In honor of the Made in Central Oregon issue, we round up some of our favorite foods that are made right here in the C.O.
Bontà Natural Artisan Gelato
Jeff and Juli Labhart trained under two different Italian gelato masters before developing their own ice cream recipes and starting Bontà Natural Artisan Gelato. Their gelato has on average 10 percent less butterfat than typical ice cream. With less fat to hide flavor, the delicious ingredients shine through. Bontà has 18 signature and rotating flavors, but you can never go wrong with the dulce de leche and sea salt or the peanut butter and Theo chocolate fudge. No worries if you're dairy free. The sorbettos are equally indulgent.
Find it: Newport Market, Market of Choice, Food 4 Less, Whole Foods, C.E. Lovejoys, Locavore and at their downtown store, among other spots
Holm Made Toffee
Donna Holm's family recipe for turning hazelnuts, semi-sweet chocolate, butter and sugar into toffee is so good it keeps bringing home awards. Holm Made Toffee's cardamom and vanilla hazelnut toffee just won Best Chocolate Candy at the Oregon Chocolate Festival. Try all seven toffee flavors and see if you can keep yourself from eating an entire bag in one sitting. If you aren't into sweets, they're debuting three new whole roasted nuts this summer at farmers markets.
Find it: Newport Market, Market of Choice, Food 4 Less, Whole Foods, C.E. Lovejoys, Locavore and more
These nut butters are special because organic nuts are sprouted for 24 hours, then dehydrated, and once dried, ground by stone at slow speeds. The ingredients are ground to the point where the human tongue can no longer detect texture—that's seriously smooth! Jem Organic Nut Butters come in two savory flavors: cashew curry tahini and cashew masala tahini, and four sweet flavors: cashew cardamom almond butter, cinnamon maca almond butter, superberry almond butter and chocolate hazelnut butter.
Find it: C.E. Lovejoy's, Natural Grocers, Newport Market, Market of Choice, Whole Foods, Locavore and more
Justy Haney worked at a restaurant that made jelly so good she bought the rights to the recipes. Justy's Jelly started with two flavors: pineapple jalapeno jelly and pineapple roasted garlic jelly—but now you can find the fruit preserves in 11 flavors. If you've always wondered what to do with a sweet and spicy jelly, slather it over some cream cheese on a cracker and enjoy.
Find it: Newport Market, Market of Choice, Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, Food 4 Less, Locavore and more
Teresa Jordan grew up with salsa always on the table at home. When she moved to Central Oregon in 2003 she couldn't find good salsa anywhere. Inspired by her cousin's recipe, Jordan created a fresh tomato salsa and started Prima Salsa. The salsa is made with tomatoes, onions, carrots, jalapenos, cilantro and serrano chile peppers. It's available in three spice levels: mild, medium and hot. Spicy Prima Salsa pairs perfectly with Juanita's crispy tortilla chips (those aren't made in C.O., though—they're produced in Hood River).
Find it: Newport Market, Whole Foods, Market of Choice, Natural Grocers, Food 4 Less, C.E. Lovejoy's and Erickson's Thriftway
Red Plate Foods
Becca Williams developed a life-threatening allergic reaction to dairy and a gluten intolerance after the birth of her fourth child. She quenched her desire for sweets by creating nut free, vegan, gluten-free and soy-free cookies, granola and muffins for her family and friends to enjoy. From there Williams and her husband, Chell, started Red Plate Foods so other families suffering from food allergies had allergy friendly, pre-made food options safe to share. Try the dark chocolate muffins. They're decadent, rich and delicious. The dark chocolate chips add just the right amount of texture.
Find it: Newport Market, Whole Foods, Market of Choice, Fred Meyer, Safeway on Century, Natural Grocers
Milena Burnquist and Stacey Bock met at their kids' school and discovered they had a mutual love of cooking. Bock had a background in commercial catering and Burnquist had an authentic Brazilian cheese bread recipe. Bella Baker was created around that naturally gluten, yeast and sugar-free cheese puff recipe. Brazilian cheese bread, known as pão de queijo, is a popular breakfast dish and snack in Brazil. You can enjoy Bella Baker as a soft, cheesy snack at home or bring it as a quick heat and serve appetizer to your next party.
Find it: Newport Market, Melvin's, Market of Choice, Sunriver Country Store and Locavore