10 Favorite Supermarket Finds

Datil Pepper Hot Sauces (Florida)
Datil chile peppers, similar to fiery habaneros, are grown only around St. Augustine, Florida, and only in small patches. Growers turn them into marinades, rubs, and hot sauces with names like Liquid Summer and Devil Drops and sell them at local supermarkets. (
Fox's U-Bet Chocolate Syrup (New York City and Environs)
Any real New Yorker will tell you that a chocolate egg cream--that classic concoction of chocolate syrup, milk, and seltzer (and containing neither eggs nor cream)--is not a chocolate egg cream unless it contains Fox's U-Bet syrup, made in Brooklyn and sold throughout the region. It's got real cocoa and forms those distinctive brown streaks inside the glass. (
Grill Sauces (New York State)
People in upstate New York have a special passion for grilled and marinated meats. Supermarkets around the city of Binghamton, in the central part of the state, for example, stock practically an aisle full of locally bottled sauces like Dinosaur Habanero Wango-Tango Sauce, Old Cape Cod BBQ and Grilling Sauce, and Salamida State Fair Spiedies Sauce, which tastes just like Italian dressing and is used to marinate grilled skewers of pork or chicken locally known as spiedies. ( for the Habanero Wango Tango Sauce)
Idaho Spud Bar (The Northwest)
Once you develop a taste for these chewy chocolate-marshmallow-coconut candy bars, made in Boise, Idaho (without potatoes, we should note), and sold in supermarkets and convenience stores throughout much of the Northwest, you might not ever bother with that highfalutin single-origin dark chocolate again. (
Johnny Cake Meal (Rhode Island)
Johnnycakes--corn cakes usually served with maple syrup or molasses and butter--are considered a birthright in Rhode Island. And for a lot of folks there, it's not really a johnnycake unless it was made with locally milled cornmeal. We never have a problem finding Kenyon's brand cornmeal, which has been around for decades and makes especially rich-tasting johnnycakes, in Rhode Island supermarkets. (
Killer Brownies (Ohio)
The term killer brownies gets thrown around by overambitious pastry mongers all the time, but the West Point Market of Akron, Ohio, has actually trademarked the phrase¿and amply justifies doing so by baking devastatingly fudgy bars, packed with chocolate chips and layered with caramel. (
Stew Leonard's Potato Chips (Connecticut and New York)
Made and bagged just moments before you buy them, the chips sold at Stew Leonard's supermarkets in Connecticut and New York are probably a lot like the original local specialty known as Saratoga chips. Gnarled and thick enough to be occasionally chewy where they are not brittle-crisp, these chips deliver big, earthy potato flavor, and you can't find them anywhere else. (See www.stewleonards .com for store locations.)
Martha White Flour (The South)
Even if it weren't the longtime sponsor of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, we'd still love Martha White's self-rising, lightly salted flour for its preternatural ability to make biscuits practically airborne. We've found it in supermarkets, like Publix and Kroger, throughout the South. (
Southwestern-Style Pico de Gallo (The Southwest)
While most of the world thinks of pico de gallo as a fresh chopped-tomato salsa, people in places like Arizona and Southern California often know it as something entirely different: a fiery-salty spice powder that gets sprinkled over fresh fruit, among other foods, creating a sweet-hot-tart combustion that's dramatically refreshing. (
Wimmer's Franks (The Midwest and Upper Midwest)
Wimmer's has been making sausages in Nebraska since 1934, and its natural-casing pork-and-beef frankfurters--longer and slimmer than your average hot dog--are a benchmark of wiener pulchritude. We've purchased them bunned and ready to eat at Bob's Drive-in in Le Mars, Iowa, but you can buy them at supermarkets across Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Kansas. (Available from Nebraska's Famous Steaks, 888/463-8823)

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