Prices vary; local farmers markets
Summer fruits have faded away, but October marks the start of persimmon season. This bright orange “fruit of the gods” is often underrated and underutilized. Look for the squat Fuyu variety to slice raw like an apple, or use the Hachiya version (which is too tannic to eat when hard, but can be spoon-scooped like pudding when ripe) for jams, cakes and even roasting.
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▪ Preservation & Co. Capitol Sriracha
$6.99 per bottle; Taylor’s and other local retailers, including Preservation store (1717 19th St.); www.preservationandco.com
Sriracha devotees rejoice: You can now buy local. Artisanal purveyor Preservation and Co. recently released its Capitol version, made with Fresno peppers, Del Rio honey, apple cider vinegar, garlic and salt. Spicy and mildly sweet, its full flavors pay homage to the rooster while creating a taste all its own.
▪ Snappers sweet-salty snacks
$7 for a 10-ounce bag; $12 for 24-ounce bag, Costco and other retailers; www.edwardmarc.com
In time for National Caramel Month (October), Snappers has added two flavors to its lineup: dark chocolate sea salt caramel and peanut pretzel. Edward Marc Chocolatier, which traces its roots to a recipe perfected in 1914 by Greek immigrants Charlie and Orania Sarandou, has expanded the number of outlets carrying its products to include Costco and other major grocery chains.
▪ “A Century of Restaurants”
$40; Andrews McMeel; 408 pages
Yes, the Acme Oyster House (1910) and Antoine’s (1840), both of New Orleans, are included in Rick Browne’s new book, which compiles “stories and recipes from 100 of America’s most historic and successful restaurants.” So are Jake’s Famous Crawfish (1892) in Portland, Ore., and the Southside Market & Barbeque (1882) in Elgin, Texas. Closer to home, there’s Fenton’s Creamery (1894) in Oakland and Tadich Grill (1849) in San Francisco. The seafood house has survived six fires and three earthquakes, Browne writes, and still manages to pack the house every day. The recipe for its killer cioppino is included.
▪ “A Curious History of Food and Drink”
$20; Quercus; 256 pages
This oddball offering of centuries-old encyclopedic lore by Ian Crofton is funny and informative. How did turkey get its name? What was the first fish ’n’ chips shop in London? Who invented Shredded Wheat? Need a recipe for fried locusts? Was there really a debate over goose vs. turkey for Christmas Eve dinner? And, once and for all, here’s a cure for the common hangover, circa 1660.
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