Thursday, December 18, 2008

Best locavore presents: New England edition (Boston-centric)

Okay, I'll confess: I haven't given many locavore presents. Mostly because the folks I generally buy for wouldn't be that interested. But I do have definite ideas on the matter, like everything else.

Here's my list:

1) The one I have given, because it's a good all-purpose gift: maple syrup. Who doesn't like the real stuff? Although you can get the tins that look like sugarshacks or the bottles that look like maple leaves, the best choice, gift-wise, are the teddy bears with the little knit hats form Highland Sugarworks of Vermont. Throw in some decent pancake mix, and you've got a good present for families with kids. Pemberton Farms in Somerville carries them.

2) It may be too late to order, but the best mixed dried mushrooms I've ever had were from the Oyster Creek Mushroom company in Damariscotta. Bonus - you get to say "Damariscotta."

3) Sure, local honey is easy to come by, but how local? Massachusetts-local? How about Jamaica-Plain-local? Yup, some nut is crazy enough to keep bees in JP, bless his heart, and you can get the honey at City Feed and Supply in JP.

4) West Country Cider is very good, makes for a nice change from wine for the holidays, and usually fairly widely available. Last time I checked, you could get it at the Wine and Cheese Cask in Somerville.

5) There are too many great local cheeses to pick one. Wait - forget that, I'm going to - Great Hill Blue. Widely available at good cheese shops in the area.

6) Expanding from "locally grown" to "locally made," I would encourage people showing up to functions over the next few weeks to consider bringing: fig-vanilla scones from Petsi's Pies in Somerville, mohnflowers (poppyseed swirl pastries) from Carberry's in Central Square, homemade Oreos from Fornax in Roslindale (the husband loves these), brioche or chocolate-almond bread pudding from Blue Frog in JP, the clove ice cream from Christina's in Inman Square (great for serving with holiday pies).

Now I've made myself hungry.

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