Scientists have gone overboard in their obsession with creating shelf-stable “food” products that can withstand the rigors of being trucked all over the country. Take cream cheese. The average brick of that stuff, loaded with stabilizers and other gunk, would not melt if it sat the whole summer in the Central Valley sun. So now let us give thanks to the Sierra Nevada Cheese Company, Sacramento’s only specialty cheese producer, for stepping forward with a pure alternative. The five-year-old enterprise uses only hormone-free cream and milk, natural food culture and salt in their four varieties of cream cheese. Last year, the company’s jalapeño cream cheese captured first place in the flavored-cheese category at the annual conference of specialty cheese producers. The corporate food labs can keep their pre-fab cream cheese—we have the good stuff right here. Look for Sierra Nevada cheeses at Taylor’s, Corti Brothers, Sacramento Co-op, Davis Co-op and Ralph’s.