Make a holiday meal? Wrapping a food basket? Planning a meeting? Send a taste of the house? Need a treat to give to a party host? Stuff a stocking?
Of course you are! Food and drink are at the heart of the Thanksgiving holiday through New Years. Why not spend those dollars on locally produced, artisanal edible treats? You do it to support businesses and reduce the impact of fossil fuels, and because Boulder County produces a range of first-class foods and beverages that are just great.
You can start with the foods that have just been named 2022 finalists for the National Good Food Awards, recognizing those who prepare “tasty, authentic and responsible food to humanize and reform our American food culture.”
Local nominees include Fusilli pasta from Pastificio (Boulder), marinated okra from Mountain Girl Pickles (Nederland), toasted coconut and ginger snack mix from Jai Mix (Boulder), sesame quinoa crackers from New Beat Foods (Longmont), Crisp Maple Pretzel from On Tap Kitchen (Broomfield) and Goat’s Milk Caramel Lavender and Vanilla from Table Mountain Farm (Longmont).
There are no supply chain issues when shopping for gifts and groceries at the Boulder County Farmers Market Winter Market on December 4 and 5 in Longmont. The 100+ vendors include many market regulars such as Aspen Moon Farm, Bjorn’s Colorado Honey, Bookcliff Vineyard, Oliko Ginger Beer, and On Tap Kitchen.
The great thing about food is that no matter who is on your list, they all eat. A gift card to a local independent restaurant is too easy. Consider the following curated collection of pleasures for the palate.
The charcuterie board from here
Charcuterie boards are the perfect snacking solution while on vacation, but food doesn’t have to be shipped thousands of miles away.
For cheeses, how about Smoked Longmont Goat’s Cheese, Soft Maturing Snowdrops, or Origin A2 Brie, all made by Haystack Mountain?
For the meat, choose Denver’s award-winning Il Porcellino Salumi. You can’t miss the traditional Finocchiona garnished with roasted fennel seeds, fennel pollen and ground fennel. Il Porcellino made a limited amount of fruit cake salami sprinkled with cranberries, nuts, orange and port.
Check with the kitchen at Boulder’s Le French CafÃ© for two delicious homemade cracker toppings: foie gras and duck rillettes. Meanwhile, the local chicken farm, Alpine Eggs, now offers fresh chicken liver pate.
Finish the charcuterie board with MECO Cheddar Crackers, New Beat Quinoa Crackers and bolder chips, as well as cultured butter from La Bella Crema de Lyon and honey from the Highlands.
Offer a mushroom
Fungus makes the perfect gift for that family member who keeps talking about their gut health or the budding DIYer who makes all zero. Humble Fungus, based in Lafayette, offers everything you need to start growing culinary and medicinal mushrooms at home, as well as manuals and online grow lessons. At Boulder Fermentation Supply, 2510 47th St., you can find supplies and information on making cheese, yogurt, wine, pickles, beer, and kombucha.
Bonus treat: a slice of Boulder’s Project Umami Foods Pinto Bean and Millet Tempeh.
The hottest is the best gift
We all have friends and relatives who regularly enjoy hurting themselves with capsaicin-packed sauces and foods. For hot heads, assemble a basket containing FishSki Provisions JalapeÃ±o Cheddar Oatmeal (boulder), Guatemalan-inspired Green Belly hot sauces (boulder), Bulgarian Picaflor Carrot Pepper (boulder), Chiporro Co. Thai Serrano Salsa (Longmont), Seed Ranch Umami Hot Sauce (Boulder), Dark Chocolate Moksha with Pueblo Green Peppers (Boulder), Riskin’s Dragon (Chili) Bitters (Boulder) and Grove’s Spicy and Sneaky New Mexico Hatch Chiles Liqueur Street Alchemy (Longmont).
The gift of culinary know-how
For the hungry home cooks who also have an insatiable appetite for cooking knowledge, treat them to a local cookbook or class. Local Cooking Classes are available on The Art of Cheese (theartofcheese.com), Food Lab (foodlabboulder.com), Journey Culinary (journeyculinary.com) and via CozyMeal (cozymeal.com).
Recent locally written cookbooks include:
- Cooking Japanese food! Everyday recipes for authentic dishes (Weldon Owen) by Boulder writer Amy Kaneko
- Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States BBQ (University of North Carolina Press) by Denver author Adrian Miller. Savory Spicy Shop offers five barbecue seasoning blends inspired by Miller’s book.
- Friuli Food and Wine – Frasca cuisine from the mountains, vineyards and seaside of northern Italy (Ten Speed ââPress) by Bobby Stuckey, Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson and Meredith Erickson
- The Fort Restaurant Cookbook: Landmark Colorado Restaurant’s New Wild West Foods (Colon) by Holly Arnold Kinney
- A Bite of Boulder: Cooking at Home with Boulder’s Best Restaurants by Jessica Benjamin
Satisfy the sweet tooth
Make sweet dreams come true by filling a caramel basket with Tungsten Toffee in the Netherlands, and these candies all made in Boulder: classic baklava soaked in honey from Baklava Unlimited, coconut milk caramels without Cocomel sugar, white chocolate pistachio, Fortuna bean-to- milk chocolate bar with puffed quinoa, non-dairy milk chocolate Moksha bar bean and heirloom pumpkin seeds The Farmer’s Porch Cinnamon Cacao. Complete the package with a bottle of local sweetness: Bookcliff Vineyards Moscato 2020 wine, Redstone Meadery Juniper Berry Mountain Honey Wine or Ricardo’s Decaf Coffee Liqueur.
Local culinary news
Boulder Baked has closed its downtown bakery and reopened at 5290 Arapahoe Ave., the former site of Heifer and the Hen Ice Cream. . . Meta Burger, the plant-based fast and casual restaurant chain, will soon be opening at 1905 29th St., the former site of Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh. . . Perhaps the most âBoulderâ drink currently available is BOCO Cider’s Boulder Bushel, a dry cider made from apples harvested from Boulder homes and pressed on the fall equinox.
âDining is and always has been a great artistic opportunity. ââArchitect Frank Lloyd Wright
John Lehndorff hosts Radio Nibbles at 8:20 a.m. Thursdays on KGNU (88.5 FM, kgnu.org).