As states begin reopening but many restaurants and specialty stores remain closed, you can still bring a bit of summer sweetness straight to your door. Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with treats like lychee seltzer, yuzu bon bons, garam masala artisanal spices and Himalayan tea — all from independent Asian American producers. The following selections are all available to ship nationwide.
Seltzer with tropical South and Southeast Asian flavors from Brooklyn-based Sanzo
Sanzo sparkling water infused with tropical fruits such as alphonso mango from India, lychee from Thailand and calamansi from the Philippines is both delicious and healthy. Queens-born Filipino American Sandro Roco launched the Asian flavor-inspired sparkling water brand last year, using only fresh fruit purées with no added sugars. Sanzo's mobile order and delivery experience allow you to order 12-packs by text message.
Makgeolli in blueberry and mango flavors from New York-based Makku via Craft Beer Kings
Makgeolli may be Korea's original alcoholic beverage dating back to the 10th century, and now an all-natural, traditionally brewed version of the sweet, milky rice beer is available in the United States. Makku comes in three flavors — original, blueberry and mango — and contains 6 percent alcohol.
Organic Vietnamese coffee beans from Brooklyn-based Nguyen Coffee Supply
Sahra Nguyen of Nguyen Coffee Supply is the first Vietnamese American importer, roaster and supplier of beans from Vietnam. She sources single-origin, organic green coffee beans from a fourth-generation farmer in Da Lat and roasts them fresh in Brooklyn. Nguyen says she wants to dispel myths about the inferiority of Vietnamese coffee, which is often sold in bulk to larger companies, and showcase the highest quality Vietnamese beans. Choose from a sweeter, fruity arabica blend or a bolder, nuttier robusta, along with filters and hand grinders to prepare coffee in the traditional Vietnamese fashion.
Himalayan loose leaf tea from Los Angeles-based Alaya Tea
Alaya Tea sells India's highest quality teas and herbs from Darjeeling, Assam and Kerala while supporting women workers and fair trade practices. Its loose-leaf teas are free of additional flavoring or preservatives and sourced from organic farms. Alay’s robust assam variety is a top pick for making chai tea while darjeeling can be served with a touch of milk to make English Breakfast tea.
Chocolate chai crunchy chickpeas from Connecticut-based Saffron Road
Saffron Road offers a variety of Indian food products, from frozen single-serve meals to naan and baked lentil chips. But their organic crunchy chickpea snacks have become their most iconic snack. The protein-rich bites are a lighter snacking alternative to chips or nuts and come in a dozen different flavors. Sweet varieties like honey roasted, salted caramel and even dark chocolate chai covered chickpeas are founder and natural food pioneer Adnan Durrani’s latest innovation.
Pineapple linzer cookies from New York’s Té Company
Té Company specializes in oolong tea sourced directly from Taiwanese farmers by co-owner Elena Liao at her matchbox West Village tea room. Liao's partner and husband, pastry chef Frederico Ribeiro (former sous chef at Per Se), bakes sweet treats to accompany the extensive tea selection. His pineapple linzer cookies were named by Saveur to be the best cookie in New York, created to remind Liao of pineapple cakes from home.
Matcha and yuzu bonbons and caramels from New York-based Stick With Me Sweets
Chocolatier Susanna Yoon's bonbons at Stick With Me Sweets incorporate flavors such as matcha, yuzu and black sesame passion fruit and pay homage to her Korean roots. Her bonbons and caramels come packaged in whimsical boxes that make for nice gifts.
Organic ahi tuna jerky from Hawaii’s Kaimana Jerky
Sheldon Cho's family has been making jerky for 25 years in Kona, Hawaii, using only locally line- caught marlin and ahi tuna. Now, their nitrate-free ahi tuna Kaimana Jerky is available online in teriyaki, sriracha and peppered varieties, but you'll have to visit Hawaii to try their marlin jerky. A fishing conservation law passed in 2018 mandates that marlin can only be caught and sold in Hawaii.
Artisan madras curry and garam masala spices from North Carolina-based Spicewalla
With Spicewalla artisan spice factory, Chef Meherwan Irani brings the flavors of his Indian street food cafe in Asheville, North Carolina, to your kitchen. Staple Indian spices such as turmeric, roasted coriander and roasted cumin are sold along with blends for tandoori, madras curry and garam masala. Irani generously shares dozens of great recipes on his website for traditional and fusion dishes, including Chai Pani’s famous sloppy jai.
Brown rice gluten-free pho noodles from San Francisco-based Star Anise Foods
Thao Nguyen's grandparents are from Nam Dinh, a small city south of Hanoi where pho originated. When she and Karen Cheng launched Star Anise Foods a decade ago, the very first pho meal kit was based on their recipe. Nguyen's plant-based pho is made with just brown rice noodles, herbs and spices. There are instant pho soup bowls if you're feeling less than motivated, as well as noodles infused with green tea, seaweed or shiitake mushrooms to make pho soup or stir fry.