I’ve been attending a lot of food and wine festivals since the beginning of the year, and as expected, locavore eating continues to make the headlines as more and more diners explore regional specialties.
Yet not to brag, the more festivals I visit around the country (I’m just back from Canada, Arizona, Fiji and Zihuantanejo), I can’t help but be increasingly proud of what’s found in our own backyard.
The North Bay is a cornucopia of edible riches, and not just at festivals. All of us can shop like internationally acclaimed chefs, right at our own farmers’ markets, grocery stores, and roadside stands. So many of our restaurants brim with local goodness, in fact, that it’s hard to even recommend the best (just try them all; you can’t go wrong).
As a public service for shoppers, I’m listing just a few of our local star food producers. It’s easy – simply keep an eye out for these labels, and you’ll be feasting better than any festival in Fiji.
For a Mooooving Experience:
Spring Hill cheese and butter / Redwood Hill Farm cheeses / Clover-Stornetta butter and milk / McClellands Dairy European Style organic artisan butter / Epicurean Connection cheeses, butters and yogurts / St. Benoit Yogurt / Bohemian Creamery cheeses / Bellwether Farm cheeses / Matos Cheese Factory / Straus Creamery butter and milk / Vella Cheese / Achadinha Cheese Company / Weirauch Farm & Creamery
Krave Jerky / Salmon Creek Ranch duck / Liberty duck /
Healdsburg Farm fresh eggs / Mama Tina’s Ravioli
Get Saucy and Spicy:
Terra Sonoma verjus and saba / Preston of Dry Creek olive oil / Figone’s balsamic vinegar / Gypsy Bay Laurel bay leaves / Da Vero olive oil / Whole Spice / / Armstrong Valley Farm garlic
Bliss Bakery / Jalisco tortillas / El Molino Central masa / Della Fattoria bread / Wildflour Bakery sticky buns / Nightingale pastries / Village Bakery
Ace in the Hole cider / Russian River Brewing beer / Hello Cello limoncello / Taylor Maid Coffee / Bear Republic beer / Guayaki teas / Wine, wine, wine / Lagunitas beer / Hopmonk beer / Woodfour Brewing Co. beer
Let the Chefs Make It:
Rosso Pizzeria burrata / Screamin’ Mimi’s goat milk ice cream / Chef Mateo Granados’ habanero sauces / Black Pig Meat Co. salumi and bacon / Diavola charcuterie / Prima Vera tamales / Matanzas Creek Winery peanut and toffee champagne brittle / Petaluma Pie Co. / Acre Coffee pies
Tip: At the food festivals, I see lots of limos, Town cars and shuttle buses ferrying well-fed (and well-libated) party-goers. Keep that idea in mind for your next festival, wine tasting or even dinner on the town, with another local gem, Pure Luxury Transportation.