Portland Food Personalities on Their Favorite Snacks, Sauces and Canned Goods

Tinned fish, shrimp chips, sunflower oil and more.

Bobbie’s Boat Sauce ($9 at realgoodfood.com)

“Since I bought my first bottle of Bobbie’s Boat Sauce in December 2018, I have never been without at least two bottles in my house. It comes in two varieties, Classic and Hot, and I keep both in stock in my condiment-crammed cabinets.  I sincerely believe that, in time, Boat Sauce will join ketchup, mustard, mayo and Sriracha as the next fundamental condiment that everyone has and uses regularly.  It is hard to describe in any other way except for ‘deeply umami,’ and I use it on everything from eggs to pizza.  Best of all, it’s made right here in Portland.” —Bill Oakley, fast food blogger

Coppa from Coro by Salumi ($59.99 for 1.3 pounds at corofoods.com)

"I need to have capicola/coppa around. Sometimes I'll buy some and just snack on it as I drive around. It's something that was always in the fridge growing up, along with the sharpest provolone, and it's something I can never get tired of. The best I've found on the West Coast, and possibly best ever, is made by Salumi, now called Coro by Salumi, in Seattle. Whenever I see their products I buy at least a half pound—whatever it may be. They have a mole-flavored salami that's out of control." — Don Salamone, chef and owner at Burger Stevens and Stevens Italiano

S.B. Chile Oil with Crunchy Garlic ($9.41 at amazon.com)

"While you are at H-Mart, you need to get this and some vegetable gyozas—life-changing. It's jam-packed with umami: fried garlic, chile peppers, sesame oil, MSG, almonds, fried onion, all in chile-infused oil." — Shaun King, owner and chef at Bar King

Nong’s Khao Man Gai Sauce ($12 at khaomangai.com)

"I use t on sautéed greens and as a marinade for grilled vegetables." — Josh McFadden, owner of Ava Gene's, Tusk and Cicoria

Sunflower Oil ($7.99 at kachkapdx.com)

"A good finishing sunflower oil is an absolute must for me. It can go anywhere you'd use nice olive oil but has an absolutely irreplaceable flavor. Try it this summer over tomatoes." — Bonnie Morales, owner and chef at Kachka

Trader Joe’s Lightly Smoked Sardines in Olive Oil ($8.99 at walmart.com)

"I love them so much I have a sardine tattoo on my wrist. I love the smoky, oily, briny, most-bang-for-your-buck kind. The most recent tin I bought was from Trader Joe's, but I'm not picky or fancy about where I get them from." — Gabe Rucker, owner and chef at Canard and Le Pigeon

Embasa Tomatillos ($7.88 at walmart.com)

"When most gringos think of salsa, they think of tomatoes. But in Mexico, tomatillos—the tart, green fruit in a husk that looks similar to an unripened tomato—are much more common for salsas.  While I like to use fresh tomatillos when possible, canned work fine for most salsas, especially cooked green sauces for enchiladas and chile verde or even moles.  And with a little onion, garlic and chile of your choice blended together, you have a great table salsa for tacos, burritos, quesadillas and other antojitos." — Nick Zukin, owner and chef at Mi Mero Mole

Calbee Shrimp Chips ($5.99 at amazon.com)

"When my oma would visit, these would invariably be packed in her suitcase. She would always bring treats for us, like these shrimp chips, but also Dutch coffee hard candy called Hopiko; her spekkoek, a Dutch Indonesian layered spice cake; and Tokyo peanuts. She passed away a few days ago at 93 due to complications from COVID. I'm eating a bag of these now and thinking of her—the smell and tastes of this snack are very nostalgic to me and my sisters. She will be missed." — Thomas Pisha-Duffly, owner of Gado Gado/Oma's Takeaway

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