If you want to “get local” with your gift giving this season, delicious gourmet food gifts and stocking stuffers for family and friends are the way to go. Here are some ideas for adding a touch of local flavor.
Salt City Collection: Syracha’Cuse Gourmet Sauces and Syracuse Salt Company. You’ve probably encountered these two small-batch food companies at shows and events around Central New York. The Salt City Collection includes one bottle of Syracha’Cuse Salt City IPA Craft Beer Hot Sauce, one jar of Syracha’Cuse Salt City IPA Craft Beer Mustard, one jar of Syracuse Salt Company Roasted Garlic Salt and one jar of Syracuse Salt Company Sriracha Sea Salt. The collection retails for $30 and is available at Chuck Hafner’s Farmers Market, North Syracuse; The Farm Store at Palladino Farms, Pompey; 20/East, Cazenovia; and online at syrachacuse.com.
Lune Chocolat’s BBQ Rub. Lune Chocolat co-owner Michael Woloszyn calls this new barbecue rub “the best of everything we love’’: high-quality cocoa, finely ground coffee, several different types of ground peppers and “a few secret spices.’’ Sprinkle it on fish, poultry, beef and tofu; when cooked at high temperature, the cocoa caramelizes and creates a “sweet heat.’’ Priced at $6.50 and available at Lune Chocolat, 4675 Brickyard Falls Road, Manlius. Call (315) 692-4173 or visit lunechocolat.com.
The Mission’s Milagro Hot Sauce. The Mission, a Mexican restaurant in a former church just off Columbus Circle in downtown Syracuse, recently began selling its popular Milagro hot sauce. It’s a salsa verde — or green sauce — made with jalapeño peppers. We sampled some at the recent Buy Local Bash at the Central New York Regional Market and found it to be pleasantly zippy. It’s $6 per bottle, available at the restaurant, 304 E. Onondaga St. Call (315) 475-7344 or visit themissionrestaurant.com.
Farmer Street Pantry Mincemeat. Mincemeat in a stocking? Sure, especially when it’s all-fruit mincemeat with local ingredients like apples, apple cider and maple syrup. Lynne Pascale, owner of Farmer Street Pantry, makes her mincemeat (plus applesauce and a tasty mince pie granola) at Nelson Farms, near Cazenovia, and sells it on Saturdays, through December, at the Central New York Regional Market, 2100 Park St., in the F Shed. It’s also available at Bailiwick Market and Cafe in Elbridge, the Nelson Farms Country Store and other locations. Priced at $5.95 for an 8-ounce jar, $8,50 for the 12-ounce jar. Call (315) 415-7616 or visit farmerstreetpantry.com — and check out the recent article Mincemeat On Holiday Menu From Farmer Street Pantry.
Coffee of the Month Club: Smith Housewares and Restaurant Supply/Hyman Smith Coffee Roasters. There are subscriptions for everything these days: beer, wine, chocolate, fruit, you name it. A coffee subscription is a great way to try something new and wake up and brew coffees from around the world. Hyman Smith Coffee, one of the oldest roasters in Central New York, offers “coffee of the month’’ subscriptions ranging from three months to a full 12 months. Prices vary. Stop in Smith Housewares at 500 Erie Blvd. E. and follow your nose to Hyman Smith Coffee or place orders online. Call (315) 474-8731 or visit smithrestaurantsupply.com/browse.cfm/coffee-of-the-month-club/2,978.html.
Food and Ferments’ Fireside Tonic. Santa Claus is coming to town during cold and flu season. Kick germs to the curb with Fireside Tonic, a traditional remedy made with organic apple cider vinegar, oranges, local raw honey, ginger, onions, garlic, horseradish, jalapeño and habanero peppers, beets and other “flu fighters and system fortifiers.’’ Take a tablespoon a day or add a small pour to water or tea and dressings and marinades. Priced at $12 for an 8-ounce bottle. Available at 20/East, Cazenovia, at the Food and Ferments stand at the CNY Regional Market and online. For information, visit foodanferments.com.
F. Oliver’s Olive Oil-Based Skin Care Products. Olive oil isn’t just for cooking. F. Oliver’s, a Canandaigua-based chain of premium olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting boutiques, has introduced a quartet of skin care products handcrafted in the Finger Lakes from ultra-premium olive oils. Find F. Oliver’s Sumptuous Skin Balm, Luscious Lip Balm, Sensational Skin Scrub and Extraordinary EVOO Soap at all store locations, including Skaneateles, 4 Jordan St. Priced at $8.95 to $15.95 each, $39.95 for a gift pack. Call (315) 685-7585 (Skaneateles) or visit folivers.com.
Cookies and Decorating Kit: Half Moon Bakery and Bistro, Jamesville. It’s time to bake and decorate cookies — but with all the seasonal hustle and bustle, who has time? Half Moon Bakery and Bistro offers kits with 12 cookies, buttercream icing in several colors and festive sprinkles. Traditional sugar cookie cutouts in a variety of shapes are available, and bakery owner Debbe Titus says gingerbread cookie kits will also be available. Stop in the bakery, or better yet call ahead and place an order. Priced at $15 per kit. Call (315) 492-0110 or visit facebook.com/TheHalfMoonBakery. SNT
Margaret McCormick is a freelance writer and editor in Syracuse. She blogs about food at eatfirst.typepad.com. Follow her on Twitter, connect on Facebook or email her at email@example.com.
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