Road warriors have a tough time during the holidays: Airplanes are fuller. Hotels and restaurants are more crowded. Year-end quotas loom. Even shopping and gift wrapping have deadlines!
When you travel to Sacramento, California, for business, pick up a few items to show you care about your loved ones... and perhaps hard-working colleagues and staff. We're not talking about magnets or spoons from Sacramento tourist attractions!
The following delectable treats are some goodies the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau regularly includes in our gift baskets to show we care about the health and well-being of our clients... and we couldn't feel better about supporting local growers and producers in our region of Northern California:
1. almonds ~ Established in 1910, the Blue Diamond growers cooperative is the world's largest tree nut processing and marketing cooperative. Nobody can say California's almond industry remains a minor domestic specialty crop. In addition, California-grown walnuts account for 99 percent of the commercial U.S. supply and three-fourths of world trade.
2. olive oil ~ Virtually all of the table olives grown in the United States come from two regions, the Sacramento Valley (Tehama, Butte, and Glenn counties) and San Joaquin Valley (Tulare County). Gourmet olive oil tasting rooms are cropping up almost as quickly as wine bars.
3. rice ~ California was introduced to this humble grain during the 1849 Gold Rush. Today, it is the largest producer of short and medium grain japonica rice in the U.S. More than 95 percent of the state's rice is grown within 100 miles of the State Capitol dome. Marry that thought with the high quality water from the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and you 'll understand why Gekkeikan Sake opened its U.S. brewery, here.
4. caviar ~ The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta with grassy, stream-crossed plains has dethroned the Caspian Sea as the caviar capital of the world. Even better is the fact it is forging sustainable practices in the industry. This region produces an estimated 85% of all the white sturgeon caviar in the nation, including the creamy, crystalline dollops served in The French Laundry, Per Se and Nobu. Taste the decadence for yourself at Café Americain champagne and caviar house.
5. wine ~ Gold from the mother lode trickles today, but red and white wine from Gold Country wineries flows. More than 200 wineries and tasting bars are located in Sacramento and its five neighboring counties. Daytrips in every direction allow you to explore diverse microclimates and soil conditions that influence the taste and bouquet of wine grapes. Even Sacramento International Airport's Vino Volo wine boutique conveniently features local wines.
For your epicureans, a centuries' old delicacy called hoshigaki, which is Japanese for "dried persimmon," is continued here in Northern California: each Hachiya persimmon is hand-peeled and massaged every three to five days for several weeks. The sugary result is succulent and full of concentrated flavor.
If these sweet or savory souvenirs somehow are eaten before they are given away, simply send a link to help others discover what you have found in Sacramento.