Authentic Arizona food and drink means flavors from the state’s Indian, Spanish and Mexican past, and when you visit Scottsdale this May, that’s just what you’ll get. How about a prickly-pear margarita, or some saguaro barbecue sauce? Mesquite is famous for its smokiness, but mesquite pod flour is an unexpectedly sweet addition to bread and muffins. Or how about habaneros and green chili peppers, added to almost anything? This month, there’s no shortage of tasty Scottsdale attractions for the whole family to enjoy. Here’s what’s going on in the realm of food and drink:

Arizona Barbecue Festival – Nearly 100 barbecue teams from across the region are headed for Scottsdale on the weekend of May 19th  for a huge BBQ event. There are only three numbers to remember: $2 (the cost of samples), $12 (the price of admission) and $40,000 – the top prize for the best smoked meat around. The festival features a kids’ zone, cooking demonstrations and vendors to help you get started barbecuing and smoking on your own, plus whiskey and local specialty cocktails to make sure you linger a little longer. The Arizona Barbeque Festival is surely the king of Scottsdale attractions in May.

AmeriCAN Canned Craft Beer Festival – The AmeriCAN festival is back for a second year this May 19th at the Scottsdale Civic Center. There are bites and bands, of course, but the brews are the main attraction. More than 150 breweries will participate. Some of the local stars include Mogollon Brewing from Flagstaff, Mudshark from Lake Havasu City, Prescott from Prescott (of course) and SanTan Brewing from Chandler. Check out the nano beer garden and the beer Olympics before sloshing away.

Schnepf Farms’ Annual Peach Festival – There’s no reason to wait until August in Georgia if fresh peaches make your mouth water – simply visit Scottsdale for this free event on the weekend of May 12th or the weekend of May 19th. Just half an hour from Scottsdale in Queen Creek, the festival features a peach-sampling tent, a pancake breakfast, cooking demos by celebrity chefs and orchard train rides for the kids.

Mother’s Day Brunch at the Heard Museum – If you happen to be enjoying one of the Westbrook vacation rentals this Mother’s Day, take Mom and the rest of the crew to this delicious event. The Heard Museum, one of Phoenix’s finest cultural attractions, is all about American Indian arts and culture. The brunch, in the museum’s Courtyard Café, includes music, exhibits for Mom to enjoy and even a gift shop for her to pick out her own present – if you’ve waited that long.

Special events are great, of course, but don’t forget that the city of Scottsdale is overflowing with top restaurant and club destinations that offer their own special culinary creations. Whether you’re on the prowl for hot peppers or a dose of smoky mesquite, visit Scottsdale for a taste of the best the Southwest has to offer.