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Right at Home: Alden's, Alexia, and Anna's

Right at Home is a column that spotlights local food makers in the Pacific Northwest. These companies are welcome alternatives to corporate products that often must be trucked from faraway places, putting a burden on the environment. And often they're also better-tasting products with a flair for freshness and flavor, using higher-grade ingredients. We hope you enjoy this column and seek out these products to enjoy with your next meal. The brands featured here are commonly found at better grocers throughout the Puget Sound and the Pacific Northwest. Use the store locators on each site to help find your way.

Alden's Organic Ice Cream, Eugene, Oregon

If you're looking for a healthier and superior-tasting alternative to the corporate brands like Häagen-Dazs, Ben and Jerry's, and Breyer's, you need not look much further than Eugene, Oregon, the home of Alden's Organic Ice Cream. What began in 2004 has blossomed into a successful marquee that boasts multiple wins in the ice cream, ice cream sandwich, and novelties categories. The milk used is sourced from local family farms and every one of those farms is USDA certified organic. And because it's all organic, you won't find artificial flavors in, say, the strawberry ice cream - just real organic strawberries. The company formerly produced the Julie's Organic imprint whose items were re-branded under the Alden's name in 2019.

A favorite here at Seattle DINING! is to pour a tablespoon of infused balsamic vinegar over a scoop of Vanilla Bean. We've used Cara Cara, Strawberry, Chocolate, Coconut, and others. So far, they've all been a home run!

www.aldensicecream.com

Alexia Foods, Kennewick, Washington

Before we depart the frozen isle, turn the corner and discover the offerings of this Kennewick sleeper. Alexia Foods produces a line of frozen vegetables with a focus primarily on potatoes. They got the location right, since Washington is the second largest potato producer in the US, beat out by just a few pounds by nearby Idaho. They also dabble in Brussels sprouts, onion rings, cauliflower, and squash options.

What's nice about a lot of the products here is that they can work as a base for making your own creation. For instance, before baking up their organic sweet potato fries, toss them in a little olive oil with salt, pepper, cayenne, and brown sugar to really crank up the flavor to 11. Can't come up with your own ideas? Their website has a number of recipes to get you started.

www.alexiafoods.com

Anna's Honey

When local bees ingest the same pollen we breathe, there's some science that says if we eat their honey, we can reduce the symptoms of allergies caused by local pollen. If that's the case, then make sure you're using local honey, rather than some produced by a factory in, say, Naples, Florida. The honey here is never pasteurized, which means it has not been heated to high temperatures and thus gets a Grade A rating. Anna's has several flavors, a.k.a., varietals. However, those flavors are not infused into the honey, rather it comes from the pollens the bees are provided to feast on. Clover, Fireweed, and Blackberry are all part of the offerings. You can access Anna's honey in bottles, various-sized jars, as well as individual sticks.

www.annashoney.com

SD! January 2020


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