3 Local Products to Try This Summer

Marilyn HawkesJune 25, 2020
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Photography by Angelina Aragon
Photography by Angelina Aragon
Prickly Pear Tea

In the summer of 2012, local artist Victor John experimented with blending tea and Sonoran Desert prickly pear cactus fruit. The result: a tangy elixir with earthy, fruity overtones. John now sells prickly-pear-laced black and green teas ($15 each) and chai latte tea ($20) under his Prickly Pear Tea Co. label at up to 29 Arizona farmers markets a week. Harvested locally, prickly pear reduces inflammation and is a natural antioxidant, John says. And the beautiful artwork gracing the bags? “The labels are from my paintings.”

Prickly Pear Tea Co.

480-223-2717, pricklypearteaco.com


Gelati and Sorbetti

And you thought Merkin Vineyards only did wine. Using Arizona-produced dairy products along with fresh fruits and herbs from the winery’s many gardens and orchards, Merkin chef Kelley Foy whips up a grand selection of rich, handcrafted gelati and sorbetti ($11 per pint). Arizona-inspired flavors include herby, wine-tinged Lavender Malvasia; refreshing Bunker Mint Chip; and a bright, tart Pomegranate Lemon sorbet. Other flavors of note: Vanilla Bean & Booze, speckled with real vanilla beans and spiked with whiskey; and Salted Caramel Cream, a sultry mélange of brown butter caramel and sea salt.

Merkin Vineyards Old Town Scottsdale

7133 E. Stetson Dr., Scottsdale
480-912-1027, merkinoldtownscottsdale.com

Gourmet Potato Chips

For the past several years, Valley tuber maven Phillip “Flip” Isard has supplied Arizona restaurants with thick-cut, doubled-fried french fries through his Frites Street brand. Now, the spud whisperer has added hand-cut gourmet potato chips ($7, 5 oz. bag) to his repertoire – and they’re so good, you’ll never want to eat another Pringle again. Isard fries thinly sliced, brined Kennebec potatoes in a canola oil blend until golden brown and crunchy, then seasons them one of four ways: kosher salt, barbecue, salt and vinegar or jalapeño. You can buy the gluten-free and vegan chips at several Valley locations, including The Meat Market in Cave Creek, Arcadia Meat Market and Singh Farms.

Frites Street