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150ish is a free weekly newsletter that brings you all the dish on local food artisans working within 150 miles–more or less–of New York City.

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Annual holiday wrap-up

Of our favorite local finds

December 1, 2016 | Photo courtesy Lena Pardo

Here at 150ish, we celebrate shopping local all year round, but we especially love to share our local finds with family and friends during the holidays. Gifts made by 150ish artisans are unique and thoughtful purchases that support small businesses and the local economy. We don’t have the space to fully describe everyone’s holiday offers, so we encourage you to visit the individual links for specials, holiday markets, and other popup retail appearances. There’s something on our list for every taste and interest—so you don’t have to check it twice!
Here’s the dish. 
Gifts that give back: Rescue Chocolate, maker of a delicious range of vegan chocolates that donates 100-percent of its net profits to animal rescue organizations around the country, has boxed chocolates and other pet-related gifts. Whether you serve them at your holiday party or give them as a gift, a jar of Bobbysue's Nuts, available in the original sweet and savory combination and other flavors, is a welcome addition to any table. A portion of her proceeds benefit the SPCA of Westchester. We promise that Mouth Party Caramels will be among the most luxurious caramels you’ve ever tasted—and they come in gift bags and boxes with the most beautiful bows. Best of all, 10-percent of their profits are donated to cancer research and support organizations. And while you’re gifting, think about the many gifts that GrowNYC gives us every day, through management of more than 50 farmers markets and so much more. As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Greenmarket, consider contributing to their $40 for 40 campaign to help continue their mission for another 40 years.
Have a spicy holiday. Here’s a spicy selection for the chili heads on your list. Mike's Hot Honey (the original and still the best) is now offering mini jars in addition his 12-ounce squeeze bottle. We think they’re great for stocking stuffing. Tuck a bottle of Salemme Pepper in that stocking, too. Bad Seed Chili Granola was Marisa’s favorite local find of the year and it’s at the top of her gift list. A selection of Redhead products (Francesca loves her Fig & Chile Sauce) would also be much appreciated. Our friends at Little Bird have expanded their line of jalapeño-based confections to include Fire Syrup, a sweet simple syrup flavored with jalapeños, and Fire Powder, finely ground candied jalapeños—both perfect for making spicy holiday cocktails.
For the cocktail cart. Here are more gift ideas for the mixologist. Blank Slate Kitchen Rich Simple Syrups come in unusual flavors like Bird’s Eye Chili and Black Pepper. Try them all in the Syrup Sampler. Morris Kitchen is offering a gift box of their winter trio syrups (Ginger, Preserved Lemon, and Grenadine) along with three seasonal cocktail recipes. The Hella Cocktail Company has a full selection of bitters, syrups, and mixers—look for their Five Flavor Bitters Bar Set and a Craft Your Own Bitters Kit. The Owls Brew also has a set with a trio of mixers for the holiday season: Mulling Spices, Salted Caramel Toddy, and Grapefruit Collins.
Season’s snackings. Once again we encourage you to ditch that boring popcorn tin and go for the Bjornqorn gift tin, two gallons of savory sun-popped popcorn made in the Hudson Valley with custom solar kettles. It’s non-GMO, vegan, and gluten free, and right now they’re offering free shipping (order by December 15th for Christmas delivery). Subscriptions are always nice, especially when there are snacks involved. Consider Chip of the Month, a seven-month membership program, or a sampler case (2 bags of each flavor) from North Fork Potato Chips. Kinderhook Snacks has subscriptions and gift combinations for their amazing line of sweet and savory treats. Megpies, the artisanal pop tart with the oh-so-flaky crust, jam filling and sweet frosting, is having a holiday flash-sale. Today through December 16th all gift boxes are a flat $15 with free priority shipping. 
On the sweet side. A gift basket from Catskill Provisions, purveyors of local honey, maple syrup, chocolate honey truffles, and more will always be a hit. (Try their New York Honey Whiskey, too!) Laurie & Sons is offering beautifully designed gift boxes this year, filled with her fabulous, multi-flavored toffees (look for Hanukkah Gelt chocolate coins here, too). Gilda's Biscotti comes in great flavors (like Lemon Fig) and lovely gift tins. A gift box of Roni-Sues amazing truffles is a wonderful thing—but you’ll find many other selections to suit all tastes (like the Bacon and Beer Dream Collection). Award-winning Hudson Valley small-batch chocolatier Fruition Chocolate has a variety of gift boxes available, featuring both bean-to-bar chocolate and tasty chocolate-covered confections like Jalapeño Dusted Corn Nuts and Orange Scented Cranberries.
Baked by someone else. Two of our favorite online bakeries have opened storefronts this year. Savor, the Connecticut micro-bakery specializing in the most wonderful short bread cookies in the most unusual flavors, now has a shop in Thomaston (visit the site for details). Mah Ze Dahr made news when their long-anticipated bakery opened this fall in the West Village. Whether you stop by in person or order online, it will be hard to choose from this glamorous, decadent selection. Visit Sweet and Salzig online or at the Smorgasburg Winter Market for traditional German holiday baked goods like apple strudel and Christmas stollen. 
For the cook’s pantry. The 150ish fridge and pantry is full of condiments, seasonings, and all manner of exotically local goods. We can’t get enough and neither can the cook on your list. Marisa is huge fan of the harissa made by New York Shuk. The expanded line, which features a trio of harissa spice blends and Harissa with Preserved Lemon, has beautiful new packaging and can be purchased as a set. The Ghee Gals at Simply Ghee continue to expand their flavor profiles, now offering Maple Cinnamon in addition to their Original, Honey, Black Garlic, and Sriarcha Ghees. You’ll find special offers and gift packaging on their site. (150ish can’t live without their ghee.) Customize a holiday gift pack from Brooklyn Sesame with their Halva Spread in flavors like Roasted Pistachio and Coco Sea Salt—then add a jar of their new Tahini. Locally harvested Amagansett Sea Salt comes in pretty jars filled with flavors like Rosé Wine, Dill and Fennel, and other creative combinations. There are many different gift boxes available, or pick up the sampler tin—filled with six assorted glass vials, it makes a great stocking stuffer.
And the table. We’ve often suggested a gift certificate for a sausage-making class with Scott Bridi of Brooklyn Cured. This year, we’re pleased to see that many of his fantastic sausages and charcuterie—as well as his Smoked Maple Bourbon Ham—can be ordered directly online. You didn’t think we’d forget the pasta, did you? City Saucery and Sfoglini Pasta Shop have put together a pair of gift sets for the holidays—or consider a four-pack of City Saucery sauce combined with a pasta of the month subscription from Sfoglini.
Something different. Perusing the Hudson Valley Seed Company site always makes 150ish wish for a garden, although their artfully designed seed packets are so pretty we’d love them just to display. In addition to many gifts for gardeners, you’ll find gift baskets of special collections (housed in a seed-starting tray) or you can customize your selection. And here’s a tip for anyone shopping for Francesca this season—she would love the gift of a CSA subscription. By joining a CSA (which stands for Community Supported Agriculture) you purchase a share of produce from a regional farmer. By paying upfront, you enable the farmer to purchase seed and generally prepare for the season ahead. In return, you get a weekly delivery of fresh, local produce throughout the growing season. To easily find a CSA in the five boroughs, visit Just Food.
And why not tuck that CSA gift certificate into a great cookbook? Here are a half-dozen that hold pride of place on the 150ish bookshelf. Jeffrey Yoskowitz and Liz Alpern, founders of Gefilteria, are the authors of The Gefilte Manifesto. We also liked Veggie Burgers Every Which Way, by Lukas Volger of Made by Lukas. Liana Krissoff completely revised and expanded her excellent Canning for a New Generation. Cultured Foods for Your Kitchen by Leda Scheintaub is one of the most beautiful and inspired books on fermentation. Francesca and Marisa worship at the altar of Vivian Howard, and we think her new book, Deep Run Roots, is a masterpiece. And we loved once again reading the wisdom of Marcella Hazan (as gathered by her husband Victor) on how to shop for the best ingredients in Ingredienti.
And for a healthy new year. You can give the gift of health and wellness with Resilience Instant Turmeric Elixir from Bija Bhar. Make a tea from this delicious blend of carefully sourced turmeric, ginger, lemon, maple sugar, and black pepper and this restorative cure-all will take care of any holiday overindulgence while keeping you cold-free through the new year.
Happy Shopping!
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425 East 63rd Street, Suite E7C, New York, NY 10065

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