Stock Up: 3 things to enjoy while you watch that football game

The college football season is underway. Here are three suggestions for snacks you can enjoy while watching the games.

Pimento cheese dip

Isn’t there some rule of Southern etiquette that says watching sports requires pimento cheese? If that’s the case at your house, we recommend all three flavors of Atlanta-based Jenny J’s pimento cheese dip. Jenny Allen and her business partner, Brooke McGill, started Jenny J’s using a recipe passed down through Allen’s family. They’re called dips, because Jenny J’s considers them cocktail hour snacks, rather than sandwich spreads. We bought all three flavors: the original Grate cheese dip, the California Tuscan olive dip and the Vermont white cheddar jalapeno dip, which is just mildly hot. They are thick and creamy, and we found ourselves spreading them on crackers and adding a few dollops to slices of summer ripe tomatoes. The favorite might have been the olive dip, since it’s unusual to find Kalamata olives in a pimento cheese product. We loved it.

$11 per 8-ounce container. Available at Buckhead Butcher Shop, Floral Park Market, the General Store at Serenbe, Front Porch in Vinings, Cleaver & Cork, Stripling’s and jennyspimentocheese.com.

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Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Fine-chopped salsa

Watch a game without salsa and chips? Not in our household, and now we have our new house salsa from Hampton Acres in Pelzer, South Carolina. This fine-chopped salsa is a mix of diced tomatoes, onion and jalapeno, seasoned with garlic, salt and spices. Despite it being processed to be shelf-stable, this is one fresh-tasting salsa, and the medium heat level is just right. Tom Hampton grew up on his family farm and built his home across the road. He transitioned from a career in law enforcement to food entrepreneur when he was injured in the line of duty. His mother’s recipe for pimento cheese was the start of Hampton Acres’ lines of cheese spreads, sauces, pickles, jams and so much more. There are seven varieties of salsa, including peach, pineapple, salsa verde and ghost.

$6 per 16-ounce jar. Available at Jaemore Farms, in stores across South Carolina and at hamptonacres.com.

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Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Smoke Rings

Rich Newton started Woodstock-based Point Blank Pepper Co. in 2019, when he perfected his recipe for sweet and spicy Smoke Rings — sliced jalapenos and colorful lunchbox peppers pickled in a sugar, apple cider vinegar and spice brine. In some circles, these are known as candied jalapeno rings or cowboy candy. The result is an addictive snack that you’ll want to add to nachos for the game, or you can use them to garnish sandwiches, or chop them into chicken salad. He also makes a sweet and sour table sauce in mild and ghost pepper flavors and Hallow Rings, which are jalapenos and habaneros in a sweet ghost pepper brine. We can’t wait to try the recipe for Smoke Rings cheesecake that is on the company website, because it sounds like a great snack for the game. First, though, we have to stop our taste testers from eating them right out of the jar. In the accompanying photo, the rings are an ingredient in Cajun sausage carbonara. We can understand why the judges for this year’s University of Georgia Flavor of Georgia competition named Smoke Rings a finalist in the condiment and salsa category.

$9 per 8-ounce jar. Available at the Marietta, Alpharetta, Smyrna, Vinings and Acworth farmers markets and at pointblankpeppercompany.com.

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