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Better Gin and Tonics, Fresher Cheeses

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

· Extend the life of good cheeses by wrapping them in Formaticum cheese papers, made by a company in Portland, Ore.; $8 for a pack of 15 double-ply waxed sheets, 11 by 15 inches each, with labels (enough to wrap up to 30 four-ounce pieces). Maps printed on one side of the paper highlight locations of artisan cheesemakers across the United States. Available at La Cuisine, 323 Cameron St., Alexandria, 703-836-4435, or buy online at http://www.formaticum.com.

· Elevate summertime gin and tonics with all-natural Q Tonic Water, made with Peruvian quinine and sweetened with Mexican agave nectar. Four 6.3-ounce bottles per pack, $7.99; available at area My Organic Market stores or order online at http://www.qtonic.com.

· Upgrade the grilled hot dog portion of any cookout with D'Artagnan's skinless buffalo or duck hot dogs. They are uncured and all-natural and come in beef and pork, too; four-pack (12 ounces), $6.99 to $7.99. Available at some Balducci's and My Organic Market stores, or order online at http://www.dartagnan.com.


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