You are in luck! Some of the best gifts for the holidays are just down the street. Yes, they are in stores, of course, but for those shopping local like me, our green markets are full of treasures.
Here are some I found recently when I was gathering a basket of goodies made in Florida. These are from the Boca Raton and West Palm Beach green markets, but all the markets have treasures for your kitchen or to give to a lucky food-lover in your life.
Mangrove Island Salad Dressings, Jupiter: Made by two chefs, all the products are vegan and gluten-free, and taste wonderful. These dressings are as luscious as they look in the bottle. Try Tangerine Vinaigrette (pictured), with tangerine and ginger (the chefs call it “gingerine”) as a dressing or a drizzle on cobia, shrimp or lobster, or use it as a BBQ sauce. Then there’s Vanilla Vinaigrette and Mediterranean Lemon Vinaigrette; each is $7.95. kitchensavant.com
Pascale’s, The Delray Beach Jam Company: A fixture on the green market scene since 2010, this family-owned and operated company makes jams, preserves, hot sauces, chutney, marmalade—and shrubs!! Nope, not talking about your yard. Shrubs have made a comeback in the past couple of years, coming back from the 17th and 18th centuries. They are are acidulated syrup in Pascale’s case, made from mango/ginger, among other flavors. I use this shrub ($17 for a large bottle) in sparkling water, drizzled over salmon, and it adds a kick to a cocktail, too.
But don’t forget to try the red plum apple jam (a customer fave), banana rum jam (my fave), Italian plum and star anise jam and more (jams are $9 each). They are in some stores (Boca’s Bakery of France, French bakery of Delray, Don Victorio’s in West Palm Beach and more) ship nationally, too. mangohouse.net
Keez Beez, Key West: For the honey lovers out there, you have to try this. Boca Raton Green Market was the spot for this Florida Keys raw honey (pictured). With more than 500 hives in the lower keys areas, Keez Beez produces all kinds of honey: red mangrove, sea grape, mango blossom, black mangrove, Brazilian pepper, Jamaican dogwood, palm tree and a lot more. Talk about a great Florida gift! They call themselves “America’s southernmost professional beekeepers, providing 100 percent pure premium honey.” keez-beez.com
Laurie’s Pantry, Miami: These high-quality granolas and mueslis are made of all-natural ingredients and are great right from the jar or with milk, almond milk, etc. They are in green markets all over SoFla. Flavors include apple orchard, blueberry crumb cake, cherry bomb, English breakfast, health nut, Bircher Swiss crunch and more for $12 each. We chose blueberry crumb cake, made with all-grain honey granola, slivered almonds, blueberries and a crumb cake topping. lauriespantry.com
Joy’s Gourmet, Melbourne: There’s a retail store in the Melbourne area, but you can find these spreads, salsas, sauces, dressings at the green markets. They are vegetarian, vegan, with no preservatives, dairy, cholesterol, trans-fats or sugar. The olive tapenade, for example, has no gluten or sugar added, with green and black olives, capers, olive oil, roasted garlic, oregano, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar and black pepper. For bread or crackers, on your sandwich, stuffing chicken breasts and pork roasts. Or on pasta with olive oil. And I won’t even start about the Spicy Mango Salsa. Oh, boy. joyofgarlic.com