Appetizers
December 26, 2007
The Ultimate Food List

I look forward to each issue of the food magazine Saveur, but especially the year-end edition in which editors list their 100 favorite restaurants, drinks, foods and the like.

A few generally are from Northern California, and occasionally even Sacramento. This year, however, the North State pickings are slim. Rancho Gordo, a Napa company that sells heirloom beans, chilies, spices and herbs indigenous to the Americas, was singled out at No. 2. But beyond that any mention of a Northern California culinary discovery or icon is in fine print, including Taylor Boetticher of the butcher shop Fatted Calf in Napa, included in a tribute to the reemergence of independent butchers in the United States (No. 60).

Several items are generic enough to be found most anywhere - chopped liver (No. 4), the Latin American dessert pastel de cuatro leches (No. 9) and wonton soup (No. 30). Some selections are over the top, such as the entire state of Maine (No. 55), hand-washing dishes (No. 36) and edible weeds (No. 33). Other choices include the classic New Orleans sandwich muffuletta (No. 89), New Mexico road food (No. 18) and Bronte pistachios from Sicily (No. 75). At any rate, they all make for provocative reading, and they're all in the January/February 2008 issue.

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