Foodie fans and locavores…you know I look forward to this every year. For years, my family has created gift baskets full of our favorite things that we’ve discovered throughout the year. I dare say that here at YES! Weekly, we might be making a tradition of it, as long as they’ll have me. So here’s the Second Annual Triadfoodies Gift Guide of Glorious Deliciousness. Once again we’re going to give our basket (or bag) full of goodies to a lucky winner. These “favorite things” make perfect stocking stuffers or gifts on their own. My criteria: It must be fabulous, and it must be local. We have such talented makers in our area that they deserve to be supported and loved. Another important aspect of these faves is that they are relatively easy to find. We can’t have you going all over town looking for these items. In most cases, you’ll be able to find these items at a locally owned shop near you.
Shall we begin the Holiday Magic?
Brewmaster’s Malt Mustard
We loved Al Wolf’s mustard when we featured its whole crunchy mustard seed, grainy goodness for our Super Bowl spread feature last January. Since then, we have not been without it. It’s the perfect German mustard made by a German brewmaster, with simple ingredients. The mustard, made with malted barley, is robust and thick and perfect for brats, hot dogs, smoked sausage, sandwiches, pork– you name it. We like that Al, who came to his new country searching for the American dream, found it right here in the Triad of North Carolina as the brewmaster for Red Oak Brewing. You get bonus local supporter points if you pair Malt Mustard with a Red Oak Lager and Lowe’s Foods SausageWorks Sausage, particularly anything with Texas Pete in it. You can find Malt Mustard at Lowe’s Foods and Whole Foods or buy online at brewmastersmalt.com.
Sutler’s Spirits Gin
True to form, we must always include a North Carolina spirit when it comes to our gift guide. We’ve never been without Sutler’s Gin since discovering it a few years ago. As a matter of fact, the bottle is so good looking that we just keep it out on display in our bar cart. The science that goes into distilling a quality spirit is one thing, but the art that goes into Sutler’s is on another level altogether. Owner Scot Sanborn has introduced flavors into his award-winning gin that set it apart from any other. It’s really great on the rocks, where you can really appreciate the botanicals. But I also love it with lemonade and a splash of soda. Plan a visit in the near future to Sutler’s distillery in Winston-Salem. You’ll get a lesson in flavor profiles and appreciation that you never expected. Sutler’s is always holding super fun workshops and tours are available. Find your Sutler’s at any North Carolina ABC store or your limited bottle amount on site at Sutlers. sutlersspiritco.com
Little Black Dressing Company
It Takes 3 to Tango
I know you know that quandary when you can’t decide which salad dressing you want. Do I want ranch? Thousand island? Bleu cheese? What if you could have all three dressings whipped into one? That’s LBD’s It Takes 3 to Tango for you. You get a little of all three of these popular salad toppings. It’s just an amazing marriage of flavors and perfect for the indecisive type. The only thing is, I’ve decided that it’s one of the few salad dressings I actually want anymore. It is magic on a wedge salad or a Cobb or as a veggie dip. LBD Company is based in High Point and has some other interesting looking dressings, but honestly, I can’t stay away from 3 to Tango. You can find it in the refrigerated dressings section at local grocery markets as well as Lowe’s Foods and Harris Teeter. littleblackdressingco.com
Fool’s Gold Honey
(Colony Urban Farm Store)
If you love honey, you’ll love Colony Urban Farm’s Honey Bar. A honey bar with honey on tap. Honey in jars. Honey! Honey! Honey! It’s paradise for honey-lovers and Winnie the Pooh too.
Just a few days before press time, Colony announced that they’re branding their honey as Fool’s Gold Honey Co. My favorite in the Colony line-up is the Bourbon-infused honey. You get a little essence of bourbon with their wonderful local honey, from bees they raise right here in the Triad. Colony threw in a Southern Wildflower and Lavender-infused because …well, because of Christmas! The choices for honey at Colony are endless. “Because eating honey is a very good thing to do,” as Winnie the Pooh notably once said. There are some exciting things about to happen in the West End in Winston-Salem and these little bees at Colony are in the mix of it, so stay tuned for some fun buzz from these folks. You can find Colony Urban Farm and Fool’s Gold Honey at their new location (opening soon) at 492 West End Blvd. in Winston-Salem. foolsgoldhoneyco.com
Batistini Farms Vanishing
Grape White Balsamic
Okay, okay, we know we’re not growing local olives or Modena grapes here. But Clemmons couple, Cindy and Tom Sephton, are getting us as close to the local experience as possible. About three years ago, the Sephtons began importing 100 percent Toscano extra virgin organic olive oil and balsamic vinegar from the heritage La Batistina farm in Tuscany. So, you get the real thing, and you’re supporting a local business at the same time. We love the pure, clean taste, look and finish of the Vanishing Grape. Paired with a little olive oil on a spinach salad or drizzled with cheese, or you can’t ever go wrong with crusty bread. You can find Batistini Farms Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegar at Whole Foods, Wine Merchants in Winston-Salem and online at b-farms.com.
Lily Leaf Soap-Handmade Soap and Spa Products
No, it’s not food. But it is made with food-like, organic ingredients by Tara Kercheval, who puts so much pride and hard work into her soaps, lotions, serums, scrubs and balms. They’ve been a favorite for several years now. Kercheval has been so devoted that she was able to leave behind her job and focus on her soap business full-time. We love her soaps to use of course, but they make a great hostess gift or stocking stuffer. The soaps come in all kinds of fragrances, but I like anything that reminds me of the spa, such as the lime mint, eucalyptus or grapefruit lavender. We also love the shave bar. The winner of the gift basket will get two bars of soap. You can find out more about Lily Leaf soaps, lotions, serums and balms by visiting their Facebook page.
The Traveling Bean Coffee
Words cannot express the heartbreak over here when our beloved Beans Boro Coffeeshop announced its closing in Greensboro earlier this year. But, let not your (or our) heart be troubled. Roast Master Kyle Burge is back in his hometown in downtown Kernersville, under a new name. The Traveling Bean is located on Main Street with plenty of roasting action and a family-friendly environment to enjoy your pick-me-up. The winner of the gift basket gets a pound of whole bean Colombian roast, which is known for its full, rich flavor with chocolate notes. The Traveling Bean is located at 126-A South Main St. in Kernersville. thetravelingbean.com.
Cackalacky Beer-B-Q Nuts
Also making a return appearance from our “Super Bowl” special, Cackalacky’s Beer-B-Q peanuts are the perfect party snack, late night snack, car snack…well, you get it. Our absolute fave of all the nuts out there–and we’ve tried a ton. They’re just big and special, trust us. You can find Cackalacky nuts and their other products at retailers across the state, including Lowe’s Foods and Harris Teeter. cackalacky.com
Black Mountain Chocolate Fruit Cake
And the Triadfoodies Gift Guide of Glorious Deliciousness (and Giveaway) just wouldn’t be the same without the Queen of Fruitcakes. Like I’ve said before, it’s boozy and so chocolatey it will make you completely forget about that heavy, stumpy thing you once called fruit “cake.” BMC’s fruitcake is made with next door neighbor’s Broad Branch Distilling Company’s Nightlab 1.0, and you can taste too. Consider this your grown-up dessert and enjoy! blackmountainchocolate.com.
So there you have it, my gift guide of favorite things, and you can win this treasure! Find this post on our Facebook page where you’ll find out how you can win it. Winner will be announced on Dec. 18.
Kristi Maier is a food writer, blogger and cheerleader for all things local who even enjoys cooking in her kitchen, though her kidlets seldom appreciate her efforts.
In the print version, the address given for Colony Urban Farms was 529 West End Blvd., a correction has been made online to reflect that the actual address is located at 429 West End Blvd.
The headline in print read ‘Triadfoodies gift guide of gloriousness delicious 2017 edition’ it was corrected to ‘Triadfoodies gift guide of glorious deliciousness 2017 edition’ online.