Our food team knows a thing or two about snacks. To do our jobs well, we need to eat a lot of them—market research, ya know? So that you can stock up on the best of the best, we’ve rounded up our absolute favorite eats, treats and pantry staples of the season. Some are from brands you already know and love (looking at you, Levain), while others are from smaller purveyors that deserve a permanent spot on your grocery list.
The Best Snacks, Pantry Staples and Treats of Summer 2022, According to Our Food Team
PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here.
The bakery behind NYC’s most iconic chocolate chip cookie launched its first-ever seasonal flavor this summer. Crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside like Levain’s other confections, the Rocky Road cookies are made with dark chocolate cookie dough, semisweet chocolate chips, pillowy marshmallows (like, a ton of them) and roasted cashews.
We’ve been longtime fans of Ithaca Hummus, since the brand uses all-natural ingredients and no preservatives in its cold-crafted products. Needless to say, our brains just about exploded when the company teamed up with Grillo’s Pickles—the brand behind the ingenious Pickle de Gallo—to create this nine-ingredient pickle hummus. They were not shy with the dill and fresh garlic, folks. Might we suggest slathering it on your next cheeseburger? (Bonus points for using ground lamb and playing up the brininess with a little crumbled feta.)
If you already love the Fly By Jing’s cult-favorite chili crisp, add this limited-edition salt to your pantry next. A collaboration with Jacobsen Salt Company, this seasoning consists of kosher sea salt and meticulously hand-picked Sichuan tribute peppers and Erjingtiao chiles. Sprinkle it on popcorn, eggs, vegetables, noodles or even brownies. (And while you’re at it, add the newly released Spicy Sovereign Syrup to your cart for drizzling on waffles, veggies, fried chicken, pizza and more.)
A barbecue or picnic spread is incomplete without a bowl of communal chips, but why settle for flimsy plain ones when Hen of the Woods exists? Their chips are thick, durable and exquisitely crunchy. The brand is arguably best known for their original Red Wine Vinegar flavor, but we’re particularly enamored with the Everything Bagel (made with a generous dose of caraway), Buttermilk & Chive and White Cheddar Jalapeño varieties.
How do we love thine products, Melinda? Let us count the ways. We slather your barbecue sauces on all our favorite mains, add your preserves to our charcuterie boards and drool over every batch of spicy garlic Parmesan wings we make. But our current go-to is the black truffle hot sauce, due to its creamy consistency, subtle-yet-bold kick and umami-laced flavor. A substantial drizzle of the stuff is the easiest way to upgrade your go-to bacon, egg and cheese sandwich.
Any Latinx cook could wax poetic on the importance of these pantry staples. For the uninitiated, adobo can refer to a sauce or cooking style as well, but in Caribbean cuisine, it usually refers to a dry seasoning mix that’s garlicky and bright in flavor. Sofrito is a sauce made from alliums, vegetables and herbs sauteed in oil that’s often used as a cooking base. Sazón is a bold dry seasoning that often includes cumin, coriander and annatto. Unlike many on the market, Loisa’s products are free of anti-caking agents and artificial dyes, and they star authentic ingredients like tomatoes, onions, achiote, oregano and ajicito dulce peppers. Use these in your everyday cooking, whether you’re making arroz con gandules or pollo guisado.
Brightland, the artisanal olive oil company with a cult following, teamed up with Dear Bella Creamery to create a peach crisp ice cream infused with their PARASOL Champagne vinegar. Think caramelized peach ice cream dappled with pools of slow-roasted peach compote and almond-pecan oat crumble. The gift box includes two pints of ice cream, bottles of Brightland olive oil and vinegar and a jar of bee-free honeycomb. Snag one before they disappear on August 31.
Not to brag, but we consider ourselves popcorn connoisseurs. Whether you’re looking for the best microwave variety, a from-scratch recipe or something giftable and gourmet, we’ve tasted our way through the cream of the crop. This summer, Sweet Chaos stole our heart with its hand-popped kernels and real-deal seasonings. There’s a whole slew of sweet and salty flavors to choose from (like Peanut Butter Cup Drizzle and Cake Batter), but personally, we find the Jalapeño Blue Cheese to be straight-up revelatory.
We’ve eaten countless Reese’s cups in our day. (Heck, this summer alone.) But recently, we discovered Gatsby’s better-for-you alternative, which boasts half the calories and a quarter of the sugar of the O.G. These peanut butter cups are also vegan, low carb and keto-friendly, since they’re sweetened with allulose and just a touch of sugar. We’re partial to the dark chocolate ones, because they offer just the right dose of bitterness.
We wait with bated breath for these crispy beauties to make their return every damn summer. Buckle up for a cookout-themed mélange of four unique, though equally delicious, flavors: Sea Salt & Vinegar, Delicious Dill, Homestyle Ketchup and Smokin’ Sweet BBQ. You may think each type of chip is best enjoyed solo, but we’d argue that the zingy, herbaceous and sweet notes complement each other seamlessly. Our grocery store boo really does think of everything.
We aren’t exaggerating when we say this decadent, rich fudge sauce will convert even the staunchest of caramel lovers to the dark side. A spoonful or two only need a few seconds in the microwave to be transformed into molten heaven (although we may or may not have eaten it cold straight from the jar to take advantage of its thick, brigadeiro-like texture, too…). Hand-crafted in small batches with top-tier European chocolate and local dairy, this hot fudge will take your sundae bar up a notch and then some.
If there’s one thing we’re willing to splurge on, it’s a next-level dessert—and this Switzerland-made popcorn is no exception. Picture crispy popcorn encased in a drool-worthy caramelized coating. In case you need more convincing, it’s finished with a layer of Swiss milk chocolate before being bagged. Do you feel a movie marathon coming on or is that just us? OK cool, we’ll fetch the wine.
Taryn Pire is PureWow’s associate food editor. A former bartender and barista, she’s been writing about all things delicious since 2016, developing recipes, reviewing restaurants and investigating food trends at Food52, New Jersey Family Magazine and Taste Talks. When she isn’t testing TikTok’s latest viral recipe, she’s having popcorn for dinner and posting about it on Instagram @cookingwithpire.
Why You Should Trust Us
PureWow's editors and writers have spent more than a decade shopping online, digging through sales and putting our home goods, beauty finds, wellness picks and more through the wringer—all to help you determine which are actually worth your hard-earned cash. From our PureWow100 series (where we rank items on a 100-point scale) to our painstakingly curated lists of fashion, beauty, cooking, home and family picks, you can trust that our recommendations have been thoroughly vetted for function, aesthetics and innovation. Whether you're looking for travel-size hair dryers you can take on-the-go or women’s walking shoes that won’t hurt your feet, we’ve got you covered.