▪ Goodie Girl Cookies
$4.99 for a 6 ounce bag; available online at www.goodiegirlcookies.com
Just the right amount of wrong. That’s the motto of Goodie Girl, a line of gluten-free cookies created by former punk-rock publicist turned baking-mom Shira Berk. Her spins on old favorites (oatmeal raisin, midnight brownie and quinoa chocolate chip) deliver crisp crunch and just the right amount of sweet to satiate afternoon cravings without gluten or much guilt. Her Mint Slims are a crunchier version of the Girl Scouts’ familiar Thin Mints. Our favorite: Crunch Chaos, caramelized corn mixed with chocolate chips and marshmallow bits.
▪ Freshway Fish smoked king salmon
$24.99 a pound; available at local farmers markets; freshwayfish.com
“Oh my god, babe, try this fish. It’s incredible!” That overheard bit of dialogue at the Saturday midtown farmers market prompted us to try Freshway Fish’s smoked king salmon. This Loomis company’s cherrywood-smoked salmon is meltingly tender, and is a welcome addition as a bagel topper or scrambled into fresh eggs. Manager Jim Henry attributes the delicate texture to the low-salt brine used with the fish. Freshway sells smoked and raw salmon, and other types of seafood, at various farmers markets, including Land Park on Sundays. The company also does home delivery.
▪ Leone Pastiglie
$4.99 per box; available at Corti Bros.; www.pastiglieleone.com
These delicate boxes of Italian candies – first made in 1857 – come wrapped in old-fashioned paper sealed with a gold sticker, charming and ideally sized for little hands. Inside, the scented pieces, looking like pastel-colored pencil erasers, are lightly sweet and a memorable addition for Easter baskets.
▪ Guinness Blonde American Lager
$6.99 for six pack; Raley’s and other retailers; www.guinness.com
Last week on St. Paddy’s Day, beer lovers downed more than 13 million pints of Guinness stout, possibly leading to multiple leprechaun sightings. But the dark brew struggles for sales the rest of the year – which is why last fall the company added this American lager to its repertoire. Like a tough Irish cousin come to visit, it’s pale but full of spirit – perfect as a post-lawn-mowing libation on a warm spring day.
▪ Sweet Earth Hickory and Sage Benevolent Bacon
$5.79 for 5.5 oz.; available at the Natural Food Co-Op; www.sweetearthfoods.com
Non-meat meats, like this seitan-based vegan bacon, are exploding in popularity, if not always taste. But this entry – made in Moss Landing by a guy who says he once worked on the “dark side” of food as a Pepsi executive and chairman of Burger King – is packed with rich, savory flavor and a lot less fat.
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