Food Stuff

Illustration By Marianne Mancina

There are plenty of reasons to make a pit stop at Newcastle Produce if you’re passing by this tiny, charming town between Roseville and Auburn on Interstate 80: the sparkling-fresh local fruits and vegetables, the jams and the bread selection. Among the most enticing, though, are the baked goods, from luscious little lemon or lime tarts to cookies that are as big as a kid’s face. In an era when many casual food-service operations get pastries off a truck, Newcastle Produce proudly makes its own, with real butter—an indulgence that shows to good advantage in the extraordinary, tender tart crust and its tangy yet unctuous lemon-curd filling. When I hesitated between the soft, sugar-encrusted ginger cookie and oatmeal chocolate chip, the woman behind the counter said to get the former if I liked ginger. She was right. With the house-made lemonade, it was the perfect treat to refuel for the road. 9230 Cypress Street in Newcastle, (916) 663-2016,