▪ Sudwerk’s Bourbonator
$9-9.99 for 22-ounce bottle; available at Nugget Markets, Whole Foods, The Sudwerk Dock Store and others; www.sudwerk.com
Davis-based brewer Sudwerk Brewing Co. is putting out a very-limited – and very interesting – holiday release called the Bourbonator. Unlike the spiced ales that usually dominate the holiday market, this lager promises a variation on their popular Doppel Bock Ultimator – potent and dark with hints of chocolate and toffee from its time being aged in Kentucky oak bourbon barrels. The Bourbonator (9 percent ABV) comes in 22-ounce bottles and will be available on select taps around Sacramento.
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▪ Bread pudding
$8.95; Fabian’s Italian Bistro (11755 Fair Oaks Blvd, Fair Oaks); www.fabiansitalianbistro.com
No dessert sounds as mundane as bread pudding, yet no other dessert can deliver such variables of taste and texture. Chef Tom Patterson at Fabian’s Italian Bistro makes an unusual version, on the menu through December and perhaps beyond. The base for his chocolate bread pudding is soft challah bread, with the additions of chocolate mousse, ganache, cream, egg, cinnamon and sugar, topped with vanilla gelato and brittle orange “clear” caramel.
▪ Corti Bros. Tuerca de Maiz
$3.99 for 16-ounce bag; Corti Bros. (5810 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento) ; cortibrothers.com
Leave it to Corti Bros. to make corn nuts into an irresistible, gourmet indulgence. Multiple testers have concluded it is impossible to eat just a few of these lightly crispy, perfectly salted, incredibly satisfying kernels – an ideal hand-in-bowl snack for football Sundays.
▪ Bar Tartine Techniques & Recipes
$40; Chronicle books; 367 pages; www.chroniclebooks.com
Bar Tartine, the San Francisco bakery and café with a well-deserved cult following, has a new, gift-worthy book that’s packed with delicious recipes for soups (think chilled beet with coriander and yogurt), salads (sweet potato with avocado, feta and pickled green walnuts) and desserts (hazelnut butter and strawberry jam cookies). Instructions can be lengthy, but intermediate chefs should be able to follow with no problem.
▪ Organicville Sky Valley International Sauces
$7.19 for 19.5-ounce bottle; available at Raley’s, Nob Hill Foods, Nugget and others; organicvillefoods.com
Give your meal some international flair with one of the gluten-free sauces in this new line that includes flavors such as plum, miso, Thai peanut and Sriracha. Best of all, they use all organic ingredients, and a portion of sales is donated to alleviate poverty.
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