May 21, 2024


Cooking Is My World

Best Mail-Order Food Gifts from Every State

Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

For many Americans, 2020 has been the year of sitting still, or at very least, slowing down. In a country where mobility has always been the norm, we can all agree that the learning curve hasn’t been much of a curve at all, but rather more like a 90-degree angle shooting off into the unknown.

When the music stopped in March and so many of us went indoors for weeks on end, the news that online shopping had increased tenfold surprised absolutely no one—we were all on the same websites, witnessing the virtual pandemonium, clicking furiously to no avail. 

And still, once the internet figured out how to cope, many of us learned a thing or two about the joys of having the world, or at least a tiny taste of it, dropped off—no contact, please—at our front doors. 

During the last nine months—or has it been nine years, who’s counting?—most businesses have learned how to deliver and ship, with footfall in some cases suddenly non-existent. Restaurants, butcher shops, coffee roasters, supermarkets—in so many cases, the process has become more efficient than before. No lines, no waits, no putting on pants; can we keep it this way forever? 

Nearly overnight, ordering dry-aged steaks off the internet went from curiosity to essential self-care. The finest coffees from all over the country, top-quality grains, charcuterie, award-winning cheeses, cakes and pies and ice cream and other coping tools—who knew there was a whole world out there, just a few clicks (and an oversubscribed credit card) away?

This story was conceived as a modest gift guide, released in time for the holiday season. After a year of exploring the best in American mail-order food, this has now become sort of a travelogue as well, a recounting of the places we’ve been, virtually anyway.

Better still, this can also be read as a shopping list, and often a practical one. From top-quality heirloom beans to the very best American rice, and the most essential domestic olive oils, eating well doesn’t have to break the budget, and you never had to leave the house to make it happen. Sound good? Read on.

An industrious mother-daughter team is behind the array of creative condiments, preserves, and pickled things being produced at Stone Hollow Farmstead. Paired with good olive oil, their turmeric and ginger-infused apple cider vinegars would make an ideal salad dressing, not that you’ll get that far, these are just so drinkable. Farm sampler box for $60, via Food 52

By now, most barbecue appreciators have likely tried Alabama’s famous white sauce, a former best-kept secret that has more recently gone national. Bottles of the original, from Big Bob Gibson in Decatur, where they’ve been slathering it on smoked chicken for generations, are just a few clicks away. 3-16 oz bottles, $21.99 at Amazon

There’s more to those wild, far-northern waters than some of the world’s best salmon. Wildfish Cannery in Klawock harvests, smokes, and hand-packs all sorts of exciting alternatives, from geoduck to octopus to herring—and yes, salmon, too. 6 oz. from $9 at

Another less-than-obvious thing they’re pulling out of the water these days in Alaska? Delicious, nutritious kelp. Barnacle Foods in Juneau harvests only the best for their pickles and preserves; bull kelp and piri piri peppers work in harmony to create one exceptional hot sauce. 5.5 oz. for $5.95 at

A revival of ancient grain tradition is one of our favorite Arizona food stories right now. Hayden Flour Mills in Queen Creek is a modern-day reincarnation of an 1800s operation, working with White Sonora wheat from small, local growers—nicely-packaged flours make a great gift for the baker in your life. 2 lbs. for $8.99 at

Flavorful chiltepin peppers are another Sonoran Desert native, favored by the pre-colonial population but nearly lost in modern times; now, the pea-sized beauties are enjoying a renaissance. Chilttepica in Tucson is one specialist. 1 oz. (dried) for $15 at

Wine from Arizona isn’t just a great conversation starter at parties—land a really good bottle, and it’s like you’re there, taking in those singular landscapes; Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan’s Caduceus Cellars in quirky Jerome is currently shipping an interesting high elevation, 100% Arizona Tempranillo from 2018. $125 at

Arkansas produces more rice than any state in the country, but at the women-owned Ralston Family Farms, it’s all about quality over quantity. Every single last grain is grown, harvested and milled right here; their purple and red rices make a great statement on any dinner table. 6-24 oz. packages for $36 at

Finally, a chocolate for the rest of us—the tongue-in-cheek Festivus bar from Markham & Fitz in Bentonville is an attractively packaged, non-holiday treat made with Haitian dark chocolate, cranberries, orange zest, and cacao nibs. Pairs well with the annual Airing of Grievances, which this year might take longer than usual—maybe order extra. 2 oz. for $9 at

No kitchen counter is complete without a bottle of top-quality olive oil, and these days, you’ll find some fine candidates among a crop of increasingly affordable New World offerings. One problem, however—rising popularity, driven in part by concerns over lack of accountability in the European olive oil industry, is now pushing some California producers into purchasing olives from overseas, bringing us right back where we started. Brightland sources from just one Central Coast family farm, creating some of the most fashionable American olive oils, right now—complemented by some excellent vinegars, we’ll add. 4 bottle sampler for $112 at

Speaking of the best of the Central Coast, how are we for wine? From Santa Barbara to San Luis Obispo and all the way up toward Santa Cruz, from tried-and-true pinots to more obscure, exciting varietals, you’re presented with an array of choices, too much choice, in fact. ships a slew of regional offerings to most states—we’ll be bringing a big blast of summer sun to our socially-distanced holiday hangouts with the top-rated 2019 Vin Gris de Cigare from Bonny Doon Vineyard, one of the state’s more interesting wineries. $14.99 via

Flirting with more than meat-free Mondays in 2021? Prize-winning heirloom beans from Rancho Gordo—and an Instant Pot to speed up the cooking process—should go a long way toward getting you excited about your new plant-based life. Steve Sando’s Napa-based operation sources from the finest growers in the West, and the resulting product is unparalleled in the United States. Demand is high—you’ll have to be patient—but the ordering process is quick and easy. 1 lb. from $5.95 at

Some of the best peaches west of the Mississippi come from Frog Hollow Farm east of San Francisco, but the fun doesn’t stop once the early summer season ends—this is California, after all, there’s always something growing. Year-round, the farm offers a box of mixed organic fruits. Right now, look for heirloom apples, pears, avocados, and citrus. $75 includes shipping, via

Taco Tuesdays at home will never be the same once you discover the seasoned meats for sale from Chico’s Rancho Llano Seco, a family farm known in Northern California for quality beef and pork. A handy taco sampler includes Al Pastor, Chili Colorado, New Mexican Green Chili, and Basque Chorizo. 3 lbs. for $49 at

Casting your eyes upon—and then tasting, of course—the exemplary salamis, or a hunk of the spicy coppa, from Denver’s Elevation Meats, you might not have guessed that the company grew out of an after-hours hobby for cured meats enthusiast Chad Nelan. Only the best, heritage breed pork is used here, and the results are impressive. 2 lbs. coppa, spicy or regular, for $50 at

Nobody would fault you for looking anywhere but the mostly respectable Litchfield Hills for one of the best new distilleries in the country. Litchfield Distillery has been doing their best to pull focus from some of the more expected places, and their charred oak cask-aged straight bourbon has won some significant awards for good reason. 750 ml for $56.95, ships to many states, at

Some of Southern New England’s finest cheeses—all from raw, Jersey milk—come from the small but mighty Cato Corner Farm near Colchester. The tantalizingly ripe Hooligan is a soft, washed-rind gem that will add some serious funk to your holiday cheese plate. 1.2 lbs. for $36 at

As a state, Pennsylvania easily consumes the most scrapple by volume each year, but the number one producer of the Mid-Atlantic’s favorite snout-to-tail breakfast meat will be found, as any proud Delawarean can tell you, right here in the Wilmington area. Send a few pounds of Habersett’s—in business since 1863, they must be doing something right—to someone you love this year. 4 lbs. for $69 includes shipping, via Goldbelly

Not ready to let go of those summer memories? Relive it all—from a safe distance—with the aid of some salt water taffy from Snyder’s Candy in Rehoboth Beach. 1 lb. assorted, $8.99 at

Looking to get a little wild? Miami Fruit sources tropical varietals, from watermelon guavas to yellow dragonfruit, from their own farm and throughout South Florida—and, yes, key limes by the boxful. Sampler boxes from $67 at

While everybody loves a key lime pie, shipping them can be an expensive proposition; key lime bundt cakes—an Oprah Favorite Thing, mind you—from We Take The Cake in Fort Lauderdale are a practical alternative, but still just as thoughtful. $49, includes shipping, at

One of the best cheesemakers in the South, Sweet Grass Dairy (in charming Thomasville, which you should visit) has been raising the bar in the region for two decades now; their subtle, soft-ripened, double cream Green Hill has become a staple both in Georgia and beyond. Pick up a party-ready box of cheeses and charcuterie, sourced from Atlanta maker Spotted Trotter. In the mix you’ll find some of the best pimento cheese on the market, plus a jar of peach bourbon cardamom preserves from Thomasville’s own Blackberry Patch. $135 charcuterie collection at

For the home baker that has everything, give the gift of estate-grown American vanilla; the Hawaiian Vanilla Co. sells pods and 100% pure extracts—twice as strong as the usual, store-bought varieties—along with other thoughtful gifts from the Aloha State. 2 oz. for $18 at

Send your next cheese plate on a tropical vacation with award-winning fruit pastes from Maui Fruit Jewels. Flavors like passionfruit and guava lend a distinctly Hawaiian twist to a European tradition. 4 oz. for $7.50 at

Using only Hawaiian cocoa beans, chocolate bars from Waialua Estate on Oahu’s North Shore are well worth seeking out. Cacao is traditionally grown within 20 degrees latitude of the Equator, but Hawaii, which lies just outside that range, has more recently discovered that in some cases, breaking with tradition can be a good thing. 6 pack of 2 oz. bars, for $60 at

One of the easiest kitchen gifts you can give from Hawaii? Traditional, unprocessed table salt, rich in natural minerals and appreciated for its reddish color. Honolulu harvester Hawaiian Pa’Akai sells on Amazon. 16 oz. medium grain for $8.98 on

Take a trip back in time with the retro offerings from Idaho Candy Company, founded in 1901 and still manufacturing only-in-Idaho sweets like the Idaho Spud bar, a chocolate covered (and coconut dusted) marshmallow confection meant to evoke the state’s other famous export. Made with agar agar instead of gelatin, the candy was originally marketed as a “healthful” alternative. 24 pack for $39, includes shipping, at

The bloomy rind Fleur du la Prairie, a goat cheese from Champaign’s Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, stylishly studded with herbs and edible flowers, is currently one of the more sought-after cheeses in the state, and while it’s not available year-round, other standouts include the Pelota Roja, a semi-hard raw cow’s milk cheese with a guajillo chile and olive oil rub, originally created for Rick Bayless. 4 oz. for $7 at

Need some fruit with that cheese? Try the bright and beautiful jams and curds from Rare Bird in Chicago; strawberry-rhubarb preserves will bring a welcome blast of warm sunshine to any dark December day. Two 8 oz. jars for $26 at

You can’t have great charcuterie without great pork, which isn’t a problem in a state like Indiana; Eley sources much of his from Gunthorp Farms, which will send you a pecan-smoked Duroc ham brined in strawberry-rhubarb cider—a marvelous addition to any Christmas table. 4 to 5 lbs for $110 at

Not even a decade has passed since the gorgeous cured meats from Norwalk’s La Quercia first walked into our lives, and already it’s difficult to imagine a time when they weren’t here. The Eckhouse family is still producing some of the most elegant prosciutto this side of the Mediterranean, but the product line has expanded considerably, and shipping nationwide is a snap. Have you not yet been introduced? Sampler pack for $89, includes shipping, at

America’s most iconic blue cheese—the one from Maytag Dairy Farms, of course—also happens to represent great value. Not only will they sell you a giant hunk online, but they also offer tubs of cold pack blue cheese spread, which we absolutely want to party with at some point. 2 lb. wheel for $37 at

Some of the best tortillas being pressed in the country right now—available commercially that is, we don’t know what goes on in your kitchen—come from Caramelo in Lawrence. Ruben Leal, a Sonora native working at the University of Kansas, started making his own when the local supply couldn’t live up to his standards. Now, his side project has gone wide—available in pork fat, duck fat, and avocado oil. Order processing can take a while, make sure to order ahead. 12 pack from $5.99 at

The grasslands of the Flint Hills seem to go on forever—happy foraging grounds, then, for the cattle that roam one of the most beautiful regions along the Great Plains. Any barbecue hobbyist ought to try the grass-fed Flint Hills brisket from Sutphen Mill Farms, one of the high-quality suppliers to Farm Foods, which ships nationwide. 1.75 to 2 lbs. for $28.99 at

For the better part of the century-plus that Broadbent’s has been turning out some of the most sought-after country ham in the country, they didn’t do anything so trifling as retail sales. Those dark days are over now, and you can have one of their dry-cured, hickory-smoked hams shipped directly to your door—for a very reasonable price, at that. 3 to 4 lbs. cooked and ready to eat country ham for $49.90 at

Didn’t polish off the whole ham at dinner? Fry up some of the leftovers for breakfast the next morning—it pairs extraordinarily well with another regional specialty, 100% pure sorghum syrup from Oberholtzer’s Sorghum Mill. 21 oz. for $18.99 at

For well over a century, Bauer’s Candies in Louisville has been cranking out the caramel-enrobed marshmallow gems known as Modjeskas, named for a Polish actress that visited the city way back when; they remain a local favorite. 20-pcs gift box, $20.50 at

Almost-winter in this part of the world means two important things, the first one being the return of the satsumas, Louisiana’s favorite citrus fruit. Jamboree Jams uses only the finest local fruit and peppers for their spicy satsuma marmalade—it’ll give your morning toast a serious kick. 9.5 oz. for $10 at

That’s one thing, what’s two? Crawfish, of course—the season will be starting up just now, and Louisiana Crawfish, the number one live-shipper around, has shipped a complete Cajun crawfish boil directly to many a door, and why not yours? 10 lbs. for $69, includes shipping, at

The arrival of the holiday season also means Turducken from Hebert’s Specialty Meats in Natchitoches. Made from a deboned turkey stuffed with a boneless duck and a whole chicken, all layered with Cajun pork cornbread stuffing, it’s something you have to try at least once in your lifetime. They also sell a delicious crawfish au gratin. 16 lb. beast for $149, includes shipping, at

Some of the most prized flours in the country right now come from Maine Grains in Skowhegan, where they mill only the best local grains. The all-organic range, from pastry flour to pearled farro, will give your holiday baking a serious upgrade this year. 2 to 2.4 lb. bags of sifted wheat flour, $22 at

Mainers really love beans, but even better, Maine-grown beans—the heirloom varietals from Baer’s Best are something of a well-kept secret, and this year’s crop is due any minute now—you know what to do. Note: There is a 5 lb. minimum for shipping. 1 lb. Jacob’s Cattle heirloom beans, $6 at

Appreciated for its medicinal qualities, chaga, a curious kind of mushroom, can be found growing on birch trees in cold climates, and Maine has all of those things in spades—The Chaga Guy forages the far northern wilds and sells his finds over the internet. 1 lb. cleaned and air dried, $20 at

Whether it’s the economy or rapidly warming waters, Maine’s most famous industry—lobster fishing—always seems to be in one kind of peril or another. Could harvesting wild kelp bring stability to the lives of lobster catchers, and help the environment to boot? That’s the bet at Atlantic Sea Farm, which works with fishermen up and down the Maine coast to create some fine, sought-after preserves. Try the entire product line for $44 at

Oak barrel-aged Chesapeake fish peppers grown on small, family farms in the region, along with sea salt harvested from an ancient, under-mountain ocean in the Appalachians, combine to create Spike Gjerde’s singular Snake Oil Hot Sauce, made famous at his pioneering Baltimore restaurant, Woodberry Kitchen. Fair warning—this is one of those condiments you might end up buying again and again. 3.4 oz. for $7.95 at

Still, it’ll take a lot of years for the relatively new arrival to sneak up on Maryland’s all-time favorite topper—why not stuff a giant can of Old Bay into the stocking of your favorite area expat, this year? 16 oz. for $11.91 at

Barely a half-hour from Boston, the bayside town of Duxbury is home to Island Creek Oysters, one of the finest operations of its kind east of the Rockies. In fine weather, an afternoon at their waterfront oyster bar is one of our favorite things, but at this time of year, trying the product from this energetic, family-owned business is something you’ll want to do at home. Oyster lovers fortunate enough to live within driving distance may order online and pick up from the retail store—for the rest of us, there’s nationwide shipping with guaranteed delivery on the day of your choice. Oyster of The Month Club, 3-month membership: $75/month for a total of $225, at

You’ll have to send a ferry (or a plane) for some of the best cheeses being produced in Massachusetts right now. The Grey Barn & Farm on Martha’s Vineyard is favored for their fragrant Prufrock, a nicely-aged, soft-rind beauty made with organic milk straight from the farm. 8 oz. for $23 at

Some of the first candies to be sold commercially on this side of the world are still being produced by the Ye Olde Pepper Candie Co. in Salem; blackjack molasses sticks are made using an 1800s recipe. 5 oz. for $5.99 at

Introduced to the Upper Peninsula in the 1800s by English miners and later adapted by Finnish immigrants, the humble pasty remains almost as much part of the cultural furniture north of the Straits of Mackinac as in their homeland of Cornwall, and the debate on who makes the best rages on. Only one thing to do, then—try as many as you can. Lawry’s in Marquette sticks close to the classic ideal: flaky crust, properly crimped along the edges, stuffed with beef, potato, onion, and rutabaga. 8-12 oz. pasties, $65.57 at

Couldn’t make it to Mackinac this year? Bring the island to you, or send it to someone in the same predicament, with a sampler from Murdick’s, which ships their iconic fudge—choose from nearly a dozen flavors—anywhere in the United States and Canada. $79.95 at

One of the things you learn, traveling along Minnesota’s wild, wonderful North Shore, is that Lake Superior was named thusly for very good reason, and when it comes time to eat around here, there’s very little as essential as the trout and whitefish pulled from the lake’s chilly waters. In a word, the state’s ultimate edible gift. Northern Waters Smokehaus in Duluth is where you’ll go, to have locally-caught smoked fish shipped; they also happen to be really good with Alaskan salmon as well, if that’s of interest to you, and we’re guessing yes. Lake Superior Bounty Box, $65 at

Send a taste of Scandinavia—lefse, cardamom-scented julekake, the works, all locally baked, from Ingebretsen’s in Minneapolis, one of the country’s last great Scandinavian delis. Get your Christmas orders in early, they’ll be busy just now. Julekake, $10 at

From the California Delta to North Florida, there’s some mighty fine rice being produced in this country. Any taste test must include the non-GMO, small-batch grains from Delta Blues Rice in Ruleville, operating from a 1,000-acre farm that’s been in the Arant family for roughly a century. Their rice (and rice grits) could turn you away from commodity rice forever. 5 lb. gift box, $25.99 at

Over in Como, Home Place Pastures is another family heirloom—around since the 1800s—that has adapted quite readily to the present day. Here, it’s all about some of the South’s highest-quality meat, a staple in many New Orleans kitchens and available for shipping nationwide. Buy a whole (or a half) cow or pig if you like, or maybe start with a sampler pack and work your way up? Generously portioned monthly boxes are a real bargain. Starting at $65 at

Looking for the best coffee roaster in Mississippi—and Louisiana and Alabama, too? Jackson’s Bean Fruit Coffee works like there’s all kinds of competition in the region, which there isn’t, not at this level, anyhow; it also happens to be one in an elite group of Black-owned coffee roasters. The current Ethiopian natural available for sale is a beaut. 12 oz., $16.50 at

For nearly a century, Alewel’s Country Meats in Warrensburg has been working hard at being one of the region’s best smokehouses, starting way back when with sausage recipes brought over from Germany and handed down in the family for generations. Today, their sugar-cured and hickory-smoked turkeys are a fixture on many holiday tables in Missouri. 9.5 lbs, $84 includes shipping, at

You probably didn’t know that Missouri is one of the largest producers of rice in the country, number four, to be precise; the 100% Jasmine from Martin Rice Company, down near New Madrid, is a regional favorite for good reason. 2 lbs. for $8, ships nationwide, at

Think you don’t like white chocolate? The singular, single-origin bars (sourced from the Philippines) made with organic cane sugar and goat’s milk from bean-to-bar pioneer Askinosie Chocolate in Springfield might just change your mind. 3 oz. for $10.50 at

Selling everything from elk jerky to jam made with the locally-favored Flathead cherries, and a fine buffalo salami, too, Chalet Market is an excellent one stop for Montana product, either sold by the piece or in prepared gift packs, for low-stress giving; curated baskets from $18.99. Belgrade is also home to the state’s finest-quality chevre, produce by Amaltheia Organic Dairy; have them ship a six-piece sampler. $42.99 at

Generations of Omahans have celebrated special occasions with the intricate Napoleon tortes made by the Mackevicius family at the Lithuanian Bakery. Something like an Eastern European interpretation of the French mille-feuille, these flaky, many-layered tortes, stuffed with pastry cream and jam, are currently being sold and shipped in the original flavor: vanilla apricot. From $59, includes shipping, at

While a bottle of salad dressing might not make the same bold statement, the unique, tomato-based Dorothy Lynch dressing that was a hit on the 1940s country club circuit in Omaha is still quite popular today in that part of the world, where it is also proudly produced. 2-32 oz. bottles, $22.90 at

Fallon’s 2,500-acre Frey Ranch was a family farm in operation for at least a century and a half before the fifth generation came up with the idea to launch Nevada’s first and only estate distillery. Their flavorful, well-reviewed straight bourbon whiskey is the Nevada gift nobody will be expecting, unless of course they’re up on the latest developments in the spirits world. 750 ml. for $54.95 at

A good deal of the credit for the long-overdue maturation of American hard cider culture goes to the pioneering work done at Farnum Hill Ciders in Lebanon, where Stephen Wood, who purchased his father’s orchard back in the 1980s, subsequently switched things up in a big way in a bid for survival, managing in the process to get a lot of people hooked on a better product. Their flavorful Extra Dry—and they do mean totally dry—is already a classic, and ships to most states. 750 ml. for $13.50 at

Okay, so they can’t agree on what to call it, but on one front, all of New Jersey is united—the pork roll, or ham, from Taylor Provisions in Trenton is the greatest processed meat of all time. No need to pine for the stuff if you’re living far away from the Garden State; fast, affordable shipping brings the quirky best friend to the breakfast sandwich right to your door in no time at all. 4-6 oz. packages for $32.99 + $14.49 shipping at

New York will claim the credit, because she’s just like that, but some of the best burgers in America are made right here in North Bergen, at Pat LaFrieda Meats. Their short rib and dry-aged steak Gold Label patties, a close cousin to the celebrated original served at Minetta Tavern in the city, are available for shipping. 8-6 oz. patties, $69, at

Been awhile since you had a proper crumb cake? Of course, if you’re from around here, you know that means more crumb, a lot more crumb, actually, than cake, not that we’re complaining. B&W Bakery in Hackensack has been making one of the best in the land for nearly a century, and they ship. Feeds 4 to 6 for $39, includes shipping, at

Here’s a little secret, if you didn’t already know: some of the best bubbles in the country come from New Mexico. Gruet, now one of the largest producers of Methode Champenoise sparkling wines in North America, was founded here back in the 1980s by a wine-making family from actual Champagne, in actual France; their domestic product offers fine value for money. 375 ml. Gruet Rose for $12.99 at

Lovely Los Poblanos in Albuquerque isn’t just one of the country’s most memorable small inns; it is also a working farm. From lavender salts to a delicious green chile jam, bringing the inn experience home with you is a snap. Gifts from $10 at

And yes, of course, Hatch chiles—in season, which is late summer into fall, the Hatch Chile Farm will ship as much fresh as you can grab from the clutches of everybody else trying to get theirs. Right now, however, they’re still shipping out roast peppers, offered in mild, medium and hot. 5 lbs. for $85 at

New York is wine country, but more than anything else, New York is Riesling country, and all doubters should be immediately gifted a bottle from the Finger Lakes. If you choose wisely, you could just end up changing hearts and minds. We’ll go ahead and suggest you start with one of the dry beauties from Hermann J. Weimer—not the newest, hippest winery in the state by any stretch, but one of the best. $19.99 at

And what’s wine, without cheese? There was always plenty of the latter being produced upstate, but the last couple of decades have gifted us with a host of new classics—triple-cream Kunik from Nettle Meadow Farm in the Adirondacks, and buttery St. Stephen from Four Fat Fowl at the upper end of the Hudson Valley deserve their place on any New York cheese plate, for starters. Both available at Murray’s Cheese

Desperately seeking kitchen inspiration this winter? Heat things up with three of our favorite New York City condiment makers—start by upgrading your spice rack with a virtual trip to Burlap & Barrel, one of the more exciting local food startups in recent memory. Samplers at

Next, pick up some of the famous house chili oil from X’ian Famous Foods, makers of some of the city’s best hand-pulled noodles, one of our favorite pre-pandemic (and, surely, post as well) weekday lunches. 12.5 fl. oz. for $16 at

Far more nuanced, more delicate, and much closer to what you’ll find across the Atlantic than your classic Southern country ham, the prized hocks from Lady Edison in Chapel Hill come from the very finest heritage pigs in North Carolina, pasture-raised and aged from 12 to 18 months. Buy a whole one and spend 2021 eating the thing, or start low and aim high—either way, they ship. 3 oz. for $19.95 at

Meherwan Irani is one of Asheville’s favorite chefs; he’s also the brains behind Spicewalla, which wants to change the way you cook at home with top-grade seasoning blends and expertly-sourced basics. Order the 18-piece starter kit—one of Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2019. $90 at

Tradition means something in this remote, relatively unpopulated state. All these years after the first migration, North Dakotans still enjoy their share of lefse, the Norwegian potato flat bread popular enough that Freddy’s in Fargo has been keeping busy since 1946 making just lefse, and only lefse; join the club and get generous monthly shipments all throughout 2021 for $300; You know what would go great with that? Jams, syrups and butters made from chokecherries, the wild (but possible to tame) bush berry that’s been designated the state fruit; pick up all of the above from Berry Dakota in Jamestown. 6 oz. for $5.50 at

Chocolate-covered potato chips have yet to be designated the official snack food of North Dakota, but the locals are crazy enough about them that it’d probably be a shoo-in; the “Chippers” made with Red River Valley potatoes from Carol Widman’s Candy Co. in Fargo—since 1885—are the preferred brand. You’ll have to fax or call in your order, but it’s worth the hassle. .5 lb. for $10.50 at

Buckeyes made with waxy chocolate and grainy peanut butter are so last century. Instead, order the luxuriously fudgy Killer Brownies—specifically the ones made with a layer of buckeye ganache—from Dorothy Lane Market, a Dayton institution (and one of the country’s finest small supermarket chains). They also sell thoughtful gift boxes overstuffed with Ohio product. 4-pack brownies for $20 at

During less weird years, everybody loves an edible adventure in Holmes County, otherwise known around Ohio as Amish country. Fortunately, bringing the good stuff home without actually going there can be quite easy. Start with that famous ring bologna from Troyer, producing in tiny Trail since forever; $8.59 via Walnut Creek Cheese. No tasteless buckeyes at Coblentz Chocolates in Walnut Creek, which churns out classic, crowd-pleasing sweets galore to a high standard; 1 lb. chocolate covered pretzel rods, $22.95.

A stop for free samples at Guggisberg Cheese is de rigueur. This year, have a 4 lb. wheel of their famous baby Swiss sent to you—a bargain at $29.99. And finally, what’s a Holmes County weekend without one too many fry pies? Snag a dozen from Der Dutchman, you can choose from a variety of flavors, just like IRL. $19.99 at

We’re not even going to let all of those artisanal newcomers finish—some of the best ice cream of all time, including a Buckeye flavor, obviously, still comes from Graeter’s, a Cincinnati favorite since the 1800s. Their deep purple, chunky-with-dark-chocolate Black Raspberry Chip is pretty much peak American ice cream, now, always and forever. 12 pints for $119.95, guaranteed to arrive frozen, at

Certain other states are more famous for their pecans, but they’re actually native to Oklahoma, unlike certain other states; Miller Pecan Company in Afton is one of the only producers in the country seeing the process through from planting to packaging. They sell in bulk for bakers, but are also great at candying, roasting, and flavoring. Their creative butterscotch candied pecans are just, wow. 8 oz. for $6.52 at

The Salami of the Month Club from Olympia Provisions in Portland is a club we’d very much like to be a member of, and we’re guessing, so would anybody who appreciates the finer things in life. A pioneer in the modern American cured meats trade, they’re still one of the best out there. 4.5 oz. per month, $240, via Food 52

Founded between the world wars and relaunched in 2002, Central Point’s trendsetting Rogue Creamery has become one of the country’s finest cheesemakers. Domestically, you’ll find their blues difficult to beat—the natural-rind Caveman is a real knockout. 1 lb. $40, via Murray’s Cheese

Have you invited smoked sea salt into your life? Because it’s never too late. While we’ve yet to come across one that we didn’t love, Jacobsen Salt Co. smokes theirs over cherrywood—the perfect finish to, well, pretty much whatever’s cooking. <em>4.2 oz. for $14.95 at</em>

While you’re shopping local, don’t forget a bottle of something good— carries a great selection of affordable Oregon wines.

When Justin Severino isn’t busy running some of the top restaurants in Pittsburgh, he’s making some of the country’s best charcuterie at Salty Pork Bits, combining classic technique with some seriously modern flavors—Negroni salami, anyone? (The answer is yes, please.) 7 salami sampler pack for $79 at

There’s way too much to eat in Lancaster County, America’s flagship Amish country, but two things—whoopie pies, and those Old World, molasses-rich shoo-fly pies ought to be at the top of your list, if you’ve never tried them. McClure’s Bakery in Gap bakes both, and they’re skilled at nationwide shipping—something you don’t take for granted in a place where a lot of the locals still don’t have telephones. One dozen whoopie pies, $35, shoo-fly pie, $37, includes shipping at

Stately homes and some of the best ocean views around aren’t the only attractions along Ocean Drive in Newport—the Newport Sea Salt Co. hand-harvests culinary-grade flaky salts from this same treasured bit of coastline. Look for their creative seasoning blends, including a collaboration with the Ocean State Pepper Co., makers of Devil Dust, a popular, home-grown spice blend. 2 oz. jar for $15, 2 oz. refills for $12 at

Only the highest quality Berkshire pork goes into the charcuterie and sausages at Gastros, some of the best in New England. If you live nearby, they’re also quite adept at butchery, sourcing American Wagyu for great steaks. 7 oz. dry-aged salami starting at $13

Defying the incessant humidity of the Lowcountry to mill some of the South’s finest grits, Marsh Hen Mill (formerly known as Geechie Boy) coarse-grinds heirloom corn for shipping all over the country, starting with top restaurants—some all the way out on the West Coast. 24 oz. for $16.40 at

Using only top-quality South Carolina sugarcane is the secret behind the 2018 Lowcountry Agricole Rum from Charleston’s High Wire Distillery; snap up one of the remaining bottles at Astor Place Wines. 750 ml. for $99.99 at

Savvy Midwest cooks know that if you’re searching for the perfect Christmas goose, there’s little point reinventing the wheel when you can simply pick up one of the hickory-smoked beauties from Schiltz Foods in Sisseton. They’ve been at it since the world wars, they’re pros at shipping, and once your bird arrives, preparation is a snap. More time to sit around watching Hallmark Christmas movies sounds good to us. 5 to 6 lbs. for $106.40 at

Locally-grown grapes, chokecherries, crabapples and local honey go into the curious—and quite popular—wines made by Prairie Berry Winery in the Black Hills; they’ll ship direct to most states. The Lawrence Elk, a surprising black currant wine with raspberry and juniper notes, pays tribute to South Dakota’s own Lawrence Welk. $19 at

Called the godfather of Tennessee whiskey, Nearest Green was the first documented Black master distiller, back in earlier days. Today, the multiple award-winning Uncle Nearest Whiskey not only pays tribute to a historically important figure, it’s also damn good. Start with the 1856 Premium Aged Whiskey. 750 ml. $59.95 at

Also extremely historically important to Tennessee—and everywhere, really—is Dolly Parton, who not only has an album out this Christmas, but has also partnered with Williams-Sonoma to create a little holiday pop-up store, because don’t we all need a gingerbread house centerpiece replica of Miss Parton’s childhood log cabin home in the Smoky Mountains? (The answer is, of course we do.) $129.95 at

Beginning life as the best modern butcher shop in Nashville, Porter Road has become a national brand, sourcing top-quality beef from small family farms around the region, dry-aging the good stuff for a minimum of 14 days, and then shipping nationwide on demand. 6 lb. gift boxes, $50 at

Prefer to do the cooking yourself? Make like many a Texas chef and source your beef straight from 44 Ranch—they also make terrific tamales for the holidays. Tomahawk ribeye steaks for $49.95

Winter means citrus season in the Rio Grande Valley. Send sweet ruby red grapefruit—and a blast of South Texas sunshine—to any unlucky lucky loved ones up north, directly from Crockett Farms. 5 lbs. 4-pack, $15.95 at

With a pandemic kicking off just as another season was set to begin at Hell’s Backbone Grill & Farm, one of Utah’s loveliest (and most remote) restaurants, a visit to tiny Boulder might not have been in the cards for you this year. But it’s not too late to salvage scrapped plans—from black powder biscuit mix to freshly-baked granola, the Experience Brunch at Hell’s Backbone gift box brings at least a piece of the experience to your doorstep. $100 includes more than a dozen items at

For reasons, the Beehive State is home to an outsized number of capable chocolatiers, many of them adhering to the highest standards on sourcing and sustainability. A wide selection of the finished product—start with the irreverent, exciting offerings from Salt Lake’s Solstice—can be purchased online. 2.3 oz bars from $8.99 at

As if we didn’t love Vermont cheese enough, along came Jasper Hill Farm, back in 2003, winning hearts with their funkadelic, soft-ripened Harbison, Winnemere, and Greensward varieties, all of them best eaten, very slowly, with a spoon. Find them all, based on availability, at Murray’s. 9 oz. Harbison for $23 at

All Vermont maple syrup is good maple syrup, generally speaking, but the organic, infused varieties from Runamok in Fairfax are something of a revelation; warming cardamom makes a winter comfort classic even cozier. 2-8.45 oz. bottles for $45 at

Regional oystering tradition received a massive shot in the arm when cousins Ryan and Travis Croxton revived the century-old family business back in 2001; today, the Rappahannock Oyster Company name is well-known in kitchens and markets up and down the Eastern Seaboard. Order 100 Rappahannock River oysters—the backbone of the operation from the earliest days—and receive free shipping. $149 at

Move your Virginia-themed celebration right along with a fine, dry-cured ham from Edwards Virginia Smokehouse. The petite, never aged for less than 90 days, serves 12. $69, includes shipping, at

What’s a feast without a cheese course? The Alpine-style award winners from Meadow Creek Farms in Galax are a must-try for anybody interested in upping their Virginia cheese aptitude—not to mention their dinner party cred. Sampler for $65 at

Ever had Virginia peanuts? What can be said, except that they’re just better. And they make great stocking stuffers. Get a sampler pack of four flavors—including Old Bay-seasoned, naturally. $29.87 from the Virginia Diner, at

A remote home base and sometimes limited distribution conspire to keep some of Washington’s best wines out of the hands of your average American wine drinker, but making the effort is more than worth your while; why not try (or gift) some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon from Walla Walla this Christmas? Seven Hills Winery was an early arrival on the modern winemaking scene in the valley; the nice-and-aged 2013 is $51.99 at Relative newcomer Doubleback is made by two local guys who decided to go into the wine business together, one of whom happens to be retired Patriots QB Drew Bledsoe. <em>2017 for $124.99 at</em>

Upgrade your tinned fish situation with smoked Northwest mussels and oysters from Taylor Shellfish Farm—they’re not only delicious, but they also ship easier (and cheaper) than fresh, and they’re shelf stable for up to four years. 6-can sampler for $60 at

Dungeness crab season may have been delayed in California this year, but in Washington, things should be in full swing until New Year’s; the highly-regarded Lummi Island Wild collectiveships cooked Salish Sea monsters—prep takes about five minutes once you defrost, no hassle at all. 2 lbs. for $149 includes shipping at

West Virginia’s landlocked status has been part of its brand since the big fight with the neighbors back in 1861, but there’s a lot more going on beneath those mountains than coal. For seven generations, the family-run J.Q. Dickinson has been mining some terrific sea salt from a lost, underground ocean near Charleston. Look for other artisanal local products on their site, such as sea salt bars from Appalachian Chocolate Co. in Shepherdstown. $24 per pound at

Modern spirits culture in Appalachia isn’t limited to high-end moonshine; start a conversation with any bourbon loving pal with a gift of the sought-after Old Scout from Greenbrier County’s Smooth Ambler, distilled from local grains. 750 ml. for $50.99 at

A wintertime tradition in the French and Swiss Alps, soft, fragrant, raw milk Vacherin Mont D’Or is a taste, once developed, that’s hard to forget. The prized, pudding-like Rush Creek Reserve from Uplands Cheese (makers of the equally acclaimed Pleasant Ridge Reserve) in Dodgeville is about as close as you’ll come to the original article on this side of the Atlantic. $35 at

Feed a homesick Dutchman some of Marieke Penterman’s aged gouda and they might swear they were back in the old country—from her family farm way up in Thorp (just for the giant, fiberglass cow), Marieke Gouda is doing some of the finest work in the category, here in North America. [tempo-ecommerce src=””>$30/lb. at <a href=” title=”murrayscheese” context=”body” sid=””/].com

The holidays aren’t complete—neither is any given Sunday, quite frankly—in Southeast Wisconsin without a flaky, multi-layered Racine-style kringle, a highly regional variation on the Danish original dating back to the 1800s. O&H Danish Bakery is rather adept at meeting demand among the expat community, though you don’t have to hail from that part of the world to become a fan. $54.98 for a 2-pack at

A group of classic cocktail lovers this committed you will not find, not this far north of New Orleans, anyway. The snazzy, small batch Bloody Mary Kit from Bushel & Peck’s in Beloit will spice up your next brunch party. $40 at

The state’s first legal distillery since prohibition is putting the tiny, way-out-there town of Kirby—population 92—on the map in recent years. Wyoming Whiskey makes a warm, smooth, double cask whiskey aged in sherry barrels that has garnered considerable national acclaim. 750 ml. for $69.99 at