Local food at FoodBuzz: Think holiday gifts!

Foodzie Gift
Foodzie Gift

Over the last couple of years, since I started participating in the Eat Local Challenge, I have developed an interest in finding food close to home. We subscribe to a vegetable CSA through Two Small Farms, as well as a fruit CSA through Frog Hollow Farms. This weekend at the FoodBuzz Conference, I learned about more local food options, some part of the Foodzie community.

Foodzie is on a mission to help you find tasty food from local food producers. As a sponsor of FoodBuzz, they brought several of their favorites and demonstrated a great diversity of products.

FoodBuzz had loads of interesting and local staples, here are some of my favorites:

Olive oil:

Stella Cadente Olive Oil and St. Helena Olive Oil Co. are two local olive oil companies. Located in Fort Bragg and St. Helena, California, respectively, these shops are turning out tasty olive oils and vinegars, and any would make an outstanding holiday gift for the locavore on your list.

Salt:

La Mar’s Mendocino Seasoning Co. in Gualala, California, is bringing local salt to the Bay Area. When fishing closures forced them to shutter their sport fishing business on the Mendocino Coast, they turned to a all purpose seasoning mix that Lora used to make for holiday gifts. Bob began to produce handcrafted sea salt and they were able to combine their interests into a new seasoning company.

Chocolate:

Au Coeur des Chocolats is practically right around the corner from my house, in Redwood City, California. Featuring sea salt caramels, handmade chocolates and caramelized almonds, Shawn Williams and Doug Basegio are created excellent artisan chocolates on the Peninsula.

Wine:

Ehlers Estate, an organic and biodynamic winery north of St. Helena, California, served up some of my favorites in their 100% estate produced wines, including Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. They also produce Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc.

Handley Cellars in Philo, California, the Anderson Valley, makes the most of their cool wine growing climate, producing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Gewurtztraminer and a sparkling wine. We tasted the sparkling wine, a 2006 Handley Brut Rose, made from 80% Pinot Noir grapes. A tasty sparkler, it would be great on the holiday table this year!

Well, I think I have covered the basics – olive oil, salt, chocolate and wine. Oh, wait, there is one more. Popcorn!

479 Popcorn is another local company producing tasty, ready-popped corn for your enjoyment. The popcorn is sourced from the Sacramento area, quite local indeed. I tasted the Chipotle Caramel + Almonds, and it was nicely balanced, not too sweet and not too spicy. Other flavors include Fleur de Sel Caramel, Madras Curry Coconut + Cashews, and Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt. They are also branching out and providing a Pop It Yourself Kit, with special sugar and salt blends.

All great gift ideas. In fact, if you were super clever, you might include one of everything and send it to your sweetie for the holidays!