Sinto Gourmet “Mu” radish kimchi
$10 for 16-ounce jar; local markets; sintogourmet.com
Forget everything you think you know about kimchi. This version from a San Francisco company – made with radishes instead of cabbage – is crunchy, spicy, complex and utterly delicious. Serve it as a side or add it to sandwiches.
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Glico Cupriko Minis
$5.99 for 10 treats; Oto’s Marketplace; otosmarketplace.com
So we went to Oto’s Marketplace, the terrific Japanese grocery on Freeport Boulevard, and had to try these awesome treats. Sort of like Keebler sugar wafers, they come in a cute ice-cream-cone form and in chocolate, strawberry and vanilla flavors. Perfect for lunch box treats.
“This is Camino”
$35; 272 pages; Ten Speed Press; tenspeed.com
Under chef Russell Moore, Oakland’s Camino restaurant is steadily building a loyal following that one day could make it as much of a legend as nearby Chez Panisse, where Moore spent 21 years in the kitchen. This gorgeous cookbook (by Moore, Allison Hopelain and Chris Colin) reflects both the simplicity and elegance of his vision, with dishes such as baked oysters with absinthe and breadcrumbs and tomato salad with yogurt and herb jam.
Maine Root pumpkin pie soda
$5.69 for four 12-ounce bottles; Raley’s and other markets; maineroot.com
Raise a glass to October. This handcrafted, fair-trade soda tastes like a less-spicy natural ginger ale with a bit of bite and not too much sugar – a fun addition to fall festivities.
Creamy polenta with meatballs
$10; Adamo’s Kitchen (2107 P St., Sacramento); adamoskitchen.com
Adamo’s has been on our list of lunchtime go-to’s for a while. Our “destination dish” is creamy polenta and meatballs, topped with marinara, Parmesan cheese and basil. The pork-beef meatballs are tender and moist. They’re the perfect match for the soft-firm polenta, moistened with tomato sauce and accented with fresh basil. It’s the goose-down comforter of comfort-food dishes.
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