▪ “Coconut: The Complete Guide to the World’s Most Versatile Superfood”
$15; 192 pages; available from Amazon and other retailers.
Holistic nutritionist Stephanie Pedersen has plenty of praise for coconuts in her new book “Coconut: The Complete Guide to the World’s Moster Versatile Superfood,” which tells readers everything they need to know about coconut’s nutrition profile and its water, flour, milk, cream, butter, yogurt, kefir, sugar, nectar, oil and vinegar. Included are recipes, which look pretty good: avocado-coconut dip, coconut pasta, fish baked in coconut milk, almond coconut pound cake, and the like.
▪ Artisan Cheese Festival in Petaluma
March 20-22; www.artisancheesefestival.com
Petaluma is much more than the town you drive through when day-tripping to Bodega Bay. For one thing, it’s the home of Della Fattoria Cafe Bakery, which sells hand-shaped loaves of aromatic bread baked in wood-fired brick ovens. Bon Appetit magazine included it on its list of the “Top 10 Best Bread Bakeries in America.” For another, it will be the site of the ninth annual Artisan Cheese Festival, featuring cheese-makers, chefs, restaurateurs, brewers, winemakers, farmers, dairymen, ranchers and other experts from California’s eat-and-drink world, all sharing their products and knowledge. The action will be at the Sheraton Hotel, 745 Baywood Drive, Petaluma; (707) 283-288.
▪ Welch’s Apple Orchard Medley
$1 for 2.25-ounce pouch; available at local supermarkets; welchsfruitsnacks.com
Let’s state this for the record: Eat your fruits and vegetables. That said, let’s grab another handful of Apple Orchard Medley gummies, the latest flavor in Welch’s Fruit Snacks lineup. They’re sweet-tart, chewy and very snackable. Plus, there’s a bonus: “(They’re) made with real fruit, contain 100 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin C and 25 percent of vitamins A and E, and are fat- and preservative-free,” according to the company. Five flavors of gummies are mixed together in each package – Granny Smith apple, golden delicious apple, red delicious apple, apricot and pear.
▪ El Torito Meat Market
Around $7 per pound for carne asada; 725 East St., Woodland; (530) 668-9730
The Sacramento area is blessed with many fine Mexican meat markets, but we’re about to turn you on to your new favorite. Tucked in a small strip mall, just a few blocks from Main Street in Woodland, you’ll find El Torito Meat Market. The meats are some of the freshest we’ve found at any local carniceria, and well worth the trek before your carne asada cookout. Be it thinly cut flank, flap or skirt steaks, the meats can be ordered with or without marinade. The butcher counter features a great selection of meats and poultry, while the small market has you covered for tortillas, produce and other Mexican cooking needs.
▪ Neera’s Tomato Mint and Pear Cardamon chutneys
$6.99 and $7.39 for 9-ounce jars; Whole Foods and other retailers; www.cinnabarfoods.com
We recently found ourselves cruising the “sauce aisle” at the Whole Foods Market in Folsom, looking for something to kick up the flavor of a roasted chicken. We came across Neera’s-brand Indian-style Tomato Mint and Pear Cardamon chutneys, which added just the right sweet ’n’ heat to the bird. Go with the Tomato Mint if you favor more heat than sweet, or use the Pear Cardamon for vice-versa. The labels say the chutneys go well with other dishes, too: pork loin, lamb, pasta, sandwiches. We even liked them on crackers.
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