Creative Commons photo by Andrea Gantz is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The West is a big, big place, and every week our staff is all over it, digging up the shops and restaurants, beaches and trails, performances and, well, phenomena that make the region so vibrant. Here’s the Best of the West this week

Sunset Staff  – November 12, 2019

Flipping for Pipcorn

If you’re looking for solid evidence to support the argument that quality ingredients make for better food, look no further than your nearest bag of Pipcorn. (And if you don’t have a bag of Pipcorn nearby, get yourself to Whole Foods or Sprouts immediately and remedy that situation!) Flavored popcorn, corn chips, and cheeseballs have been done before, but not like this. The cheese balls are made with actual cheese, and colored with paprika, not hand-staining toxic orange dye. The corn dippers are thick and crunchy, like other scoop-shaped chips you may have tried, but less aggressively salty and not at all greasy. And the popcorn—well, that’s their flagship product and it’s to die for, as well. The secret? All-natural ingredients and non-GMO heirloom corn as a base. Unbelievably, the delicious cheese balls are baked, not fried, and the caramel corn is vegan, which makes me feel better about the handful I just Hoovered between sentences. —Nicole Clausing, digital producer

Popcorn, chips, and cheese balls, starting at $3.99 from Pipcorn
   

Art in Arizona

Courtesy of the Fortoul Brothers

If you live in, or will be visiting, Phoenix this week, the can’t-miss art event of the season is happening on Friday. The Fortoul Brothers, known about town for their bold, evocative paintings exploring the human condition and connection to nature, are showcasing their work in a solo exhibition at the Vintage 45 space at 45 West Buchanan Street. East Coast transplants Gabriel and Isaac Fortoul have been transforming the Phoenix art scene for several years, starting up a nomadic art gallery featuring paintings, murals, sculptures, and other installations and raising awareness of the art community about town. Their new show will be a feast for the senses, featuring their powerful pieces as well as live music and drinks. —Jessica Mordo, associate digital director

A Magazine That Raises Gardening to an Art Form

Alasdair Mclellan, courtesy of The Plant

It’s not every day that plant lovers get a magazine that’s full of anything but gardening advice. There are tons of literary food magazines (snaps to Portland’s own Kitchen Table Magazine)—but where is this love and attention for the botanical world? In Europe, it turns out. Imagine my joy when I discovered The Plant, which is made in Barcelona, Amsterdam, and London. “The Plant offers plant lovers a new look at greenery by featuring the works of many creative people who share our love for plants,” explains their website; this new look comes in the form of essays, fashion, and visual art that isn’t just inspired by the wonder of our green world, but is an absolute expression of the ubiquity of the plant kingdom in the lives of humans. —Heather Arndt Anderson, garden editor

Subscription to The Plant, from approximately $42 USD
   

Bottle Hunt

Courtesy of Teeling Whiskey

Whiskey’s my liquor of choice, whether for my home bar or when trying a new cocktail, and one of my favorites to drink is Teeling Whiskey. The award-winning Irish Whiskey brand has just released two new bottles ahead of the holidays, a Single Pot Still and a limited-edition Single Cask Whiskey. The Single Cask has a beautiful flavor and robust natural character thanks to its finishing in a chestnut cask, and only three states in the US will be getting a total of 846 bottles of the limited-edition spirit. One of those states is California, so keep an eye out for the rare bottle in your local spirit shop, especially if you’re hunting for a fresh holiday gift for a whiskey lover (like me!) —Nena Farrell, associate home editor

Teeling Single Cask, $100 from Quality Liquor Store
   
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