Add a little something sweet and smoky to your day. All photos courtesy of Many Kitchens.
There are pantries all over the country filled with the kind of small-batch, handmade, locally procured foodstuffs Valentina Rice has been after for years. The founder of Many Kitchens, an online marketplace showcasing specialty jams, chutneys, teas, truffles, breads, bitters and biscuits, celebrates the best of American tinkering in the kitchen. In her new book, Recipes from Many Kitchens, Rice curated recipes from some of her favorite makers, and it reads like a global feast.
One of the inspirations for starting Many Kitchens was beach plum jam. A deliciously distinctive sweet jam with just the right hint of tart that I have never found outside Cape Cod. It made me wonder what other pockets of gastronomic delicacies are hiding around the country. I started filling my cupboards with the best I could find and rounded up 8 incredible treats from local cooks and creators around the country.
The best of Britain in the most unlikely of places. My favorite treats from my childhood in England are being made in Tucson, Arizona, by expert baker Wendy Taylor of The British Baking Company.
Buy it: Sticky Toffee Pudding, $25
In charming Cornwall, Connecticut, I met the equally charming bow-tied David Davis making the most delectable of sweet and savory jams — I am never without the vidalia onion variety.
Buy it: Vidalia Onion Jam, $8
Cesar Sanchez fire roasts poblanos in his hometown of McKinney, Texas, and then marinates them in a secret sauce that he spent years perfecting.
Buy it: Salsa Variety Pack, $18.95
Simply the best Fleur de Sel caramels I have ever tasted are being lovingly made and beautifully packaged by Nicole Ebbitt in Minneapolis.
Buy it: Fleur de Sel Caramels, $17
Steve Sando is on a one man mission to educate the country about heirloom beans and keep indigenous crops alive through his XOXOC project.
Buy it: Rancho Gordo Beans, $24
Jennifer Roberts hand cuts and dips her luscious and addictive chocolates in Vergennes, Vermont.
Buy it: Black Rum Caramels, $11
Tony Bonomolo of Lafayette, Louisiana, infuses raw sugar with a wonderfully unique flavor by smoking it over pecan shells. Try it in your coffee or atop a creme brûlée. You’ll be hooked.
Buy it: Pecan Smoked Sugar, $8
In a quiet corner of the Catskills, Claire Marin produces the finest raw honey and then infuses it to enhance other items, like a ridiculously smooth whiskey and outrageously delicious chocolate truffles.
Buy it: Kosher Wildflower Honey, $11
Many Kitchens: Celebrated Local Food Artisans Share Their Signature Dishes, by Valentina Rice