• Heringer Estate EcoCask
$35 for Heringer wine club members ($25 refill), $45 nonmembers ($40 refill); Davis Farmers Market and others; heringerestates.com
“A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread-and Thou,” was how Persian poet Omar Khayyam described paradise, but good jugs of wine can be hard to come by – until now. Swing by the Davis Farmers Market (as well as other area farmers markets) and pick up an “EcoCask” (a 2-liter glass … well, jug) of these superior red (smooth and drinkable) and white blends (dry and peppery, hard not to like) from Clarksburg-based Heringer Estates. Then, like a beer growler, bring it back for discounted refills. Either way, it’s certain to make your summer outings a little closer to paradise.
• Dreyer’s Ice Cream limited-edition flavors
$5.99-$6.49; local grocery stores; www.dreyers.com
Beyond the threat of sweltering summer weather, Dreyer’s gives us more reasons to indulge our cold cravings: three limited-edition flavors we like – two new and one returning. New are Fun ’n’ the Sun Banana Split (banana ice cream with fudge and “cherry on-top” swirls) and Summer in the City Cheesecake (vanilla with a graham cracker swirl and cheesecake pieces). Making an encore is German Chocolate Cake Spectacular. The flavors are offered in 1.5-quart cartons. Pair a bowl of one of these ice creams with Dreyer’s “Reason to Smile” campaign, and you’re onto something. Time’s a-meltin’: They’re only on sale through August.
• Affi’s Lemon Crackers
$5; Davis Farmers Market & some Whole Foods; Maringourmet.com
This family business turns out a tasty line of Mediterranean fare including hummus in a multitude of flavors and its signature Aubergine eggplant spread. But it’s the crackers – thick, crispy random-shaped bites made from whole wheat flour – that will make you a devotee. Try the lemon ones, coated with rich, delicious olive oil and a bit of salt.
• Recchiuti Caramelia Perles
$7; San Francisco’s Ferry Building, www.recchiuti.com
San Francisco chocolatier Michael Recchiuti has hand-crafted his custom blend of Valrhona chocolate into an ode to cacao. The result is Caramelia Perles, a custom-molded bar of semisweet chocolate studded with crunchy milk chocolate-caramel pearls, which is described as having “bold red fruit notes and hints of tobacco.” That winelike quality made it a mouthwatering treat with a glass of madera. A little went a long ways. The limited-edition, 3-ounce bar will be on sale July 8 through September.
• John Wayne Hardwood Charcoal
$7 for an 8.3 pound bag; Bel Air and other markets.
Whoa, back up. there, Pilgrim. Is that an image of John Wayne on those bags of hardwood charcoal stacked in front of the Bel Air supermarket? Yep, it’s the Duke, sure enough, and wearing his trademark kerchief and hat, and toting a rifle. Turns out the oak-and-hickory charcoal has joined a collection of four spice rubs sold under the John Wayne Stock & Supply line. It’s part of the grilling-centric inventory from the Fire & Flavor company, in partnership with John Wayne Enterprises ( www.fireandflavor.com). We bought a bag and tested it on our Weber grill. It was straightforward and honest, and worked just fine.
— Bee staff
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