As experts on New England go, Yankee Magazine is probably it. For more than 75 years it has covered and captured the life and times and food and heart of a region bursting with tradition. So when Yankee Magazine published a list of 30 outstanding artisan food makers from around New England, we took note.
It’s first annual Editors’ Choice Food Awards is a wide ranging and mouth watering compilation of cheese, chocolates, charcuterie, honey, sauces, baked goods, pickles, candy and savory condiments it loves from producers right here in New England. The neatly packaged portfolio of makers and their standout products was a labor of love… and eating. Yankee Senior Lifestyle Editor Amy Traverso and her team spent months scouring gourmet food shops, farmers markets and fairs, interviewing cheese mongers and specialty food retailers, and tasting, tasting, tasting.
Yankee and its editors, longtime allies in our small batch food revolution, are also gracious sponsors at the Eat Boutique Holiday Market. To celebrate its food honorees, to celebrate partnering with Eat Boutique, and mostly to celebrate what we all love – small batch food – Yankee will be hosting a special session at the holiday market with four makers from its inaugural food awards: EH Chocolatier, Dave’s Coffee, Kayak Cookies and Effie’s Homemade.
Amy teases that her conversation with the makers during the special session will likely touch on their success stories as small batch producers and how they integrate local ingredient sources into their products. But she’ll also be curious to hear about what flavors and flavor combinations they are excited about right now. And, yes, there will be samples – a delectable peek at why Yankee is celebrating these small batch makers.
The artful bonbons from EH Chocolatier “look like little jewels,” Amy said. “The flavors, the attention to every little detail is precise and delicious,” she told me.
And Dave’s Coffee offers a syrup so good that all you need to add is a cup of milk. “It’s the pure pleasure of coffee flavor absent any bitterness or acid,” Amy said.
Effie’s Homemade, an early pioneer in the small batch world, has inspired so many others, Amy said, and has been recognized for its biscuits –not quite a cracker but not quite a cookie – that are a great base for cheese platters.
Kayak Cookies’ Salty Oats were “such a revelation,” Amy said, “they’re so moist and they’re so hearty. Really one cookie will completely satisfy a person.”
And this year’s list is just the start. Ultimately, Yankee magazine hopes to expand the list to a fuller package that brings alive on its pages the places these products are made and the makers behind the edible gems. When Amy is done moderating the session she too will be doing her holiday shopping. Oh, and scouting makers for next year’s awards, of course.
Special note: Yankee Magazine is an official sponsor of the Eat Boutique Boston Holiday Market. All of our opinions remain our own.
Photos courtesy of Yankee Magazine.
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