Home Grown

Fifty Colorado products perfect for the pantry, the gift list, or tonight's dinner table.

October 2008

Get sticky fingers from Lucile's Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam. You know the stuff—it's a thing of legend on those hot-from-the-fryer beignets. Five bucks buys you a jar of jam that's just as perfect at home on toast, biscuits, pancakes, and bagels. www.luciles.com

Delight in a Telluride Truffle. Made in Telluride, these delicious triangular sweets are crafted from Belgian chocolate and organic Colorado cream. The shape evokes the Rocky Mountains, and each truffle's name and flavor are inspired by the slopes—Bunny Hill, Powder Day, Blizzard. Our favorite is Mud Season, a blend of milk chocolate and hazelnut. www.telluridetruffle.com

Crunch through a Nita Crisp. If there's one staple that's always in our pantry, it's these thin, lightly salted crackers. Dreamt up by Fort Collins caterer Nenita Pellegrino, these flatbreads may be eaten plain, topped with cheese, spread with peanut butter, or piled with roasted turkey or veggies. And thanks to the low sodium and zero trans-fat content, we can feel good about the snack. www.nitacrisp.com

Pour a glass from Sutcliffe Vineyards. If you've shied away from Colorado wines thinking they were too young, this small, Cortez-based vineyard will change your mind. The Syrah drinks beautifully, with cocoa and black-pepper nuances, as does the balanced, honeysuckle-tinged Pinot Gris. As a testament to its quality, some of Denver's best restaurants pour Sutcliffe wines. (For more on Sutcliffe, check out the profile of John Sutcliffe on page 118.) www.sutcliffewines.com

Add Perri's Gourmet Food's Roasted-Garlic Asparagus Spears to a Bloody Mary. Though best known for her all-natural buffalo and elk jerky, we've taken a liking to Perri A. Doutré's pickled asparagus spears. Savory enough for snacking, they also work well on a crudités platter, or for dressing up a cocktail. www.yummyfoods.biz

Break bread with the Denver Bread Company. Flour is ever-present inside this northwest Denver bakery—it hangs in the air, coats the counter, and is a dead giveaway that this shop specializes in just one thing: spectacular loaves. We never leave without purchasing a crusty boule (the bakery's signature product), and, for a treat, we pick up a couple of orange-honey buns. www.thedenverbreadcompany.com

Buy a shortbread cookie from Gateaux Specialty Cakes and Pastries. We consider these treats to be good enough to turn around a bad day. Dipped in icing, delicate, and perfectly buttery, this Denver bakery's cookies have perfected the art of indulgence. We dare you to eat just one. www.gateauxpastries.com

Twirl a spoonful of golden ambrosia Madhava Honey. This Lyons honey is made by bees that spend 80 days a year high in the Rockies. The result is an exquisite elixir naturally infused with the essence of high-alpine wildflowers. www.madhavahoney.com

Melt Epicurean Butter over steak or pasta. We first tasted these locally made compound butters in 2004 when John Hubschman (former corporate chef of the Denver ChopHouse & Brewery) sent samples to the office. We were hooked, and now count the tomato-chipotle (on fried eggs or in grilled cheese sandwiches), honey-pecan (slathered on pancakes or hot oatmeal), and chile-lime (over grilled chicken or fish tacos) as favorites. www.epicureanbutter.com

Spice things up with Primo Specialty Foods' Preserves. These Denver-made fruit conserves get a kick from jalapeño, habanero, and ancho chiles—and they pair beautifully with cheeses (especially the loganberry-ancho preserves). We also adore Primo's zesty mango chutney on grilled pork loin. www.primospecialtyfoods.com

Wait for Wholesome Milk Products' seasonal eggnog. We look forward to the changing of the seasons, if only to indulge in this northern Colorado dairy's treat. Besides pouring as thick as melted ice cream, we think Wholesome's secret is that the all- natural milk goes from cow to bottle in just half a day. www.buylocalmilk.com

Start the day with Udi's Natural Artisan Granola. It all began with pastry chef and Udi partner Yasmin Lozada-Hissom's grandmother's granola recipe. The homespun combo took off, and now Udi's is the 11th-largest granola company in the country. We regularly breakfast on the Hawaiian flavor, with wholesome thick-cut oats, Colorado wildflower honey, nuts, and dried fruit. Bonus: Granola chunks (called "Udi's Nuggets") make for easy snacking at your desk. www.udisfood.com