With the holidays right around the corner, it’s time to finalize your menu for your family get-togethers. Here are some suggestions on how to incorporate locally-made products into your Maryland meal.
Award winning appetizers
There’s nothing more appetizing than a good tasting cheese board, and lucky for you, Western Maryland’s FireFly Farms can help assemble the tastiest appetizer that the entire family will enjoy. The award-winning cheese maker, who recently took home six honors at the World Cheese Awards, is located in several shops throughout the state and can also be found in Whole Foods stores throughout the Mid Atlantic.
Spice things up
When preparing your main course, you’ll want to turn to one of Maryland’s most recognizable spice companies for some assistance. J.O. Spice Company – a family owned and operated business since 1945 – provides a variety of seasonings and spices, as well as batters, breadings, and soups. The company is also a major spice provider for crab houses and restaurants throughout the region… meaning if you’ve ever gone out to eat and ordered a bushel of crabs, you’ve probably tasted J.O.’s famous seasoning.
Whether you’re cooking up crab soup, seafood, poultry, steak, or ribs, you’ll need J.O. on hand to make the season complete. You can purchase a holiday pack of seasonings at J.O.’s online store, or at its retail shop located in Halethorpe.
Seasonal sides and drinks
Instead of slaving away at the stove this holiday season, pick up a side dish from the Baltimore-based business HEX Ferments. Offering vegan, soy, and gluten free options, the retailer provides a “fermented twist” on sauerkraut with herbs and spices included throughout. HEX is dedicated to supporting local and organic farmers—so while you’re supporting a local business with your purchase, you are also supporting the local agriculture community.
Looking for something unique to toast with? Check out the company’s seasonal Kombucha, a sweet and sour tea that is known to help digestion… something you’ll certainly need after a filling family meal.
If you’ve never heard of the area’s famous sweet potato cake, you may have come across it without knowing. Earlier this year, the bakery launched 19,000 cakes into more than 110 Safeway grocery stores throughout the region. And a few years ago, the company made a deal to provide baked goods to Starbucks stores in the DMV.
According to attorney, entrepreneur, and DC Sweet Potato Cake partner April N. Richardson Esq., “when the community buys, local food companies stay on the shelves.” Consider buying a local dessert this holiday season to support local families as well as the surrounding community.
Looking for additional ways to support the community? Check out Imperfect Foods, an “ugly produce” company with a distribution hub in Anne Arundel County that provides surplus produce directly to the Maryland Food Bank.
Discover more authentic Maryland food experiences on VisitMaryland.org.