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Alissa Merksamer

Where to Find the Sweetest Passover Treats

For those who believe morning croissants and midday cupcake breaks make life enjoyable, Passover is rough. The weeklong Jewish holiday, which begins the evening of April 14th, bans chametz, or leavened grains, which include wheat, barley, rye, oats, and spelt. While coconut macaroons straight from the Manischewitz can carry nostalgic appeal on the first days, they lose their allure by midweek.

Best Local Products at Fancy Food Show

Every January, specialty food makers from around the world pack into the Moscone Center to tout their products, compete for awards, and reveal current and emerging food trends in the packaged food industry.

‘Science of Cocktails’ Makes Drinking Smart

Flaming Cocktail

In this city, cocktails are complicated. Ordering one usually demands a dictionary, adventurous palate, and trusting deference to the mixologist formerly known as “bartender.” For any curious lush who ever wanted to know exactly what comprises a botanical or whether there’s a chemical difference between a martini that’s shaken versus stirred, the fourth annual Science of Cocktails returns to the Exploratorium on Friday, January 24th.

Four Fantastic Local Fruitcakes

Robert Lambert fruitcake

Poor Fruitcake.  For how many Christmases have you been the twice re-gifted door stopper or the impromptu discus hurled at the shoulder of the most annoying relative?

Holiday Cheer at San Francisco’s Top Hotels

Each year, San Francisco’s chicest hotels compete for most yuletide cheer.

Calling All Non-Cooks: Where to Get Thanksgiving Delivered

Cornish Game Hen from Jessie et Laurent

Thanksgiving is a beast of a holiday. From the bird to the butter-soaked sides, it requires a ton of planning, even when hosting a small crowd. If you dislike cooking or need a few supplemental dishes, check out the menus from several local catering companies.  

Seven Local Candy Bars for Halloween

Ramona Bar from Double Dutch Sweets

With their creative costumes hanging in the closet and organic jack-o'-lanterns decorating the doorways, San Franciscans are almost ready for Halloween. All that’s missing is the witch’s cauldron of locally sourced candy bars.

Don’t Hate the Walmart Peach and More Highlights From ‘Food For Thought’ Conference

“I want people to think about all the choices that are involved to get your food on your plate,” said Steve Boilard, executive director of the Center for California Studies at California State University Sacramento (CSUS). Last Friday, the center hosted the 24th annual Envisioning California Conference in Sacramento.

Four Reasons to Eat Macarons this Fall

La Boulange macarons

When the macaron wave crested from New York to San Francisco a few years ago, we wondered if cupcakes had finally ended their reign as the nation’s trendiest treat. Ongoing interest in gluten-free foods continues to buoy the appeal of these dainty sandwich pastries (the French do not call them “cookies”), with their shells made of almond flour and typically ganache-filled centers. Autumn brings new reasons to fall for a plate of these colorful confections. 

Where to Pour Your Own Olive Oil in SF

Olive oil canisters

It’s easy to get in an olive oil rut once you find a blend you like. No one wants to commit to a $45 bottle only to discover it’s too grassy or too buttery or just doesn’t taste right drizzled on your daily loaf. “Taste Before You Buy” is the invaluable mantra of the self-serve olive oil shops that have emerged over the last few years. Some provide empty bottles. Others require you to bring your own and will reward your eco-friendliness with a rebate. 

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