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Italian Bakery

205 1st St. S
Virginia  Minnesota  55792
United States
(877) 747-3464
(218) 741-3464
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Midwest Living Review

Robert Lillegard
This bakery's potica ("po-teet-sah") is a favorite among northeastern Minnesotans.

When a bakery's website is at potica.com, it's not difficult to figure out what they specialize in. This Slovenian pastry is an Iron Range favorite, and the Prebonich family knows how to make it. Their closely guarded potica recipe is clearly high-quality. They roll out the sweet dough until it's very thin (supposedly you can read a newspaper through it, though you probably won't get a chance to verify this firsthand). They spread paste of honey, creamery butter, eggs, round walnuts and brown sugar on top, then roll the dough and bake it into a dense, creamy, multilayered delicacy. They're tasty enough that they're shipped around the country, but they have a hefty price -- the potica starts at $13.50 for 1 pound and climbs from there. If you're curious but not ready to commit, ask for a sample; they keep a potica on hand for that. There are also plenty more affordable bakery options. Standards like apple turnovers or cupcakes are joined by tasty and unusual ethnic desserts. Coowner Bette Prebonich is 100-percent Finnish and remembers that her grandmother made little tarts with a pielike crust and sweet fruit fillings, like apricot or prune. They're sold here as kolachkis (their Slovakian name), and they're delicious. The adorable "pigs" (glazed doughnuts with four "legs" and a cherry filling) are even better. We got two kolachkis, an apple flip and a pig for only $4.50, which is definitely a bargain. The bakery is a worthy place to stock up on your way through the Iron Range, even if you have to drive a little out of your way to get here.

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