One good heirloom

The “Sun Sugar” variety is labeled as a yellow cherry tomato, but they’re actually orange at their peak. They brighten up any salad in ways the bland, typical cherry tomatoes can’t touch. Reminiscent of “tomato candy,” a single plant can produce hundreds of the bright globes and the tomato matures in a relatively quick time of about 60 days. They resist cracking and are hearty for their size. Perfect for Michigan’s short growing season. Your taste buds will thank you. Available at gardening shops including Glenda’s Garden Center, 36500 7 Mile, Livonia.

One good hot sauce

Billed as “not for the fainthearted,” Busha Browne’s Pukka Hot Pepper Sauce is a way to add a taste of the islands to dishes. The sauce, which retails for about $5, has a hot and firey taste and a smokiness from the flavorful (and pungent) Jamaican scotch bonnet pepper. “Pukka,” pronounced ‘PUK-kah,’ translates to authentic or genuine. It works well with pizza, steak, chicken, fish and vegetarian dishes. It’s sold at major retailers including Whole Foods and Wal-Mart. For information, visit

Two good grilling tips

To get the most from a marinade, slash the skin and meat so the flavors can seep in. Cutting slits in the skin also allows for steam that would remain trapped between the skin to escape. And fat is more easily rendered from the chicken, giving a crispier skin. Also, a way to ensure tomatoes don’t lose their flavorful juices is to put them in a foil packet. Flavor the tomatoes with fresh herbs or aromatics, then use them over a crostini or in soups.

Compiled by Steve Pardo

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