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  • Allen Pierleoni

    Veri sodas are organic, low-cal (60) and flavored with natural ingredients.

  • Andy Alfaro / Sacramento Bee file

    Traditional Greek baklava are served during the Sacramento Greek Festival.

Consume: Our favorite food stuff this week

Published: Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014 - 12:00 am


• Greek Festival

$5 for adults, free for 12 and younger; Sacramento Convention Center (1400 J St.)

It wouldn’t be Labor Day weekend without the annual Greek Festival (the 51st), and it wouldn’t be the festival without the food. Dishes are handmade by volunteers who are experienced home cooks and members of the sponsoring Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation. On the menu: pastitsio (Greek lasagna), dolmades (stuffed grape-vine leaves), tiropeta (three-cheese-filled filo pastry dough), paidakia (grilled lamb chops), kota psiti (marinated baked chicken), moussaka (eggplant-beef casserole) and baklava (honey-drizzled filo, chopped nuts and cinnamon). Noon to 9 p.m. today.


• Crisped rice confections

$2 a treat and up;

The New York-based Treat House has designed a collection of gourmet crisped rice treats with a back-to-school theme in flavors such as sugar cookie, M&M and cotton candy. Most of the company’s treats are gluten-and-nut-free and some can be ordered dairy-free as well. For each purchased treat, the company will donate 10 cents to the Food Bank for New York.


• Veri Organic soda

$4.50-$5 for a four pack; at select stores;

Most sodas are notoriously full of processed sugar and artificial ingredients, and contents can resemble a chemistry-set handbook. The founders of the Veri Soda Co. have an option, a low-calorie (60) organic soda that comes four flavors: ginger ale, lemon-lime, orange and cola. Their tastes are derived in part from “organic juice concentrates and organic plant extracts, plus organic cane sugar and organic stevia.” Stevia was first marketed as an herbal supplement in the U.S. and has had some controversy attached to it, but stevia-based sweeteners are FDA-approved. Some things Veri sodas don’t have are additives, preservatives, artificial colorings or flavorings. Our tasters found Veri’s flavors less intense than other sodas, with ginger ale winning as best of the bunch.


• Davis Farmers Market Mesh Bags

$3 for 3 bags; Davis Farmers Market (Saturday and Wednesday);

Plastic bags are banned in Davis as of July thanks to a new city ordinance. To encourage customers to join its “Go Green, Feel Good” campaign to use recyclable carriers, the Davis Farmers Market has been giving away 7,000 free mesh produce bags. If you didn’t happen to score a freebie, buy a trio at the market shed for your late-summer bounty. The market is located near C and Fourth streets in Davis.


• Obis One Black Garlic Cloves

$9.99 for 8 oz; Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op;

Coal-colored and with the gelatinous feel of a candied fruit, black garlic may not be the most appealing of foods. But these organic bulbs, which get their appearance from being fermented and aged, have a smokey-sweet and slightly spicy flavor without the pungent punch of the raw counterpart. Popular in both Korean food and hipster kitchens, it adds a deep umami taste to your dishes.

Bee staff

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