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Buy This: Three summer snacks we think you should try

BlackJack Beef Jerky Sweet & Smoke from Food for the Southern Soul
BlackJack Beef Jerky Sweet & Smoke from Food for the Southern Soul

No matter what your preference, we’ve got you covered. Sweet, but not too sweet. Nutty and nutritious. Chewy with lots of flavor.

BlackJack Beef Jerky Sweet & Smoky from Food for the Southern Soul 

Jimmy Hagood of Charleston, South Carolina, is a man who loves to spin a tale and who lives to share his love of Southern food with the rest of us through his line of Food for the Southern Soul. The story about this jerky is that he was planning a trek on the Appalachian Trail and wanted a protein source that was sturdy enough to survive a trip in a backpack and delicious enough to keep eating while spending days on the trail. He took his BlackJack Barbecue Sauce and used it to season strips of top round. The result is exactly as described, sweet and smoky. We think that's because it's soaked in the sauce and smoked over a wood fire. Not dehydrated. So the pieces are tender and the flavor is all the way through. The Garden & Gun folks have written their appreciation for the flavor and the fact this is jerky with no weird chemicals.

$8.95 per 3.5-ounce pouch. Available online at  foodforthesouthernsoul.com/

Figgy Chai Nut Butter Bar from Big Spoon Roasters
Figgy Chai Nut Butter Bar from Big Spoon Roasters

Figgy Chai Nut Butter Bar from Big Spoon Roasters 

Big Spoon Roasters in Durham, North Carolina, makes nut butters - cashew, almond, pecan and peanut - in a wide array of imaginative varieties - and handcrafts palm oil-free nut butter bars like the one we just tried - Figgy Chai. We like the individually packaged bars as a snack that’s easy to enjoy while also being nutritious and perfect for those moments when you need to keep working at your desk or want something to throw in a pocket for that walk around the neighborhood. Just as with their nut butters, they make nut butter bars in great flavors like apricot-pepita and cherry-pecan as well as the figgy chai version we’re enjoying now. The ingredients include peanut and almond butter, dried figs, pea protein, honey and chai spices. When you take a bite, you get the satisfying whole grain/nut texture experience, just a tiny bit of sweetness from the figs and honey and the last sensation is just enough chai (cloves and other warm spices) to provide a delicious finish. (P.S. We hear that Big Spoon Roasters nut butter bars were a featured snack backstage at Saturday Night Live pre-quarantine!)

$27 for a case of 12 bars, or $1.99 - $2.50 for individual bars at local retailers. Available at Alon's Bakery and Market in Morningside, Candler Park Market, Everyday Market and Whole Foods Market and online at bigspoonroasters.com/.

Salty Chocolate Caramels from Jacobsen Salt Co.
Salty Chocolate Caramels from Jacobsen Salt Co.

Salty Chocolate Caramels from Jacobsen Salt Co. 

Jacobsen Salt Co. in Portland, Oregon, is one of those artisan food companies with an origin story you have to admire. Hand harvested sea salt? From the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest? Almost four years in perfecting? Ben Jacobsen started his company in 2011 selling the translucent salt crystals we love to sprinkle on finished dishes so we can enjoy the delicate crunch and clean, briny flavor. Not satisfied with just producing plain salt (as delicious as it is), the company also makes infused salts and salty candies like licorice and caramels. We’re enjoying a bag of their salty chocolate caramels. Make no mistake. These are not over-the-top sweet caramels. They’re just sweet enough, just salty enough, and actually just chocolaty enough. Definitely a grownup’s version of caramel.

$12 per 6.5-ounce container. Available at Alon's Bakery and Market and Lucy's Market and online (with free shipping over $75) at jacobsensalt.com/

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