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Get pantry cooking with local artisanal shelf stockers

Get pantry cooking with local artisanal shelf stockers

Photos courtesy of Burly Beverages and Winters Fruit Tree

Kick up your quarantine cooking a notch with locally made pantry staples.

The last few months of quarantine cooking have proven that a well-appointed pantry leads to better meals at home. And with Sacramento County closing bars and restricting in-door dining at restaurants in light of the recent coronavirus spike, rummaging through our cupboards for ingredients to use in our home cooking and bartending remains a part of our pandemic routine.

Thankfully, the Sacramento Valley offers an artisanal inventory of small-batch goods to spice up your meals and cocktails, sometimes literally. From a dry meat rub made with Chocolate Fish espresso beans, cumin, cayenne and brown sugar to pomegranate balsamic vinegar made from farm-fresh fruit, here are over a dozen specialty items to keep your pantry stocked and your dishes brimming with local flavor.

Winters Fruit Tree
Stock up on nuts from Winters Fruit Tree, which range from raw mission almonds ($8 for 1 pound; $14 for 2 pounds; $30 for 5 pounds) to shelled pistachios ($15 per pound). Baking and snacking aside, these nuts can also put a new spin on the traditional pesto. Arrange to pick up your stash at the ranch's Yolo County fruit stand or at regional farmers' markets (you can preorder for pickup on Winters Fruit Tree's website). Prices vary. wintersfruittree.com

The Good Food award-winning best plum jam from The Good Stuff (Photo courtesy of The Good Stuff)

The Good Stuff
Whether slathered atop a toasted English muffin or thinned out for glazing a pound cake, River City-based The Good Stuff’s plum jam elevates foods to restaurant quality—but that’s no surprise coming from a jar that won a prestigious Good Food Award in 2016. $10 for 6.4 ounces. thegood-stuff.com

Burly Beverages
Mix your own quarantine quaffables with the pomegranate-and-pink-peppercorn shrub (try the vinegar-based concoction in a sangria) and California cream soda syrup (no homemade creamsicle should be without it) from North Sacramento's Burly Beverages. $5.95 for 2 ounces; $23.95 for 16 ounces. burlybeverages.com

Pasture 42
Made with fresh fruit grown at this 32-acre farm in Guinda, Pasture 42's pomegranate balsamic vinegar can be drizzled over vanilla ice cream instead of the standard chocolate syrup for a more complex finish. $15 for a 250-milliliter bottle. pasture42.com

Yolo Press
The hand-harvested olives at this family-run farm in Winters are milled simultaneously with fresh-picked yuzu to produce a citrusy olive oil. If you want to whip kale into submission, use this to massage and flavor the sturdy leaves. Prices vary. Available at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op and Davis Food Co-op. yolopress.net

Ready-made meals in a jar from Kimberley’s Kitchen. (Photo courtesy of purveyor)

Capay Mills
Inspired by the grain farms of the Italian countryside, Capay Mills owner David Kaisel produces milled-to-order flours made from ancient heirloom grains grown in the Central Valley for your next no-knead sourdough or pull-apart biscuits. Prices vary. capaymills.com

Mixed in-house at the original Ikeda’s in Auburn, the best-selling gourmet granola features a special blend of select grains, sunflower seeds, cashews and seedless raisins, all tossed in pure butter and maple syrup and baked until toasty. Try it by the palmful or in homemade energy bars. $11.19 for 12.8 ounces. ikedas.com

Eat Right Edibles
No pantry is complete without a few candied gems, such as West Sacramento-based Eat Right Edibles’ crystallized ginger, which can be mixed into homemade molasses cookies and provide a sweet-and-spicy remedy for nausea. $6.50 for 8 ounces. eatrightedibles.com

The shapely handcrafted pastas from Hawks Provisions & Public House (Photo courtesy of Hawks Provisions & Public House)

Kimberley’s Kitchen
Ready-made meals in a jar from Sacramento-based Kimberley’s Kitchen—think split pea soup, chickpea korma, millet pilaf, and red bean and kale gumbo—make prepping dinner almost as easy as boiling water. $12. kimberleysimone.com

Pushkin’s Bakery
Every bag of co-owner Olga Turner's proprietary gluten-free flour comes with her signature chocolate chip cookie recipe to help you get acquainted with the unique blend of rice and cornmeal. $6.99 for 2 pounds. Currently sold out, the flour will soon become available again online and at Pushkin’s Bakery in Sacramento and Pushkin’s Bakery & Cafe in Roseville. pushkinsbakery.com

Allspicery, Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters and V. Miller Meats
Cumin, cayenne and dark brown sugar are just a few of the fresh-ground spices that are blended with Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters’ espresso beans to create Allspicery's espresso spice rub, a dry marinade for meat. Also a tenderizer, the flavor-packed coarse-ground powder is a collaboration between the downtown Sacramento shop and East Sacramento butcher V. Miller Meats. Available at all three establishments. $6 for 3 ounces; $16 for 10 ounces. allspicery.com 

Allspicery's espresso spice rub (Courtesy of Allspicery)

Sola Bee Farms
Stave off allergies or sweeten your tea with cinnamony wildflower honey from the hives at this Woodland apiary, which was founded in 1861. $10 for 12 ounces. Available online and at Nugget Market. solabeefarms.com

Hawks Provisions & Public House
Hold the Barilla. For your next bowl of bolognese, use the noodles made by Hawks chef-owner Michael Fagnoni, in shapes ranging from radiatori to casarecce. $8 for 10 ounces. Available at Hawks Provisions & Public House in East Sacramento. hawkspublichouse.com



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