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Triad Foodie finds for the holidays: A holiday gift guide

by Kristi Maier

@triadfoodies

‘Tis the season for lights and delights”¦. especially the LOCAL food kind. My life is only 52 weeks of research. It is my burden to bear. Lucky you!

We’ve compiled some of our favorite locally created treats and confections that just might fit in a stocking. Consider this your YES! Weekly Holiday Foodie Finds”” A Holiday Gift Guide.

A bit of a background. A few years back, I was inspired by Oprah (the one and only) to give my family some of our favorite things. A basket or box of goodies that included all kinds of things, from a lip balm to Cheerwine to cookies or treats we discovered. And we always try to bring in a local focus. One year it was all North Carolina food products. It’s such a joy to put together and we encouraged our family members to do the same. So now, we’re very happy to receive two other “favorite things” packages each year from other members of the family. We love seeing what people love. And I highly recommend this tradition for your family.

So this year, I want to share with you some of my local favorite things for the holiday season. All made right here in the Triad. And, keep reading, because you’ll have a chance to get your hands on ALL of the products presented here in a special holiday giveaway. We also tell you where you can find them individually. And just a note, this truly is based on my opinion. The items on this list are on here for one thing only, and that’s for being awesome.

Black Mountain Chocolate Fruit Cake 732 Trade Street, NW Winston-Salem $15

This ain’t your average “door stop.” Mention fruit cake and most people are so, like, “ugh.” Not so, here. This delight, made by pastry chef, Meghan Peters, at the factory on Trade Street, is unlike any fruitcake you’ve had in years of ‘ore. For one, it’s moist. Like, perfectly moist with whiskey. You see, Black Mountain likes to cook and experiment with all the local finds here in Winston-Salem and beyond. With next door neighbor Broad Branch Distillery’s Night Lab, it’s a boozy, chocolatey masterpiece. Note for parents: not for the little ones. Like I said, it’s got drank in it.

Chad’s Chai Cocoa Matè $12

It’s tea, not cocoa. When you first taste it, it’s interesting and delightful with a hint of cocoa flavor that’s earthy and herby and when made into a latte and topped with a bit of cinnamon by any one of the various coffee shops, it’s just ahhhhh, just the thing”¦ Cocoa Matè is here for a limited time and fresh loose leaf bags can be found at many locations across the Triad including Black Mountain Chocolate, Washington Perk & Provision, Musten & Crutchfield. It’s prepared at many local shops as well. Check out chadschai.com for location and ordering info.

Foothills Brewing People’s Moravian Porter $7.50/bomber

Take Winston-Salem’s most popular cookie and beer and you’ll get a brew that celebrates the culture of the Moravians, the original settlers of the city. It’s believed that Moravians were some of the first brewers of craft beer. Moravian is Foothills People’s Porter with a few ingredients from the Moravian cookie recipe”” ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg”” you get the idea. You will need to act quickly as Moravian Porter is available for a limited time and quantities at local beverage shops like Stella Brew, City Beverage, Bestway Grocery and Total Wine. And you will get a tiny little sample of Salem Baking’s Ginger & Spice Moravian Cookie to pair with it. Try them together!

Moravian Cookies from Salem Baking 5.49

If you buy the People’s Moravian Porter, you’ll get a sampler of Ginger & Spice cookies. But of all these super thin, Old World confections, our fave is Sugar. Simple and delicious and addictive. I can eat half a can before I even realize what’s happened. What, like you haven’t?!

Available everywhere and in Old Salem at salembaking.com. A tie for being just as wonderful (but not included in our giveaway) is Mrs. Hanes’ Moravian Cookies. We thought this company definitely deserved the mention. These cookies are available at various stores across the area or hanescookies.com.

Miss Jenny’s Habanero Bread & Butter Pickles $4-6

Miss Jenny’s done hit the big time.

Jenny Fulton went on Texas Investors Club and got an investor and is on her way to putting the pickles on shelves nationwide. Miss Jenny’s has enjoyed a lot of success over the past few years, from pickling out of her home in Kernersville to moving to an actual facility to handle the demand. The pickles can be found in local grocery stores and markets all across the state. If they promote local, they have Miss Jenny’s. Heck, they’re even at Trader Joe’s here! Way to go! They pickle a variety of flavors like Salt & Pepper Pickles, Salt & Pepper Habanero and traditional Bread & Butter, but we are here to tell you, the way to go is the award-winning Habanero Bread & Butter. They are sweet and tangy with a kick of spice. So delicious for snacking, but also on burgers and sandwiches.

My tip, enjoy them on a cracker with pimento cheese and you’ll be so happy. They’re also super good chopped up in your own homemade tartar sauce or diced up and sprinkled on nachos for an added spicy sweet element. For more info, go to missjennys.com.

Gorilla Grains $6-8

Your granola search might just end here. I’ve searched the world over and thought I’d never find true granola love, until this yummy, crunchy butteriness. It’s the butter. For real. You can taste it. And you will miss it if you ever taste another variety. Made in small batches in Burlington, Gorilla Grains was a labor of love that took Alicia Rehburgh “seemingly forever” to perfect until she got that butter ratio on her 100% organic oats just right. Her husband, the former chef, approved. And if my child loves it, well, he can’t be wrong. The flavors come in Original and Original with Cranberry/Walnuts. Gorilla Grains is served in many a breakfast place, but you can find packages at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market each Saturday, the Iron Hen Cafe, Roasted Coffee Depot, Musten & Crutchfield and various other locations or call (815) 846-0924.

We hope this gift guide will become a tradition here at YES! Weekly. And now you know where to get them. But do you want a chance to win this basket of goodies? Visit our Facebook page and in the comments, tell us what your favorite locally made foodie fave is. You never know, maybe next year it will be in our 2016 Holiday Foodie Finds! Winners will be announced on Facebook Monday at 2 p.m.!

KRISTI MAIER is a food writer, blogger and cheerleader for all things local who even enjoys cooking in her kitchen, though her kidlets seldom appreciate her efforts.

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