For foods lovers who want more than big name-brand products and everyday staples, there are numerous options north, west, and south of Boston.
Specialty food purveyors offer everything from spices to cheeses, sausages, and chocolates that can’t be found on just any supermarket shelf. Some sellers have established brick-and-mortar stores or online marketplaces, while others ply their goods at farmers markets, food stands, and conventions to get these distinctive creations into buyers’ hands.
Pictured: Beacon Hill Chocolates stocks exclusive lines of artisan chocolate from around New England and further afield. Next
Sirenetta Seaside Chocolatier
The boxed set of artisanal chocolates includes a variety of limoncello, rosemary, fig, and basil infused candies inspired by the Mediterranean.
Cost: $9 for four-piece box,$17 for eight-piece box, $24 for 12-piece box, $36 for 18-piece box and $47 for 24-piece box.
Available online or at local farmers’ markets. Nov. 23 to 24, Duxbury Art Association Holiday Annual Craft Show at Duxbury High School.
Pictured: Mix Mediterraneo four-piece box. Next
Foxboro Cheese Co.
This light, creamy cheese has a buttery and slightly citrus taste. Seasonal flavors include plain, chives, maple, garlic, and lemon honey.
Cost: $8 for eight-ounce container.
Can be purchased at the Lawton Family Farm stand as well as farmers’ markets and local farm stands. The cheesemakers also sell an Asiago cheese made with fresh milk from a grazing herd of Ayrshires.
Pictured: Fromage blanc cheese container. Next
Warming Cracker/Cold Water Cracker
G.H. Bent Co.
7 Pleasant St., Milton, www.bentscookiefactory.com
While the name is deceiving, these soft crackers made with cold water are heated to go nicely with tea or coffee and have been around since the 19th century.
Cost: $7 per box of 16 crackers.
Available online or in store. G.H. Bent also sells brownies, cookies, cakes, and the Common Cracker.
Pictured: A bag of Common Crackers. Next
Cranberry almond rustic bread
The Blue Blinds Bakery
7 North St., Plymouth, www.blueblindsbakery.com
While the bakery also sells pastries, sandwiches, cakes, and soups, its artisan breads such as this one stand out as unique items on the menu.
Cost: $5.50 per loaf.
More artisan breads are baked daily in store with garlic spinach, sundried tomato, jalapeno cheddar, and other varieties.
Pictured: Cranberry almond rustic bread. Next
Ruuska All Natural Pickles
Pickle fanatics will enjoy this spicy version of dill, marinated with a Thailand chili pepper and fresh ingredients.
Cost: $6.99, on average, for 32-ounce jar.
Available on shelves at Shaw’s, Roche Brothers, Foodie’s Market, fruit centers, and local stores. Other pickle varieties such as Sour Dill, Sweet n’ Spicy, Spicy Dill, and Bread n’ Butter originate from family recipes.
Pictured: Ruuska's Fire Dill. Next
Richard’s Famous Garlic Salt
Cranberry Barn Kitchens
This “all natural” seasoning, created by a father and son team, contains no preservatives and no MSG. The secret recipe has been tweaked to create the kitchen spice.
Cost: $10 for eight-ounce jar.
Richard and Jeff Freyermuth sell the garlic salt online, and in various stores and markets in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.
Pictured: A jar of Richard's Famous Garlic Salt. Next
Cardamom Cinnamon Infused Honey
Queen Bee Honey
This husband and wife team sells honey products such as lip balm, soaps, and candles in addition to this cinnamon spread perfect for scones and breads.
Cost: $18 for 12-ounce glass hex jar.
Available online at the store’s website and www.etsy.com. The honey will be on sale at Plymouth Farmers’ Market this winter.
Pictured: Cardamom Cinnamon Infused Honey. Next
163 Beale St., Quincy, www.babycakesshop.net
These cupcake specialists sell the seasonal cupcake in December, just in time for the holidays.
Cost: $2.25 per cupcake, larger orders available in store.
Filled with chocolate chip whipped cream, it joins the ranks of red velvet, Oreo, and French toast cupcakes.
Pictured: Babycakes cupcakes. Next
Moe’s Private Reserve Multi-Purpose Seasoning & Rub
Fine Spice Company
BBQ lovers will want to check out the original and hot versions of this seasoning and rub, which can be used to coat beef, chicken, and pork, or to make dips.
Cost: $7 for eight-ounces online.
The spices are also available at Dedham Exchange and Dedham Square Country Store, as well as at Kravitz Delicatessen in Youngstown, Ohio. Creator Marshall Finesliver said the seasonings can be used with everything and is intentionally made with less salt than other rubs.
Pictured: Moe's Original and Hot Private Reserve Multi-Purpose Seasoning & Rubs. Next
Organic Ethiopia Amaro Gayo
3 Otis St., Hingham, www.redeyeroasters.com
For coffee lovers, these international beans contain chocolate and blueberry notes when roasted.
Cost: $15.99 for 12-ounce bag online and in store, or $3 per cup served custom ordered in store at the pour-over bar.
The microroasters also brew and sell coffee beans from Brazil, Burundi, Colombia,and Costa Rica.
Pictured: A latte with a design in the streamed milk from Redeye Roasters. Next
Caribbean Hot Pepper Sauce
Walters Specialty Foods
This flavorful hot sauce emulates the atmosphere and essence of the islands of the Caribbean, but is not for the tame.
Cost: $9 for eight-ounce bottle, $7 for five-ounce bottle.
Available online or at local farmers’ markets, including the indoor Plymouth Farmers’ Market this winter.
Pictured: Caribbean Hot Pepper Sauce. Next
340 Washington St., 781-659-4824
The shop, known for its European sausages and smoked meats, makes this light and flavorful steam-cooked sausage with fresh parsley and white pepper.
Cost: $4.50 to $5 per pound.
Available in store where orders can be called in. The shop also sells a variety of English, German, and Italian sausages, as well as other meats.
Pictured: Smoke House cooked sausages. Next
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Chococoa Baking Company & Cafe, Newburyport.
To make these a spoonful of ginger cream cheese is sandwiched between two pumpkin spice cakes.
They are sold for $1.86 each or $5.58 for three. Next
Gingerbread Ganache Mini Cheesecake
7ate9 Bakery, Winchester.
Their light and fluffy classic cheesecake with a gingerbread dark chocolate ganache will leave you smiling.
One dozen for $29. Next
Plum Island Red Dory Wine
Mill River Winery, Rowley.
Made with local grapes, aromas of plums, blackberries, and more.
More than 17 selections during winery tours.
$16 a bottle. Next
Hickory Maple Blend Gourmet Sea Salt
Beyond the Shaker, Woburn.
This unique blend of maple sugar, vanilla, unrefined salts, garlic and pepper is hard to find.
2.6 ounces for $13. Next
Valley View Cheese, Topsfield.
This cheese is made from the cheesemaker's own Nubian goats. it is also blended with Jersey cow milk from the Appleton Farms in Ipswich.
1/3-pound wheels for $10. Next
Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie, Salem and North Andover.
These candy canes are twisted and cut by hand. They also come in peppermint and spearmint.
Prices vary from 99 cents to $12 each. Next
Popovers on the Square, Portsmouth, N.H.
These popovers are made with homemade maple butter.
They come at $2.75 each or $25 by the dozen.
Note:Yes, we know this is outside of the Eastern Massachusetts region, but I’m sure you’re OK with that. Next
Tomten BeeWorks, Ipswich.
Also known as Canadian honey, it is 100 percent raw. This honey can be consumed with tea, oatmeal or by the spoonful.
7 ounces for $5. Next
Silver Reserve White Rum Silver Reserve White Rum
Privateer Rum, Ipswich.
This clear rum features shades of cocoa bean, cocoa butter, pineapple, clove, deep brown sugar and molasses.
Available at $24 to $26 per 750-milliliter bottle. Next
Spiked Eggnog Chocolate Mexicano
Taza Chocolate, Somerville.
A unique eggnog that you can eat in solid form. It is 55 percent dark chocolate from Dominican cacao and rum.
2.7 ounces for $5.50. Next
Raymond's Turkey Farm, Metheun.
At this farm, the turkeys are raised naturally in an open environment with nothing in their feed.
12 pounds for $3.49 a pound. Next
Chelsea Wicked Hot Sauce
Inspired by the Chelsea Fires of 1908 and 1973, this hot sauce comes at only $5 per bottle. Next
Mystic Blend Coffee
Mystic Coffee Roasters, Medford.
A four-bean blend with fruity notes, vanilla and chocolate. They also have 17 types of coffee on site.
12 ounces for $11 or 16 ounces for $14. Next
Doves and Figs
Falling Leaves is a chunky spread made from apples, dried figs and dried Cape Cod cranberries. Other favors include Evil Apple, a spicy apple and chipotle conserve.
Buy online or use the website’s store locator to find nearby retailers Next
Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake mix
This gluten-free cake mix contains no nuts or soy, and is easy to bake. In addition to ready-made mixes, Glutenus Minimus also sells gluten-free cookies, muffins, breads and cupcakes at its bakery.
Buy online or at Glutenus Minimus’ bakery at 697 Belmont St. Baked goods are also available at other retailers—see website’s store locator for nearby retailers. Next
Muhammara, a dip with Syrian origins, is an original blend of fire roasted red peppers, walnuts and pomegranate molasses. Other specialties include hummus, baba gannoush and ful medammes.
Use the store locator on the website to find nearby retailers Next
Pumpkin chocolate chip ice cream
Rancatore's Ice Cream and Yogurt
Pumpkin chocolate chip, a seasonal flavor at Rancatore’s, joins other favorites including Callebaut Milk Chocolate and Hydrox on a menu packed with ice creams, yogurts and sorbets
Cost: Pint—$6.26, Quart—$9.75
Buy at stores in Lexington—1752 Massachusetts Ave.—or Belmont—36 Leonard St. Next
Maple almond granola
Stark Sisters Granola
Stark Sisters Granola offers three Vermont maple syrup-sweetened, non-GMO, wheat-free and vegan flavors. Maple Almond is the most popular of the three.
Cost: $6.29-$7.99 per pound
Buy online or at Debra’s Natural Gourmet at 98 Commonwealth Ave. Next
Pumpkin pie cupcake
Treat Cupcake Bar
Needham/Chestnut Hill, www.treatcupcakebar.com
Fall treats at the Cupcake Bar include pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon frosting, while winter favorites, coming soon, include blueberry vanilla cupcakes topped with maple frosting and candied walnuts.
Cost: Jumbo—$3.75, Mini per dozen—$18
Buy at stores at 1450 Highland Ave., Needham or 49 Boylston St. at The Street Next
Nobscot Artian Cheese
Made from raw milk provided by the farm’s cows, Herdsman Pless is an alpine style cheese that works well in sandwiches and on crackers.
Cost: $18 per pound
Buy at Eastleigh Farm (1062 Edmands Rd.) or use the website’s store locator to find nearby retailers Next
Lite Balsamic Vinaigrette
This light vinaigrette is the most popular of Ken’s Steakhouse’s dressings, and can be found on shelves around the nation.
Cost: $2.80 (loal average)
Stop & Shop, Shaw’s, Market Basket, Roche Bros, Hannaford, Sudbury Farms and other supermarkets Back to the beginning
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