Gastronomy 101, a blog about food and Los Angeles restaurants

LOCAL: Dr. Tima Root Beer and Chili Mangos

So you may have heard recently the growing exhortation to buy local. It's all the rage these days, but for good reason. Buying local products when you can is beneficial in a lot of ways:

  • Fresh food is fresher
  • Local products use less transportation resources, which is good for the environment, helps conserve resources, and puts less strain on the infrastructure.
  • Very often, you can buy direct from the supplier, cutting out the middleman. This means you pay less and the person who made the product gets all the profit.
  • It supports your community and the benefits of that will spread to the people around you, your local friends and relatives, and yourself.
Is it practical or even possible to buy local foods all the time? No, unfortunately, it's rather difficult, but the growing demand is good for us consumers, as stores increasingly stock local products and label local foods.

When I can, I'll try to highlight some local products I've found, and especially those I enjoy often. Here is one I've recently tried, and another product that's practically an addiction for me.

Dr. Tima's Honey Root Beer: Dr. Tima Honey Root Beer is double good for people who like to feel responsible with their purchases. Not only is this a local product, but it also helps bees. According to the box, some of the profits go to honeybee research. This is apparently made from an old European recipe and I did like that it used real herbal flavors along with the honey, unlike some root beers that just are a combo of sugar and artificial flavors.

So how was it? Well, it was good, but it didn't compare to Virgil's Root Beer which is what I usually buy. I like the balance of flavors better in Virgil's. In this one the wintergreen seemed a bit strong to me. It was still a nice refreshing drink, but I would probably choose the Virgil's, which is also a local product and therefore I don't have to feel bad about that!

Chili Mangos: Okay, I just love these. These chili covered dried mango strips are one of my favorite snacks and I have to try really hard not to burn my tongue off from eating too many at once. These particular ones shown above are the ones I like. They come from the Farm Fresh Produce stand at the Farmer's Market. I don't even know how I got the idea to try these in the first place, but I'm really glad I did. These are a dried mango strip covered in chili powder and sugar. I'm guessing that if you're a person that will like them, they are already sounding good to you; and if you're not, you are probably thinking I'm insane. But if you like spicy and sweet, and especially if you like them together, then try them! I can't pass the stand without getting them now. Just beware that they are REALLY spicy. Have a glass of milk sitting nearby.


Do you mean the Farmer's Market at 3rd & Fairfax? I'm a sucker for any sweet/savory combination! :)

said by Diana at 2:36 PM Delete

Yes, that farmer's market! It's the fruit stand right next to the magazine stand. :)

said by KT at 2:45 PM Delete

I love root beer. But I don't remember seeing Dr. Tima's @ BevMo's or Real Soda in Real bottles...

said by TonyC at 3:17 PM Delete

Wow how can you choose Virgil's crap with all those chemicals in it???? Dr. Tima is all natural and as NO CORN SYRUP!! It"s the best hands down in natural soda!! All the other stuff tastes like mouthwash

said by J-Bone at 12:39 PM Delete


Virgil's is an all-natural root beer as well. The ingredients are: water, unbleached cane sugar, and various herbs and spices.

There's no corn syrup.

The best way to make decisions about what you purchase is to actually read the ingredients list for yourself rather than make assumptions about what's in stuff.

said by KT at 12:52 PM Delete

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