Everyday kitchen items made close to home

by Emily Kovach

Picks for the Pantry

When it comes to heirloom produce or dairy, we’re often happy to spend an extra dollar or two for a huge jump in quality. The same principle applies to basic ingredients. Spring for something local and small batch versus mass produced, and marvel at the difference it makes in even the simplest dishes.  

Vera Pasta  
West Chester, Pa.
Extrusion with bronze dies, the traditional method for making pasta where it’s pressed through small holes, creates toothsome, coarse-textured pasta that can stand up to even the sauciest sauce.

Crisp & Co. Pickles  
Hockessin, Del.
Founded by an ex-scientist and a gardening enthusiast, these are some of the tastiest, crunchiest pickled cukes, beets, beans and mushrooms out there. 

Castle Valley Mill Flour and Grains
Doylestown, Pa.
Locally grown wheat, spelt, emmer, grits and cornmeal are ground on rebuilt antique stone milling machines for the freshest flavor and optimal nutrition.  

Susquehanna Mills Oils 
Montoursville, Pa.
This biodynamic farming operation produces organic, non-GMO cooking oils from sunflower, canola and hemp crops. Pressing at low temperatures yields high quality oils that retain naturally occurring antioxidants.  

First Field Strained or Crushed Tomatoes 
Kingston, N.J.
These non-GMO canned and bottled tomatoes are sourced directly with New Jersey farmers, creating a significant value-add to bumper crops. 

Spruce Hill Preserves
Philadelphia
Molly Haendler is the chef behind this small-batch canning operation, focusing on creative seasonal flavors such as spicy carrot jam and mulled wine jelly.