If all you’ve ever done with watermelon seeds is pile them off to the side of a plate or spit them with gusto to see how far they’d fly, Forca Foods wants to convince you to do something entirely different: Eat them.
Its Forca Foods Energy Bites are made from watermelon seeds. In fact, they’re the first of only five ingredients used to make these one-bite cubes. The other ingredients are dates, oats, maple syrup, and fruit or coffee, depending on the variety.
Company Founder Guilherme Maia Silva studied plant sciences at the University of California at Davis, where he wondered why we were making snacks out of such water-intensive crops and ingredients as almonds, walnuts, and dairy. It’s a question that’s only gotten more attention now that California is in yet another year of deep drought.
So, a year ago, he launched his snack that’s centered around watermelon seeds, which, he says, use 94 percent less water than pistachios, 78 percent less water than almonds, and 11 percent less water than dairy. Not only that, watermelon seeds also contain iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium.
Three women of three different generations in Winters, CA have joined forces to create a delicious new product that celebrates not only the agrarian bounty of Sonoma County, but a time-honored French tradition.
The result is L’Apero les Trois, a line of fruit-based, lower alcohol spirits known as aperitifs, which the French have enjoyed for generations as a pre-lunch or pre-dinner libation.
They are the brainchild of Georgeanne Brennan, James Beard Award-winning cookbook author who taught cooking classes in France for years; Corinne Martinez, co-owner of Berryessa Gap Vineyards; and Nicole Salengo, Berryessa Gap’s winemaker.
As with all aperitifs, they are meant to be served chilled, sometimes with a few ice cubes in the glass, and topped off with sparkling wine or fizzy water, if you so choose.
A myriad of honeys certainly abound on supermarket shelves. But Clif Family Solar Grown Honey Spreads definitely stand out. Not only do they pack a wallop of flavor, but they are made with honey specifically harvested from bee hives located on or around pollinator-friendly solar farms.
It’s a concerted effort to encourage both clean energy and biodiversity. After all, flowering meadows planted under solar farms not only create cooler microclimates that improve energy efficiency, but foster thriving beneficial insect populations.
Talk about a sweet win-win.
I had a chance to try samples of three different Solar Grown Honey Spreads ($10 for a 5.5-ounce jar), each smooth, creamy, and thick enough to slather on most anything with a knife.
For added oomph, they are blended with spices sourced from Burlap & Barrel, a public benefit corporation that partners with small farmers to improve their livelihoods.
Thanks to the advent of the pandemic, I’ve learned to always keep a cooler in my car. With traveling these days pretty much limited to car trips, it pays to be prepared since you never know what wonders a spur-of-the-moment stop will yield.
Such was the case when my husband and I were in Sonoma a few weeks ago, and spied the sign for Salumeria Ovello.
This charming spot is owned by Chef Andrea Marino, who once had his own Michelin-starred restaurant in Barberesco, Italy. After moving to California and getting married, he opened this storefront about three years ago.
Yes, there is house-made salumi. But also, so much more, including panini stuffed with everything from Niman Ranch porchetta and arugula with house-made mayonnaise ($14) to slow-roasted beef tongue accented with salsa verde ($14).