Sue Z.'s Local Finds: Prairie Chai, Superior Salt, and More

Sue’s picks for summertime entertaining

illustration by james kloiber

In the midst of summer, I’ve got the outdoors on my mind—weekends at the cabin, swimming in the lakes, and hiking on some of the state’s beautiful trails. It takes a lot of energy for all of that activity, so fuel up with some of these local picks:

Wake up with a cup of Prairie Chai, a concentrated hand-brewed black tea made in Eden Prairie with a blend of cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger—flavors inspired by the owner’s Nepali grandmother. The Himalayan-inspired drink can be served hot or iced—try mixing with yogurt and ice cubes to make a lassi to cool down on a hot day (

Olympia Granola bars are made in North Branch and come in tempting flavors such as Honey Almond and Turtle Mocha. Packed with protein and fiber, they’re easily portable and hearty enough for sharing (

And when you’re grilling out after a long day in the sun, try finishing a steak or piece of chicken with Superior Salt to add a gourmet twist to dinner. Made in Grand Marais, the chunky sea salt comes in flavors including roasted garlic, rosemary, and sun-dried tomato to add a little crunch and a lot of zip (

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.