Califonia Bountiful

Fresh Ideas: Grillin' & chillin'

May/June 2011 California Country magazine

Lots of barbecue grills in California get a year-round workout, while others take the winter off. But now it's almost summer—officially time to fire up the grill or put together a picnic! Here are five California products to inspire you.

Slather it on

Fruit isn't an afterthought in Mad River Farm's barbecue sauces; it's the star. The Arcata-based company, founded in 1986, starts with fresh, whole fruit, much of it grown on the family farm. The farm describes its Red Eye Blackberry Chipotle sauce as "downright sinful on ribs, chicken and steaks," while the Peach Bourbon offers a flavorful counterpoint to chicken, pork and seafood.

Available: online or by phone
More information: or 707-822-0248

Go Mediterranean

Superior Farms of Davis has developed the Mediterranean Grill line of products featuring American lamb, most of it raised in California. The cuts are seasoned with a blend of citrus, garlic, olive oil and spices that take the guesswork out of grilling lamb. Choices include Mediterranean burger patties, seasoned lamb kabobs, seasoned lamb leg steaks and seasoned, grill-ready lamb leg roast.

Available: some supermarkets
More information: or 530-297-3544

A heavenly treat

Fresh fruit is practically a requirement for summertime gatherings, and the Angelcot is a new option to consider once harvest begins in June. A hybrid of Moroccan and Iranian apricot varieties, this juicy, white-fleshed apricot has the texture of a ripe nectarine and the delicate yet intense, sweet flavor of an apricot. Angelcots are grown exclusively in Central California.

Available: certain supermarkets
More information: Frieda's Specialty Produce at or 800-421-9477

Tradition you can taste

Feel the burn with Mamita Lupita's Black Bean & Jalapeño Chips and authentic Southwestern-style salsa. The Mission Viejo-based company carries on Grandma "Lupe's" tradition of using fresh, local ingredients, including black beans grown in City of Industry and tomatoes grown in Orange County. The versatile salsa complements Mamita Lupita's chips or can be used as a condiment with any Mexican-style dish.

Available: online and at certain natural food stores
More information: or 949-748-0718

Perfect patty

Grilling isn't so great when food falls through the grates, but that won't be a problem with Hat Creek Grown Double Ground Beef Patties. Double grinding creates a texture that makes burgers less likely to break while grilling. The family-owned company also offers individual cuts of steak, tri-tip, short ribs and other grilling favorites. From start to finish, Hat Creek cattle are raised grazing on grasses in the open fields of Shasta County.

Available: online and at certain local markets
More information: or 530-335-7016

Kim Mims, Ron Miller and Barbara Arciero are reporters for California Country. Send "Fresh Ideas" to them at

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