Eat Local! 15 Pantry Must-Haves Made in Washington
June 10, 2014
Farmbox Greens Microgreens
Fine, technically these aren't a pantry staple. But it's hard to resist the peppery crunch and the fact that they're grown hydroponically (and sans chemicals) in a West Seattle garage. http://farmboxgreens.com
Midori Farm Sauerkraut
This family farm in Quilcene crafts its own sauerkraut from seed to jar. Each crock is traditionally fermented and packed with probiotics, but it's the complex vegetal flavor that really separates it from the pack.
This granola for grownups is less cloying than most and comes in sophisticated flavors like apricot pistachio and hazelnut cacao nib.
Alpenfire Orchards Orleans-Style Vinegar
The same blend of apples used in the cidery's brash Pirate's Plank cider is aged on oak barrels using a 600-year-old method from Orleans, France. The result is sharp, but not harsh.
Keep It Real Cookies
Owner Kate Coleman has done the impossible: gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, grain-free, diabetes-friendly, paleo-friendly cookies that don't taste like cardboard. HOW?!
Firefly Kitchens Yin Yang Carrots
Raw, fermented, crackling with ginger, and begging to be put on top of a salad. Try this fermented kimchi for a stronger kick.
Mustard and Co. Sauce
Made without thickeners or excessive cooking down, it's a little thin to be called a proper mustard—a trait promptly forgotten once it's spread on a sandwich.
San Juan Island Sea Salt
Fat, big-flavored flakes are the result of greenhouselike structures filled with Salish seawater. The sun does its thing over a period of days—no boiling-induced evaporation here.
If you can get past the cutesy name (borrowed from the creator's daughter) and the packaging (unabashedly pink and swirly), you'll be rewarded with the strong vanilla flavor of these why-didn't-I-think-of-that-mug-shaped 'mallows.
Little Uncle Peeks Pantry Bun Jam
The Little Uncle team came up with its own (vegetarian) version of the Thai condiment nam prik pao, made with roasted chilies, garlic, shallots, palm sugar, and tamarind. It starts slightly sweet, but man does that heat build.
Bonache Hot Sauce
This sauce, made in Ballard by a former Hattie's Hat bartender is everywhere these days. probably because it amps up the flavors of whatever you put it on rather than delivering face-melting blasts of heat.
Simple and Crisp Fruit
These vivid discs of dried fruit (apple, pear, orange, or blood orange) service everything from cocktails to chocolate to cheese plates. They're big with the gluten-free set.
Cranberries for Concoctions
What Rachel's Ginger Beer is to the Moscow mule, this cranberry juice could be to the poor, debased cosmo. Each bottle contains three pounds of Long Beach-grown cranberries and nothing else.
Batty flavors like absinthe and key lime may bring curious farmers marketers to the Jonboy Caramels stall, but the buttery small-batch flavor is what keeps them there.
Ayako and Family Jam
Forget berries. The woman who makes this luminous jam in mere 12-jar batches has a reverence for plums, like the ancient damson or Japan's satsuma, all from Mair Farm-taki, a Yakima farm specializing in hard-to-find Japanese produce.
The made-in-Washington pantry already brims with winners (Mama Lil's Peppers, Ballard Bee Honey, Boat Street Pickles). But these newcomers impart flavor by the smear, dollop, and spoonful.