Sue Z.'s Local Finds: Many Pastures Alpaca, Antigone's Greek Treats, and More

illustration by james kloiber

Summer is a time to introduce the unexpected when it comes to food. Mix up your warm-weather entertaining menus with crisp, clean Mediterranean flavors. Antigone’s traditional Greek Feta Dip and Olive Spread are the perfect additions to jazz up a cheese board. Just add grapes, crackers, and a handful of olives for the ultimate Greek experience (

Speaking of outside the box, homemade honey is buzzing these days. Beehives are popping up on rooftops in urban areas and backyards like never before. Sue Doeden’s new cookbook, Homemade with Honey, is one of a handful of books from the Minnesota Historical Society focusing on a single ingredient, such as squash and sweet corn. The honey book features 75 recipes and tips for using different varieties of the sticky nectar, including how to store it and substitute it for sugar (

Sometimes a good, old-fashioned cookout is the way to go, but put a twist on it—bypass the pre-packaged supermarket meats and use locally made wieners and brats. Bratwurst from Gerhard’s are handmade in Minnesota and come in original, smoked, or käsewurst flavors, perfect for crisping up on the grill ( And if you’re really looking to shake things up, make your burgers with alpaca meat from Many Pastures, based in Princeton, MN (

Sue Zelickson (Sue Z.) is a James Beard Award-winning food media personality, philanthropist, and longtime contributor to Minnesota Monthly and WCCO radio. She has founded the Charlie Awards, the Women Who Really Cook networking organization for women in the local food industry, and the Kids Cafe at Perspectives, Inc., which improves access to nutritious meals for families in need. You can find her buzzing around from event to event throughout the Twin Cities, helping to raise funds for charitable organizations, including some she has had a hand in building.