities in Cuba, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Friday. … Friday’s announcement is for flights to nine Cuban cities. It does not include the awards for the coveted Havana routes. Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport passengers will have two destinations to choose from on weekly flights: Santa Clara and Matanzas.”

Nothing fishy here. The Pioneer Press’ Jaime DeLage reports: “Twin Cities seafood specialist Coastal Seafoods has been sold to a Chicago company. … Coastal announced the sale to Fortune Fish & Gourmet on Thursday, describing Fortune as ‘the premier seafood and specialty food distributor in the Midwest.’ … The Twin Cities retail stores will continue to operate as Coastal Seafoods, Fortune said. Coastal’s wholesale facility in Minneapolis will operate under the Fortune Fish & Gourmet name with additional products and a new inventory system.”

Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl takes to Serious Eats to foodsplain Minnesota: “As a longtime restaurant critic for Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, I’ve spent years researching the best restaurants, bars, and assorted treats that the Twin Cities have to offer. Because of this, I’d like to say I know the dining scene better than just about anyone else. But something I’ve learned during my time here is that this is not an easy place to understand, especially when it comes to food. …While many coastal dwellers consider us part of the Midwest, we’re not so sure. There’s been a lot of talk recently about throwing off that term in its entirety, because, well, we are really far away from Ohio. Right now, we are toying with ‘The North,’ ‘The Far North,’ ‘The Deep North’—anything that gets the point across that it’s different up here. Very different.”

Speaking of local foodways, this is important information for every Minnesotan. For Atlas Obscura, Natalie Zarrelli explores the history of the meat raffle: “If you’re from Minnesota, Wisconsin, or western New York, you’d likely recognize a carnivorous event known as the meat raffle, where locals gamble for the chance to win a package of raw meat for just a dollar. With a spin of a wheel, the holder of the correct numbered ticket can walk away with pounds of fresh bratwurst, ham, turkey, or T-bone steak. … Meat raffles first originated in Britain during World War II and spread to the U.S. and other English-speaking countries after the war. Though its exact origins in the U.S. are not certain, some posit that meat raffles were a response to food rationing in both Europe and America; several families would put their meat ration into the pool, allowing the winner to benefit from a full family meal, eventually turning into a fun event.”

In other news…

Finally, they catch a break: “Tax court hands Medtronic a win in $1.4B IRS case” [Mass Device]

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Regents interrupted: “6 arrested in U tuition protest” [Star Tribune]

City Pages writer too cool to go to Macklemore show, but went anyway: “Macklemore at Target Center: An embarrassing timeline”

Minnesota: it’s not just beer. “The State of Cider 2016: Updates from cideries during Minnesota Cider Week” [The Growler]

How about naming a building? “University of Minnesota Plans Honorary Degree for Prince” [KSTP]