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New England's Finest: In Good Taste

New England’s Finest: In Good Taste
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1. Rich Granite State maple syrup is an especially pretty present when it’s encased in a glass maple leaf or folia bottle ($13.95 each/8.45 oz). Fuller’s Sugarhouse, Lancaster, NH. 603-788-2719;

2. These delicate oils ($10 each/ 10 oz.) are infused with mushrooms for six to eight weeks, and the result is earthy and savory. Oyster Creek Mushroom Company, Damariscotta, ME. 207-563-1076;

3. Impress a fromage lover with luscious ripened goat’s-milk cheeses from the Green Mountain State: “Bonne Bouche” ($18.99), “Coupole” ($16.99), and “Bijou” (a French Crottin-inspired variety, $9.99). Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery, Websterville, VT. 802-479-9371;

4. Taza’s organic “Chocolate Mexicano” discs ($4.50 each) come in unforgettable flavors such as cinnamon, orange, ginger, and guajillo chili. Taza Chocolate, Somerville, MA. 617-284-2232;

5. Bonnie Shershow uses minimal sugar and no pectin in her intensely fruity spreads ($8.99 each). Bonnie’s Jams, Cambridge, MA. 617-714-5380,

6. Maine potatoes become very swanky when they’re distilled with Maine water into “Cold River Classic Vodka” ($33.99/750ml). Maine Distilleries, Freeport, ME. 207-865-4828;

7. “The Grey Lady” is Nantucket’s fog-inspired nickname and the moniker of one of its locally brewed ales ($9.99 for six 12- ounce bottles). Cisco Brewers, Nantucket, MA. 508-325-5929;

8. Some of the best restaurants in New England (and beyond) pour “Westport Brut Robert James Russell” sparkling wine ($27), a crisp blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery, Westport, MA. 508-636-3423;

9. Goat’s-milk caramels (from $7.49 for 6 pieces; $45 for 40 pieces, wooden gift box; other sizes available), made with a touch of vanilla and sea salt, are downright addictive. Big Picture Farm, Townshend, VT. 802-380-2501;

10. “Cookies for Grown-ups” is the tagline, and it aptly describes these not-too-sweet, intriguingly flavored treats (from $6, 6.7 or 7.5-ounce bag), made by hand in small batches. Lark Fine Foods, Essex, MA. 978-768-0012;

11. More complex than your typical sugary crunch, Bureau’s “Maple Kettle Korn” ($12 for two 16-ounce bags) pops with salty-sweet goodness. Bureau’s Sugarhouse, Old Lyme, CT. 860-434-5787;

12. Ice cream’s indulgence level goes way up when it’s topped with Bay State-made dark-chocolate sauce, creamy caramel sauce, or “Sweet Sloops Crunch” ($9.98 each)–or, better yet, all three. Harbor Sweets, Salem, MA. 978-745-7648;

More Great New England Food Products

Wade Holtzman concentrates the juice of 8 pounds of apples into every bottle ($24.99) of ice cider. The result: a rich, sweet, nectar-like wine to sip solo or with dessert.
Still River Winery, Harvard, MA. 978-415-WINE;

You love farmstead goat cheese, why not farmstead goat’s milk caramel? Farmers Steve Reid and Judith Irving, along with daughters Calley Hastings and Hannah Reid, use fresh milk from their herd of Alpine and Saanen goats to produce the rich sauces, in flavors like salted bourbon and vanilla bean (2-ounce jar $3.95. Fat Toad Farm, Brookfield, VT. 802-279-0098;

Updated Tuesday, October 9th, 2012
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