onigiri from izumi photo by izaiah johnson

7 food and drink products we're obsessed with right now

Izumi onigiri
Our favorite treat from Izumi’s adorable red vintage truck is their onigiri, a Japanese convenience store classic. Tightly packed triangles of lightly salted, short grain rice are stuffed with the filling of your choice (tuna and kewpie mayo, karaage, pickled plum or spicy pollock roe) and wrapped in a blanket of crisp nori. Savory, satisfying and portable, they always hit the spot.
$5. Izumi, izumistlouis.com

Aceitunas Losada Pitted Gordal Olives
The green olives that come with the sidecar martini at Wright's Tavern deserve a standing ovation. The pitted gordal olives (also known as sevillano or queen olive) hail from southern Spain. They are fat and firm, juicy and savory without a hint of bitterness. Order more than one jar because you'll finish them before you know it.
$8.50. Terramar Imports, terramarimports.com

Beast Craft BBQ Co. The Standard barbecue sauce
Do your grilled meats a favor this summer and coat them with Beast’s house barbecue sauce. This one has the reassuring sweetness of a traditional St. Louis barbecue sauce, but allspice, cumin, celery seed and garlic give a pop that takes it above and beyond your average store-bought sauce. Its usefulness extends long after your cookout: We’ve also found ourselves using a drizzle to infuse scrambled eggs or a breakfast sandwich with sweetness and a little heat.
16-ounce bottle: $8. Beast Craft BBQ Co., 20 S. Belt West, Belleville, 618.257.9000, beastcraftbbq.com

casamara club alta amaro club soda

Casamara Club Alta amaro club soda
This light and fizzy non-alcoholic “leisure soda” is all the things we want in a hot-weather canned beverage. Sweet, citrus-y mandarin orange notes layered with hints of herbal juniper and anise and warm allspice and clove suggest the flavors of a Negroni in the most subtle, easy-drinking way; plus, the chic, mod packaging design feels straight out of a 1960s Alitalia ad.
Four-pack: $11. Wine and Cheese Place, 7435 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, 314.447.9463, wineandcheeseplace.com

Bottle Bubble
These handy sleeves help you transport glass bottles to or from your next trip. Bubble wrap encases your precious cargo while a plastic encasing with a secure seal at the top provides additional protection. Plus, if your bottle breaks, the plastic case can hold all the liquid, protecting your clothes and other things in your checked luggage. Bring your favorite wine to your next destination, and bring some back home, too. It's an affordable, smart tool to have on hand when you need it.
$3. The Wine Barrel, 3828 S. Lindbergh Blvd. #111, Sunset Hills, 314.842.9463, thewinebarrelstl.com

Civil Alchemy’s sake selection
The sake selection here is packed with winners only. Recently, we picked up a bottle of Tensei's Endless Summer with notes of melon and apple and a crisp finish. Sauce staff favorite Kanbara's Bride of the Fox, which seems to pair with anything, is available too. Next on our list to try is the Takahiro Noble Arrow Sake, a sake that has pronounced minerality, with notes of citrus and herbs. Whatever sake you're reaching for here, it's clear that it was selected with care.
Prices vary. 8154 Big Bend Blvd., Webster Groves, 314.801.7577, civilalchemy.com

Palo Hot Cheddar Popcorn
Palo Popcorn is a small-batch, gourmet manufacturer based in Wisconsin, and their collaboration with local hot sauce company Hot Charlie’s is our current addiction. Fluffy popped kernels coated in flavorful hot sauce dust strike the perfect textural and flavor balance between moist and crunchy and spicy and sweet. These little gems are so rich, a small handful makes the perfect snack.
$3.50. Schnucks, multiple locations, schnucks.com

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