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  • Harper Design

    “Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals”

  • Chris Macias / Chris Macias

    This barrel-aged negroni was created by Chris Tucker of Hook & Ladder.

  • Grapefruit gummy pandas are from Bissinger’s.

  • Dan Holtz / Big Time PR

    A scene from the movie “Farmland.”

  • Hector Amezcua / Sacramento Bee file

    Local asparagus is king of the annual Asparagus Festival in Stockton, April 25-27. Patrons can take some home, too.

Consume: Our favorite food stuff this week

Published: Sunday, Apr. 20, 2014 - 12:00 am


• Barrel-aged negroni

$10.50; Hook & Ladder (1630 S St., Sacramento);

Sacramento’s cocktail scene recently received a significant shout-out from the SF Weekly, which featured on our fair city in its “drink of the week” column. Hook & Ladder, Red Rabbit, Hock Farm and The Shady Lady Saloon were all name checked, with nods to Sacramento bartenders’ use of seasonal ingredients and top-notch craft. That’s cause to celebrate with a barrel-aged negroni created by Chris Tucker of Hook & Ladder. This classic cocktail was aged for more than two months in a bourbon barrel, allowing the bitter and botanical flavors to marry and soak up a little toastiness from the barrel. Don’t let the smooth taste fool you – this easy sipper of a cocktail packs plenty of kick.


• “Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals”

$19.99; 128 pages; Harper Design

Last year, writer-art director Dinah Fried posted five “photographic recreations of meals from classic and contemporary literature” – dishes she assembled and styled herself. As a result, her site got more than 200,000 hits and was mentioned on TV shows and blog sites, and in newspapers and magazines.

Now comes “Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals,” in which she expands the concept to include 50 pairings. They include the Mad Hatter’s tea party from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” cupcakes and chardonnay from Jonathan Franzen’s “The Corrections,” and apple pie a la mode from Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road.”

Each dish is accompanied by the relevant passage. For instance, this is from J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher In the Rye”: “When I’m out somewhere, I generally just eat a Swiss cheese sandwich and a malted milk. It isn’t much, but you get a lot of vitamins in the malted milk.”


• Bissinger’s Pink Grapefruit Grapeseed Gummy Pandas


The Bissinger family got its start in the 17th century, making confections for European nobility. While mostly known for its chocolate, the company, which has operated in the U.S. since the mid-1800s, has other sweets worth the royal treatment. Run-of-the-mill gummy bears are kids’ stuff next to Bissinger’s gourmet (and organic) version, made with tapioca syrup and cane sugar, then sweetened with flavors including blueberry acai, apricot green tea, and refreshing, not-to-sweet pink grapefruit grapeseed.


• “Farmland”

$10.50; 7:30 p.m. May 1; Crest Theatre (1013 K St., Sacramento);

Ever flirt with the idea of chucking your urban career and becoming a farmer? More and more, the grizzled face of agriculture is turning youthful as 20-somethings across America do just that, whether following in family footsteps or forging a new path. “Farmland,” a documentary from Academy Award-winning director James Moll, shadows six young farmers and ranchers as they plant, pick, wrangle and slaughter their way through the seasons in this high-risk, high-reward profession.


• Stockton Asparagus Festival

$13 adults, $8 seniors and teens, children free; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday-Sunday; Downtown Stockton;

Stockton is poised to once again embrace its favorite locally grown veggie. Nicknamed the “Best in the West Food Fest,” its Asparagus Festival offers family entertainment as well as a wide variety of asparagus-based cuisine, including such fan favorites as deep-fried asparagus, asparagus ice cream, asparagus burritos and asparagus-beef sandwiches.The festival grounds extend from Oak Street to Weber Avenue with Center Street transformed into “Spear-it Lane.”

– Bee staff

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