Home Grown

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

October 2008

Page through Colorado Organic. This gorgeous cookbook features recipes from Colorado chefs, farmer profiles, and stunning portraits of people and product. Look for the likes of Ryan Hardy (of the Little Nell in Aspen), Teri Rippeto (Potager), Patrick DuPays (Z Cuisine Bistrot & Parisian Wine Bar), and Mark Fischer (Six89 in Carbondale). www.jenniferolson.com

Mix in Peak Spirits' premium organic liquors. The Hotchkiss-based distillery turns out stellar small-batch elixirs that include lavender-scented CapRock Organic Dry Gin (the nation's first organic gin), a smooth organic vodka, and a potent grappa. www.peakspirits.com

Cook up a pot of Pappardelle's pasta. Find a wide selection of the homespun noodles, ravioli, and orzo at Colorado farmers' markets. Our go-to flavors are the harvest squash ravioli and whole-wheat linguine. Bonus: Look for the very tasty gluten-free varieties. 303-321-4222

Make a difference by purchasing a product from the Women's Bean Project. By spending $5 on a soup or cookie mix (which are prepared and packaged by WBP participants working their way out of poverty), you not only end up with a fresh pot of soup or home-baked cookies, you also support a worthy community program. www.womensbeanproject.com

Snack on Ela Family Farms' Apples Aplenty Applesauce. This Hotchkiss-based farm grows full-flavored organic apples for sale, and also blends Golden Delicious, Golden Supreme, Jonathan, Gala, and Jonagold apples for this smooth, well-rounded treat. Ela products also include jams, fruit butter, nectar, and cider made from the farm's homegrown organic cherries, peaches, pears, grapes, and berries. www.elafamilyfarms.com

Pair cheese with 34° Crispbread crackers. Baked without oil, this Denver-based company's crackers are thin, crunchy, and healthy. We find that though they're flavorful none of the four varieties—natural, sesame, cracked pepper, and rosemary—overpower accompanying cheeses, dips, or spreads. www.34-degrees.com

Swap out marinade for Marczyk Fine Foods' Sun-dried Tomato Pesto. Always stocked in the to-go case, this market-made pesto adds je ne sais quoi to any ho-hum sandwich or boring soup. We also add it to sea bass before wrapping the fish in foil and putting it on the grill. www.marczykfinefoods.com

Spoon Café Bernard's citrus-plum preserves over toast. Each year Café Bernard owners Bernard Moffroid and Cathy Click put up batches of jam, then serve it in little pots at their Basalt-based French restaurant. (They also sell it during the holiday season at Basalt's Wyly Community Art Center.) We love the citrus-plum for its tang of preserved rind, but the most popular jam flavor is apricot. 970-927-4292

Suck down a glass of fizzy handcrafted Tiger Root Beer from Denver's Wynkoop Brewing Company. Brewed on-site, the full-bodied, brown sugar and honey-rich flavor stands up to a hearty meal—and turns into dessert when paired with stout ice cream. www.wynkoop.com

Satisfy a sweet tooth with Hammond's Candies. There's something magical about a candy factory from 1920 that spins sugar (from Colorado-grown sugar beets, no less) into glassy colors and shapes. The hard candies aside, we simply can't get enough of Hammond's Mitchell Sweets. These squishy handmade marshmallows come cloaked in caramel for a just-right combo of salty-sweet. www.hammondscandies.com

Scoop up Boulder Ice Cream. For the past 15 years, this company has slow-churned all-natural, super-premium ingredients like cage-free eggs and rBGH-free Colorado cream and milk. The result is an extraordinarily creamy, flavor-dense treat. There are 20-some flavors, but we think the vanilla and Island Coconut flavors are superb. Bonus: Boulder Ice Cream powers its manufacturing plant with wind, and it recently launched a line of USDA-certified organic ice cream. www.bouldericecream.com

Nab a jar of Loredana's Siena Fra Diavolo at Colorado farmers' markets. Pop the top, cut up a baguette, and serve the Asiago and Parmesan cheese marinated in olive oil, garlic, spices, and fresh jalapeños for a kicky hors d'oeuvre. Or, toss Loredana's basil and walnut pesto (called Casalinga) with pasta for an easy dinner. www.loredanas.com

Snare a fillet of Villa Tatra's Smoked Salmon. The Pinewood Springs restaurant smokes fresh salmon and trout in its on-site smokehouse. The result: salmon that tastes of juniper and applewood, and trout that's reminiscent of cherry- and applewoods. Robust and memorable, this smoked fish is so popular it's carried at Whole Foods. www.villatatra.com

Slather a piece of toast with Justin's Nut Butter. Proof that all peanut butters are not created equal, Justin's shuns the use of refined sugar and hydrogenated oils in favor of organic Valencia peanuts, unfiltered all-natural honey, and sea salt. The result: natural, healthy, and yummy-tasting peanut butter. We're also addicted to the not-too-sweet honey almond butter. www.justinsnutbutter.com

Serve ColoRouge when company comes over. This mild and buttery cheese, which is made by MouCo Cheese Company in Fort Collins, makes a perfect appetizer when drizzled with honey and topped with toasted almonds. Not only did this washed-rind cheese win an award from the American Cheese Society in 2004, but each package is also dated so you can select ColoRouge as you like it (the younger the cheese, the firmer the texture and milder the flavor). www.mouco.com