Enjoya striped bell pepper
$1.99 each, Sprouts enjoya.com
There’s more than looks to this Dutch import. Each of these flashy, bi-colored sweet peppers was grafted by hand, grown in a greenhouse and ripened slowly to maximize its sweet, aromatic and crunchy bite. Of course, the bell pepper is loaded with vitamin C.
Lingham’s Hot Sauce
$3.50 for 12.06-ounce bottle; Walmart and other retailers; lingham.com
Compared to the super-hot sauces that have flooded the market in past years, Lingham’s Hot Sauce is relatively tame, a condiment you can actually use without calling 911. It’s been known for its characteristic sweet-heat flavor since 1908, when the British ruled Malaysia, where the sauce is still made. The simple ingredients remain the same: cane sugar, chili peppers, salt and vinegar.
Straus Family Creamery ice cream
$5.29 per pint; Nugget and other local supermarkets; strausfamilycreamery.com
Marin County’s beloved Straus Family Creamery recently released three new ice-cream flavors – caramel-toffee, lemon-gingersnap and strawberry. While the strawberry is characteristically rich and fruity, our taste-testers quickly emptied pint containers of the other two. Pieces of gingersnap cookie in lemony ice cream, and chunks of sweet toffee in caramel ice cream gave crunch to the creamy frozen treats.
Wonderwall 2014 Pinot Noir
$18.99 bottle; Taylor’s Market; wonderwallwine.com
A juicy and light Edna Valley pinot noir with a reasonable price to match makes this bottle perfect for summer evening barbecues. The label picture – Salvador Dali with his pet ocelot Babou – is sure to help start a conversation or three.
$3.99 for two pieces: Corti Bros.; heavenlybaklava.com
This rich, cinnamon-tinged baklava comes from the home kitchen of an east Sacramento mom Rada Medjed who has been baking since she was 13. Local walnuts and orange honey add to the decadence. It’s also available by the tray on her website for larger orders.
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