2017 Southern Living Food Awards: Best Southern Made Products
We always look forward to this time of year around the Southern Living office. Bottles, jars, bags, and boxes of new, never-before-seen (or tasted!) products are delivered to our Birmingham door. We welcome both the creative finds from up-and-coming Southern artisans as well as the unexpected flavors from a few reliable and local favorites. Our tastebuds equally surprised and delighted. There are so many great foods coming out of the South that our editors had a hard time picking their favorites, but after much deliberation, we have our favorite Southern made products of 2017.
Clyde May's Bourbon Whiskey
This craft whiskey is layered with the legend of Clyde May, a moonshiner in the Conecuh Ridge of Alabama who was imprisoned in the 1970s for his illegal recipe that contained dried apples, local grains, and spring water. Sip it straight, or mix it in a cocktail.
Big Spoon Roasters Peanut Butter
Inspired by his experience with spicy peanut butter in Haiti, Mark Overbay adds ancho, guajillo, and habanero chiles to his jar. Smear with strawberry jam on crusty bread for a grown-up PB&J, or warm it up and drizzle over a noodle bowl.
Big Easy Bucha Kombucha
New Orleans, LA
Brewed with the exotic flavors of New Orleans—satsuma, cayenne pepper, mayhaw—Big Easy Bucha is a delicious introduction to this style of fermented tea.
Radio Roasters Coffee
Launched by former NPR producer and current CNN editor Chip Grabow, Radio Roasters roasts, packs, and ships seasonally selected beans to order.
Oliver Pluff & Co. Iced Tea
When our editors want to whip up a pitcher that pleases, we brew this bold, bergamot-tinged blend slowly in front of a sun-filled window.
Louisville Cream Ice Cream
With flavors like Cayenne Honey Butter; Bourbon Smoked Pecan; and our favorite, The Red Queen (goat cheese, cherry, and pistachio), it's a wonder anyone makes a decision at the counter of Louisville Cream's new shop.
Pappy & Company Maple Syrup
Drizzle this family farm-produced maple syrup (aged in Pappy Van Winkle bourbon barrels for six months) over homemade pancakes.
McEwen & Sons Grits
We take the title "best grits in the South" seriously, and our Test Kitchen unanimously named these family-made white grits just that.
Pogue Mahone Pickles Hot Sauce
Pickle juice has been the umami mysterious ingredient in many Southern recipes, from barbecue sauce to a famous fried chicken sandwich. This new creation from three-time Food Awards winner Pogue Mahone Pickles takes the concept to a whole new level.
Martine Honeysuckle Liqueur
Gary Kelleher bottled up the universal Southern childhood memory of tasting sweet honeysuckle blossoms. Add an ounce of nostalgia to a gin and tonic, or use it as a substitute for sugar in an old-fashioned.
It's not uncommon to see a tub or two of this hummus in our office refrigerator—or spooned into a bowl when we're entertaining at home. We're partial to the herbaceous Lima Bean variation complemented by parsley and thyme, but the Roasted Garlic follows closely behind.
Most grocery store buttermilk is pretty disappointing. This one is thick and rich, and there is nothing that it can't make better—from homemade cornbread to pancakes to chess pie to a chicken marinade. It's the Meryl Streep of ingredients.
Holmsted Fines Chutney
Last-minute party planners know that chutney is the real game changer on the cheese board. Rebecca Williamson's Green Tomato Chutney combines her European culinary training with her Alabama roots.
Harvest Roots Ferments Kimchi
A crowd-pleasing kimchi? It's possible. Crisp and perfectly piquant, this made believers out of fermented-food novices and superfans alike.
Mod Squad Martha Vinaigrette
Emmylou Harris' go-to catering chef Melissa Ann Barton has started bottling the dressings and marinades that made her a hit with her list of musician clients. Our favorite is this fruit-forward vinaigrette.