Bloomberg Businessweek (North America)

Snack Culture Is Better Than Ever

Every picnic needs a formidable lineup of treats as fuel for playing games and dancing at dusk (next spread). Here are nine great salty and sweet options to munch on after you throw open the picnic baskets.

- K.K. and K.O.

CHILI LIME MANGO

Erewhon, the Southern California chainlet, has an ever-growing cult following for its pricey, high-style products. Among its long list of options for wannabe healthy snackers are tangy-sweet and spicy organic dried mango slices packed in a Mason jar. $23 for 8 oz

ARTICHOKE AND ALMOND TAPENADE

Northern California’s McEvoy Ranch doesn’t just bottle its exemplary olive oil, it also uses it in a slate of pantry products, including this buttery tapenade made with local artichokes and almonds. Tangy capers provide an extrapunge­nt hit. It would be great slathered on almost any toast and finished with Parmesan cheese. $11 for 7 oz

PITA CHIPS

Brooklyn-born ZaZa has won fans for its extra-crunchy, heavily spiced za’atar pita chips. Responding to popular demand, the company now offers a straightfo­rward sea salt version that’s flavored with buttery, high-quality extra-virgin olive oil. Either is great straight from the bag or dunked into a dip—like McEvoy’s tapenade, above. $7 for 4 oz

THE MIX

Spiced, sour and ultracrunc­hy, this blend channels the bold flavors of chaat, the Indian snack mix. Doosra founder Kartik Das combines boondi (chickpea flour puffs) with roasted peanuts, then spices it with green mango powder, Kashmiri chili and cumin. Tiny caramelize­d white chocolate disks give the vibrant mix an unexpected­ly sweet hit. $10 for 6 oz

SOUR BLACKBERRY FISH

In summers past, BonBon founders Selim Adira, Leonard Schaltz and Robert Persson made jam in their native Sweden. These imported, naturally flavored sour candies have the waxy chew of the Swedish Fish you know but with the taste of fresh-picked berries, a tribute to the trio’s childhood pastime. $8 for 150g

HOUSE SMOKED OYSTERS

Earlier this year, the acclaimed West Coast purveyor Hog Island Oyster Co. decided to shuck and smoke all the misshapen shellfish that it couldn’t sell to customers. The oysters are preserved in a mix of sake, mirin, white soy and koji for an umamiimbue­d snack that’s excellent straight from the jar or on a cracker. $28 for 8 oz

KIMCHIPS

The popular latenight dish known as kimchijeon—a vibrant red-orange kimchilace­d pancake—is the inspiratio­n for these thin rice-flour crisps from traditiona­l Korean food brand Damum. The lightas-air chips, imbued with a radish kimchi broth and spiced with red pepper powder, come in three flavors: original, spicy and seafood kimchijeon. $6 for 40g

UBE COOKIES

Cravory Cookies in San Diego makes intensely purple ube cookies—colored and flavored with the attention-getting yam, mixed with white chocolate chips and dusted with powdered sugar. Mail-order options don’t lose their signature gooey center and crisp exterior. $20 for 6

MOCHIDOKI

The bicoastal brand’s Japanese confection­s have a chewy, glutinous rice dough surroundin­g an ice cream center. They come in the standard black sesame flavor as well as more imaginativ­e choices like carrot cake and habanero chocolate. $12 for 4

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