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Capers win at Smudge Pot Stroll

Capers took top honors at this year's Smudge Pot Stroll with a delectable dessert.

Chocolate mousse made with a reduction of Depoe Bay blackberry wine was piped on to house-made brioche toast rounds, then topped with candied bacon, finely diced apple and pear, and a sprinkle of smoked sea salt. The one-bite dessert was paired with a taste of the same blackberry wine.

The restaurant at 35 N. Front St. also won first place for the best pairing and people's choice.

In the people's choice category, Howiee's On Front took second place and Havana Republic and Habaneros tied for third place.

In the best pairing category, Howiee's again took second and Habaneros took third.

For the best taste, Howiee's won first place. Sunrise Cafe took second place and Wamba Juice took third.

Seventeen downtown restaurants participated in the stroll, which has become an annual part of the Pear Blossom Festival weekend. Organizers said 350 tickets, priced at $30 each, sold out by the end of March.

Money raised at the event is distributed to support music and culinary arts programs at North and South Medford high schools, and as scholarships for culinary students, chefs earning American Culinary Federation certification and Pear Blossom Pageant participants.