We’ve been blogging about some pretty fantastic artisan and gourmet foods only for a few months, and there are already some real stand-outs that we will be enjoying again and again. A review of the best of the best is in order before we close out 2012. In no particular order, here are our faves for the year.
Immaculate Baking Co. Blueberry Scones – A combination of great taste, wholesome ingredients and early morning crunch-time convenience won us over immediately. Immaculate’s seasonal Gingerbread Spice Cookies also made frequent appearances on dessert plates at our house, and the addition of orange buttercream frosting elevated them to special occasion cookie status.
Primizie Crispbreads – We fell in love with the thick-cut texture and taste of the Classic Italian Red Chile and Herbs flavor, I’m munching on the Spicy New Mexican Chimayo Chile & Lime crispbreads as I write this post, and there’s a bag of Smoked Dutch Gouda and Garlic flavor in the pantry waiting to be tasted. Convinced you need to try them yet?
Grandad’s Gravy – This pasta sauce is full of flavor and family tradition. Savory tomatoes and spices untainted by the sugar overload so common in commercial pasta sauces make this a delightful addition to any Italian dish.
Brooke’s Candy Co. Old English Almond Toffee – Brooke and her mom have mastered the art of traditional toffee-making with a perfectly crisp toffee bar smothered in elegantly smooth Belgian chocolate. We were also super-impressed with ML Dubay’s Toffee Treats White Chocolate Cranberry Pecan Toffee, as well as her commitment to help fellow cancer survivors with a portion of the profits from her sales.
Cherith Valley Gardens Hot ‘n Spicy Corn Relish – Allen has requested that I never make cornbread again without using this delicious relish, and it is equally tasty sitting atop a tortilla chip. There is always at least one jar at the ready in our pantry.
In the “cheese, glorious cheese” category, the Rumiano Cheese Company captured our taste buds with their oh-so-good California Mission Garlic Jack and creamy Organic Monterey Jack. Henning’s Natural Chipotle Cheddar Cheese with its beautiful veins of spice running through it was voted “best cheese on a burger” at our house.
RoRo’s Cinn-A-Rolls and Dinn-A-Rolls are handmade in small batches and have the homemade taste and texture we love in yeast breads. They reheat quickly, so warm rolls are an option any day of the week.
Our cookie jar was frequently filled this year with Wackym’s Kitchen delicious treats. The salted caramel, margarita, and snicker doodles (with a surprising dash of cayenne pepper) carry off sweet & savory combinations in grand style.
Karen received the most thoughtful food gift this year while she was fighting a respiratory virus. Spoonful of Comfort Chicken Noodle Soup, dinner rolls and cookies were a welcome and comforting meal when she really needed it.
It was truly challenging to come up with this list, as all of the foods we shared with you this year are wonderful. Even more wonderful are the people behind the food. It was a unique pleasure to get to know some of them and understand the passion driving their creativity and dedication to their businesses. We look forward to continuing our quest for sensational foods in 2013. Happy New Year to all!