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Now that the unofficial arrival of summer is here, your weekend schedule is surely jam-packed with backyard barbecues, beach parties, and picnics in the park. And if you’re like any typical American whose cooking skills are questionable at best, we’re here to offer a few store-bought suggestions from this week’s Chub Chub Chowdown segment on the Taylor Strecker Show. Scroll down to check them out, including the ones that didn’t get our official seal of approval. (You should try them and decide for yourself. We all have different tastes, after all.)

Wandering Whistler Alcoholic Tea (Earl Grey and Elderflower)

Who needs beer and hard liquor? We may have just found our new favorite drink for summer. And at only 140 calories, these may one-up hard seltzers as our preferred poolside libation. Nothing about it tastes artificial or cheap and we’re excited to try its sister flavor, jasmine, for what will surely be a more floral experience. Good on you, Wandering Whistler!

Prana Sumsuma Sesame Squares

If you love sesame seeds, you’re in for an absolute treat. If you’re kind of meh about sesame seeds, you’ll be meh about these (since they’re literally just sesame seeds and cane sugar). Taylor and I were big fans of the texture and think they’re an excellent alternative to something a little more unhealthy. I’d actually recommend breaking these up and throwing them in a yogurt or oatmeal for added crunch.

Divina Bloody Mary Olives

These. Are. Addictive. They have an awesome level of horseradish heat and would pair excellently with bacon in a traditional bloody mary.  I also can’t wait to throw them on a charcuterie board with salty cheeses and cured meats. There is obviously a significant part of the population that despises olives, but these may be the ones to change some minds and some unforgiving palates.

Setton Farms Pistachios (Chili Limón)

It’s pretty hard to mess up a pistachio. The chili lemon flavor is quite subtle and we would have preferred a little more spice, but we devoured these almost immediately, leading us to believe that they’d make a perfect on-the-go snack. Yay, healthy fats.

Spiritus Vitae Botanicals Fire Cider

Drinking vinegars are all the rage for their digestion, metabolism, and immunity-boosting benefits, though they can sometimes be difficult to swallow. Not with this Nebraska-based line of fire cider! There is a perfect balance of heat, sweetness, and tang, which means you can also toss the fiery elixir into a salad dressing or bloody mary. I swear by the health properties of apple cider vinegar and this company is a great introduction for those who may be skeptical. You’ll also be supporting a small local business!

Sailor Jerry Savage Apple Spiced Rum

We’re not sure if this will replace Fireball as your go-to for a round of shots at 3 a.m. in a sketchy dive bar, but this apple spiced rum is definitely flavorful with notes of vanilla and cinnamon. In fact, it would probably pair best in a spiced rum concoction during fall when the temperatures cool and you’re crying about the end of summer. If you’re a rum drinker, it’s worth a sip or seven.

Cafe Valley 7Up Cake Bites

We wanted to hate these, we really did. But we loved them (despite having sugar as their first ingredient). They don’t taste like traditional 7Up, but the lemony goodness in the form of crumb cake and cream cheese is divine. Ugh.

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