Travel Loot

10 Tasty, Small-Batch, Ethically Made American Treats for Responsible Snacking

by Sarah Weiner
Photo courtesy of Jem Organics.

Every year, Good Food Foundation executive director Sarah Weiner meets with the country's best food retailers to help coordinate blind tastings of thousands of tasty, authentic, and responsibly made products for the Good Food Awards in San Francisco, a celebration of culinary excellence and sustainability. Suffice it to say, Weiner has her ear to the ground when it comes to tasty, ethically made treats. She selected a few of her current must-have food products from talented makers around the country. Sarah’s colleague Katherine Harris contributed reporting.

Halvah Heaven Silk Road

A 2018 Good Food Award Winner, this tahini-based candy out of Boston made with cinnamon, ginger, star anise, and white pepper is a perfectly sweet and crunchy treat for the afternoon — or anytime. ($6)

Render Almond Rosemary State Bird Seed

Versatile, savory quinoa and pumpkin seed crisps taste as good on top of brown rice bowls with tahini and roasted sweet potatoes or creamy soups as they do straight out of the bag. Leave it to the folks at San Francisco’s State Bird Provisions to make a super addictive snack. ($28/6 bags)

Eat Chic Chocolates Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Sweet, salty, and creamy cups are handmade in small batches in Brooklyn. In a few words: Just so good. ($7.95/box of 4)

Sajen Sambal Satay

Taking inspiration from the island of Java, the San Francisco-based purveyor’s ground peanut, spice, and pepper sambal is the perfect not-too-spicy addition to everything from Indian lentil dishes to butternut squash soup. ($10)

Jem Organics Cinnamon Maca Almond Butter

If all else fails, eat this with a spoon for dessert. Crafted in Bend, Oregon, the butter is super smooth, with just the right amount of sweetness from coconut sugar and subtle spice from cinnamon and maca. ($30)

Oliver Farm Artisan Oils Pecan Oil

Elevate your salad to new heights with this treasure made from Georgian pecans by five-time Good Food Award winner Clay Oliver. ($15)

DRAM Apothecary Pine Syrup

Made by a young couple that forages in the wilds of Colorado to makes tinctures and elixirs, a sip of this syrup will transport you to a fairytale forest. ($12)

Stepladder Creamery Marinated Chevre

As beautiful to look at as it is to eat, this mild chevre is bathed in California olive oil with whole garlic cloves, peppercorns, and herbs from the creamery’s own garden. Only available in California, it’s worth seeking out on your next visit. ($12)

RedCamper Piñon Cherry Deliciousness

Who knew that burnt corn tortillas and Colorado cherries went so well together? Inspired by owner Maura Gramzinkski's travels to Oaxaca, a spoonful of this sweet, nutty, and smoky jam atop vanilla ice cream will surprise your taste buds. ($15)

Los Roast New Mexico Roasted Red Chile

All the sweetness of roasted bell peppers with a kick, these heirloom New Mexico red chiles are dressed up simply with lime, garlic, and salt and make a killer appetizer on toasted dark rye with Stepladder Creamery’s marinated chevre. ($10)

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