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Local barbecue season lasts long past Labor Day, and we?re planning to serve a local specialty at our next cookout: authentic Santa Maria?style barbecue, by which we mean juicy tri-tip seasoned with black pepper, salt and garlic, then cooked over a red-oak fire and served with spicy pinquito beans.

We?re getting everything from fixin?s to cooking tips from local seasonings experts California Rancher, an El Segundo?based company that looks to places like Santa Maria, Paso Robles and the Salinas Valley to source its goods.

California Rancher?s cornerstone is the peppery Santa Maria Style barbecue rub ($7). Other blends include the citrus- and dill-infused Monterey Seafood seasoning ($7) and the cumin-infused Hog Wild mix ($7), which is especially good on blackened fish or grilled shrimp. Spice lovers will appreciate the Southern-style Oaky & Smoky rub with its roasted chilis, paprika and garlic ($7). 

While not strictly Santa Maria?style, there?s also Oaky & Smoky BBQ Sauce ($7), which has a hint of tamarind and is delicious over pulled pork or sloppy joes. California Rancher even has several recipes  like tri-tip sirloin and babyback ribs on its site. 

Next on the horizon: A Santa Maria?style ranch dressing, naturally.

California Rancher is available at Manhattan Meats, 1111 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach; 310-372-5406 or

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