Utah may be famous for low-brow foods such as fry sauce, funeral potatoes and deep-fried scones, but we have a gourmet side, too.
The state boasts a growing number of award-winning ingredients, from salami and cheese to chocolate and whiskey. These artisan products will cost more than their mass-produced counterparts, but they make a welcome holiday gift for cooks and food-lovers. (And isn't that all of us?)
Listed here, in alphabetical order, are 10 of our favorite finds with epicurean flair.
1. Amano Artisan Chocolate • The single-bean dark-chocolate bars, sourced from the best cocoa-growing regions of the world, have brought chocolatier Art Pollard national and international recognition.
2. Artisan cheeses • While there are several cheeses produced in the state, three stand out for the ingredients and care they put into their products: aged cheddars from Uintah's Beehive Cheese Co.; sheep's milk cheeses from Eden's Snowy Mountain Sheep Creamery; and aged Gouda and GruyÃ¨re from Richmond's Rockhill Creamery.
3. Creminelli salami • Cristiano Creminelli creates handmade salami and sausages using natural ingredients and the same recipe that his Italian ancestors have followed for centuries.
4. High West whiskey • Owner Dave Perkins revived a favorite spirit of the Old West when he launched his small-batch distillery and started blending rye whiskeys that had been aged in oak.
5. Les Madeleines Kouing-aman • Romina Rasmussen is one of the few American bakers to master this French specialty, which is difficult to pronounce kween a-mon but very satisfying to eat. The crisp caramelized outer shell, wrapped around layers of buttery, goodness is irresistible.
6. Microbrewed beer • Utah may be known for our weak 3.2 beer, but the brewmasters at Uinta, Wasatch, Squatters and Epic breweries are making high-octane brews that bust the stereotype. Many of these beers are akin to a fine wine aged in oak barrels with corked closures.
7. Nu Nooz pasta • Chef-owner Kyle Lore doesn't skimp on ingredients when it comes to making his fresh and dried pastas. He uses high-protein flour that gives his noodles the proper "spring" and he shapes the dough using a bronze extruder the same metal used by ancient Romans.
8. Real Salt • This pink-hued salt the last remnants of an ancient sea is mined from an underground deposit near the central Utah town of Redmond. It's rich in minerals, but contains no additives or chemicals and endures no heat processing.
9. Slide Ridge Honey Wine Vinegar • Cache Valley beekeeper Martin James transforms the golden honey he produces into gourmet vinegar that's reminiscent of European offerings.
10. Weeks Black Currant Juice • The tiny Cache Valley farming town of Paradise is one of only a handful of places in North America that grows the health-packed black currant. The Weeks family turn these juicy berries into a mild, sweet-tasting elixir.
Utah gourmet products can be found at some of the production sites listed below, and in stores and specialty shops all over the state. Call or visit the company website to find a location near you or to order online. Beer and spirits also are available at Utah state liquor stores.
Amano Artisan Chocolate • 496 S. 1325 West, Orem; 801-655-1996 or amanochocolate.com
Beehive Cheese Co. • 2440 E. 6600 South, Uintah; 801-476-0900 or beehivecheese.com
Tony Caputo's Market & Deli • 314 W. 300 South, Salt Lake City or http://www.caputosdeli.com. Carries several gourmet Utah products.
Creminelli Fine Meats • 310 Wright Brothers Drive, Salt Lake City; 801-428-1820 or creminelli.com
Epic Brewing Co. • 825 S. State St., Salt Lake City; 801-906-0123 or epicbrewing.com
High West Distillery • 703 Park Ave., Park City; 435-649-8300 or highwest.com
Les Madeleines • 216 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City; 801-355-2294 or les-madeleines.com
Liberty Heights Fresh • 1290 S. 1100 East, Salt Lake City; 801-467-2434 or libertyheightsfresh.com. Carries several gourmet Utah products.
Nu Nooz Pasta • 801-549-7358
Real Salt • available in most grocery stores or realsalt.com
Rockhill Creamery • 563 S. State St., Richmond; 435-258-1278 or rockhillcheese.com
Slide Ridge Honey • 475 E. 250 South, Mendon; 435-752-4956 or slideridgehoney.com
Snowy Mountain Sheep Creamery • 2111 N. 5500 East, Eden; 801-745-0388 or snowymountainsheepcreamery.com
Squatters Pub Brewery • 147 W. 300 South, Salt Lake City; 801-363-2739 or squatters.com
Uinta Brewing • 1722 Fremont Drive, Salt Lake City; 801-467-0909 or uintabrewing.com
Wasatch Pub and Brewery • 250 Main St., Park City; 435-649-0900 or wasatchbeers.com
Weeks Berries of Paradise • 8650 S. 800 East, Paradise; 435-245-3377 or weeksberries.com
Have we missed one of your favorite locally made gourmet food items? Send a description of the product, and why it's unique, to email@example.com, which we will consider for a future story.