10 Locally Made Pantry Picks to Savor and Share
Stock your pantry with these local favorites to savor and share. We searched the Peninsula and South Bay for seasonal artisan-crafted products to star as the tastemakers and crowd pleasers at your holiday gatherings. Each of these gifts comes with a story to tell, and celebrates our region’s rich array of artisan smallbatch craft producers ready to inspire any meal or cook. Put a bow on this local love!
Edible Gift Picks: Tastemaker Stories and Where to Find Them
Hot, hot, hotter! Whether your spice-loving friends respond to a little heat or a four-alarm fire, Formosa hot sauces blend tomatillos and a variety of distinct pepper combinations to deliver. Made from a 34-year-old Mexican family recipe, Formosa sauce is still handmade, hand-packed and hand-labeled by the Lopez family in San Jose. Smooth with a kick, these hot sauces can warm up the spice novice or satiate the heat aficionado. Choose from three family recipe blends: Chipotle, Habanero or Jalapeño.
Made in San Jose. $8.99. Find at Piazza’s Fine Foods, We Olive, World Market and FormosaSauce.com.
Jam-packing small-batch preserves with artisanal combinations is Woo Garden’s specialty, featuring seasonal favorites like Floret pear and lavender jam; Dreamy, a blend of peach and Earl Grey tea; and best-seller Dawn, with pineapple and Grand Marnier. A spoonful of Merry, a rich raspberry–dark cherry jam with Chambord, makes a tasty way to spread holiday cheer. Perfect for a warm breakfast scone or a delightful accompaniment to a festive meat dish.
Made in San Jose. $10–$12. Find at select farmers markets and WooGarden.com.
Sous Salt meticulously blends different textures of organic grey sea salts with seasonal, curated ingredients from small farmers to provide the perfect pinch or dash to elevate any dish. The beautiful glass countertop jars put these tastemakers at your fingertips—perfect for the everyday cook. We love Garlic Herb, Pinot Noir and Chipotle salt combinations, and the creative recipe ideas offered on the website.
Made in Menlo Park. $13.50–$20. Find at Bianchini’s Market, Emily Joubert Home & Garden, The Village Bakery, Roberts Market and SousSalt.com.
Chocolate lover showstopper! NeoCocoa’s Black Sesame Toffee Brittle thinly layers dark chocolate, buttery brittle and sesame seeds in this addictive crunchy confection. A 2017 Good Food Awards finalist, the Belmont-produced treat teases your taste buds with the sweetness of the toffee and rich chocolate and the umami of the black sesame. Gift generously.
Made in Belmont. $10. Find at Present, Sweet Shop and NeoCocoaStore.com.
The Honey Ladies
Bee daring! Try the dark, molasseslike Poison Oak Blossom honey from The Honey Ladies—or enjoy one of their lighter finger-licking favorites like Starthistle and Blackberry Blossom. Each honey draws its flavor and color from distinct flowering areas in our region. Seasonally harvested from over 1,200 Bay Area backyard hives, many of which have been saved and relocated by The Honey Ladies as part of their companion bee-rescue business. Sweet!
Most honey varieties $13–$15. Find at farmers markets, We Olive, The Butter Paddle and TheHoneyLadies.com.
Filoli Estate Grown
Find your inner Julia Child. Tie a ribbon on these herbs and tuck into any stocking, or give as a hostess gift to your favorite cook. These Filoli Grown Grecian Bay Leaves, also called European Bay leaves, were regularly ordered from Filoli by Julia Child herself, and are a staple aromatic herb for any Bay Area kitchen. Filoli herbs are grown, picked, dried and packaged by the dedicated volunteers who care for and cultivate the estate gardens at Filoli in Woodside. A variety of dried herbs and herb combinations and recipes await. Two of our favorites are French Thyme and Grecian Bay Leaves, and we love the Zesto Pesto too.
Grown in Woodside. $7–$9. Find at Filoli on-site garden shop.
Spiced Artisan Nuts
Nibblers and the holidays go hand in hand. These local handmade Spiced Artisan Nuts blend nuts and a signature herb and spice combo: cayenne, cumin and rosemary. A dash of sugar and just a pinch of salt (yes, these are low salt!) make this pretty bow-tied package the perfect little cocktail party starter.
Made in Los Gatos. $12. Find at Culinary Courier and SpicedArtisanNuts.com.
The Other Brother Company
O-love oil! The Other Brother Gunpowder Oil takes a brotherly bond to perfect its unique flavor. One brother adds the milled olive oil from a Carmel Valley orchard; the “other” brother heats it up with a signature Gunpowder spice and some classic Gilroy garlic. The two family friends, Ben and Evan, whose mantra is “good goods,” cultivate and source organic ingredients in California, inspired by their early years growing up in the family orchards. Which one is the “other” brother? We leave it up to you.
Made in the Bay Area. $16. Find at New Seasons Market, Good Eggs and TheOtherBrotherCompany.com.
Snake & Butterfly
For the ultimate dark-chocolate lover, let Snake & Butterfly in Campbell take you on a chocolate combination taste adventure. Hand-wrapped, organic, fair-trade, small-batch chocolates in flavorful combinations like Bacon & Toffee and Cherry & Chili are certain to tickle the taste buds. Committed to sustainable and high-quality bean-to-bar craftsmanship, these chocolate bars are sought out by their growing base of local fans and followers.
Made in Campbell. $5. Find at their retail store or SnakeandButterfly.com.
Tico Coffee Roasters
Costa Rican native Mariana Faerron-Gutierrez and her husband, Thomas Goepel, sustainably source and roast direct-trade beans from small farms around the world at Tico Coffee Roasters in the South Bay. Building community and awareness of sustainable farming and business practices is their key to brewing local love. The seasonal Holiday Blend is the perfect gift to cheer any coffee enthusiast.
Roasted in Campbell. Holiday Blend $20. Find at The Willows Market, Zanotto’s and TicoRoasters.com.