Sweet & Salty Hazelnuts
$6.12 for 1/4-pound container; Whole Foods Market; albinacitynuts.com
Hazelnuts (a.k.a. filberts) rarely get their due, even though they’re essential ingredients in Nutella spread and Italian Frangelico liqueur. These hazelnuts from Oregon’s Albina City Nuts are spiced with organic cane juice, cane sugar, honey, cinnamon, salt and two kinds of chilies – ancho and arbol. A crunchy snack with some pleasant heat.
$2.19 for a 1-ounce bar; Stiebers Sweet Shoppe; stiebers.com
Tabasco sauce has been around since 1868, and like its Thai cousin Sriracha, it has started popping up in everything from crackers to candy in the past few years. This mix of dark cacao with the red pepper punch puts a new twist on hot chocolate. (1198 East Roseville Parkway #135, Roseville.)
$9; Shady Lady Saloon; shadyladybar.com
Bee readers know that Cachaça, a rumlike spirit made from fermented sugar cane, is trending up with the craft-cocktail crowd. If you’re looking to give it a taste, order a Vitoria at Shady Lady Saloon. Developed by general manager Carl Wenger, it features pineapple, lime juice, simple syrup and Novo Fogo Tanager, a darker Cachaça aged in oak and Brazilian zebra wood, with notes of clove, wild grass, cinnamon and tropical fruit. (1409 R St., Sacramento.)
Sterling Epicure cookbooks
$10 each; 170 pages; sterlingpublishing.com
Sterling Publishing’s “Epicure” imprint has released several new cookbooks that are straightforward, affordable and brimming with recipes, menus, how-to help and well-styled color photos. We’re partial to “Flash in a Pan: Spice Up Your Noodles & Stir-Fries,” with recipes for shellfish curry and sweet chilies-tofu stir-fry, as well as sidebars on the “Asian Pantry” and the “Top Five Asian Flavorings.”
Cask & Barrel’s mac ’n’ cheese
$8 per serving; caskandbarrel916.com
Mac ’n’ cheese aficionados will flip for this rendition from Cask & Barrel, which Bee dining critic Carla Meyer calls a “Super Bowl-party-in-a-skillet.” Made with sharp cheddar, wheat beer and bacon crumbles, it’s hearty, scrumptious and easily serves three. (1431 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento.)
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