By The EditorsPhotos by Scott Gordon BleicherNovember 4, 2016
This article appears in Holiday 2016: Issue No. 46 of Edible Brooklyn.
A selection of some of our favorite locally made food- and drink-related items.
Pear Lemon Marmalade by Maya’s Jams, $10 Calling a business “multi-generation” might imply that it’s been passed down, allowing the older family members to retire. That’s not true for Maya’s Jams, though: They’re a local preserves company that’s owned and operated by a grandmother, her daughter and her granddaughter. The line of women craft dozens of different low-sugar varieties based on five generations’ worth of their own family’s recipes. Their plum cinnamon and New York apple quince preserves are international award winners, and we’re especially taken with this pear lemon marmalade. —Ariel Lauren Wilson
Custom Bike Rack by RacerRacks, $100+ While cycling to the market can be a lovely activity, cycling back laden with goods can be less so. Though you may artfully balance your bags, those once luscious tomatoes can arrive home as casualties. Say goodbye to collateral grocery damage this holiday and treat yourself or your loved one to RacerRacks: bespoke metal racks crafted to your specific bicycle porting needs including saddlebags, easy-access hydration or something to bungee to. You imagine it, RacerRacks will design. —Carrington Morris
8″ Black Walnut Chef’s Knife ($625) and Matching Paring Knife ($280) by Orchard Steel Some food lovers on your list want to be where the action is, whether that’s raking shellfish, braving the heat of a fiery barbecue or overseeing the butcher block. Please this hunter-gatherer type with these carbon-steel knives that have been forged by hand, ground and sharpened just so, and matched with a handle made to perfectly fit their clasp. Vermont-based Orchard Knives, founded by Moriah Cowles, is a descendent of the city’s own Cut Brooklyn knife-making studio. —Carrington Morris
Earth Groove Series Bowl by William Couig, $150 You might not be surprised to learn that much of Eleven Madison Park’s glassware is Brooklyn-made. Glass artist William Couig custom crafts everything from pitchers to cloches at UrbanGlass in Fort Greene, and when he’s not fulfilling this wholesale account, he’s realizing his own designs. Couig’s Earth Groove series has several pieces that are centerpiece-ready including this olive-tinted bowl. —Ariel Lauren Wilson
Don Pancho Experiments by Irving Farm Coffee, $17.75 Irving Farm’s incredible coffee from its Don Pancho Experiments would be a very welcome gift for the person you know who uses a Chemex and scale to make their morning coffee. This bourbon varietal is from Honduras, where the company has a special relationship with Don Pancho farmer Roberto Portillo. Irving Farm began buying from him in 2012, but this bourbon varietal was wiped out by coffee leaf rust in 2014—then miraculously grew back after one season, making it a very special bean. —Alicia Kennedy
2015 Whitney Honey—MQuan Edition, $99 Ever since beekeeping was legalized in the city in 2010, New York’s become home to dozens of hives, and plenty in the middle of Manhattan. The Whitney Museum has kept bees since 2012 and has subsequently sold the previous year’s honey harvest in its shop. The 2015 batch is the first after the museum’s big move, which judging by the relatively small yield, was a stressful event for the] hives. Its quality has not diminished, however, and each 10-ounce jar of the honey comes with a ceramic pot made by Brooklyn artist MQuan. —Ariel Lauren Wilson
Coppersea Corn Whiskey, $65 Coppersea grows and malts most of their own grain while the rest comes from Hudson Valley Farms. This is a unique corn whiskey (80 percent heritage corn, 20 percent barley) that’s aged in a mix of second use bourbon, rye, brandy and wine barrels. It’s designed to be reminiscent of an earlier era of American whiskey making, before heavily charred new oak barrels were standard. The corn really shines, with little notes of toasted oak and vanilla rising up for a clean finish. —Steven Baird
We Are Happy to Serve You Cup by Graham Hill, $14 Few things feel more New York than the iconic “We Are Happy to Serve You” cup, a staple of diners and coffee carts that cater to busy commuters. Since it debuted in 1963, it’s said that 15 million are used monthly—which is a lot of trash. That’s why designer Graham Hill decided to create a reusable, ceramic version that can make you feel more ingrained in the fabric of the city while being a little easier on the environment. —Alicia Kennedy
Peak Ice Trays by W&P Design, $12 If you’ve gone out for a nice cocktail lately, you’ve probably noticed the different ice cube shapes and sizes that are being trotted out. You don’t have to go that crazy at home, but ice tray improvements have been a long time coming. Peak Ice Works has created a silicone tray with a stainless-steel frame and cover, which helps you fill it more cleanly, get the cubes out more easily and keep the odd flavors of your freezer from defiling your ice. —Alicia Kennedy
Bateman Cuff Bracelets by Jacto, $250 Thanks to Jacto, you can now fashionably show off your dedication to sustainable seafood. Designer Melanie Maggio used to be a shoe designer but left the industry in 2015; she now uses the discarded bones and skins of fish to hand-make gorgeous, one-of-a-kind jewelry in Williamsburg. The Bateman Cuff, made of sterling silver with a braid of matte satin and eco-tanned salmon skin leather, works for any gender. —Alicia Kennedy
White Ikat Dinner Napkin Set from RusticLoom, $53 Think about it: How often do you toss napkins, used or not? It’s often unavoidable on the go, but at home, cloth napkins can be a charming and reusable kitchen staple that ultimately save trees and money. This handwoven cotton set from Brooklyn-based RusticLoom comes from a nonprofit that employs Indian women to make these striking hand-dyed fabrics. Now go ahead and permanently strike those paper disposables off your shopping list. —Ariel Lauren Wilson
Call Me Caramels, $20 Curiosity inspired Brooklyn cheesemonger Jessica Sennett to transform classic Gruyère AOC cheese into a caramel: To make the candy, why not use cheese in place of traditional ingredients like butter and cream? Together with her adept cook friend Steve Earthman, she created and refined a recipe that had us sold on first taste. The final product has a distinct nutty note and maintains the iconic cheese’s aroma. Flaked with sea salt, each bite is as sweet and savory as it is unique. —Ariel Lauren Wilson
Olive Tree Adoption by Especially Puglia, $160 Michele Iadarola is a New Yorker with roots in Italy’s Puglia region. His delicious start-up Especially Puglia aims to introduce food lovers here with products from his homeland. A FarmShare box ($160) is loaded with seasonal goodies like oils, pastas, marmalades and tapenades, while “adopting” an olive tree (also $160) gets you a healthy amount of extra-virgin oil from your chosen orchard. You can also take it to the next level and take a farmstay in a Puglia orchard (prices vary). —Jesse Hirsch
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