What did you buy -- and eat -- at Artisanal L.A.? [Updated]
I walked out of Artisanal L.A. weighed down with three shopping bags filled with jellies, sauces, coconut snowballs from Cake Monkey, thick-sliced pepper bacon from Cast Iron Gourmet, stone ground lime-and-sea salt chocolates from Chocovivo, the Meyer lemon-infused olive oil from Global Gardens and so much more. It's a good thing I was on a sugar-and-caffeine high, thanks to all my sampling and the pour from Cafe de Leche. (I call it "research.")
Held over two days in the ultra-hip historic Cooper Building in downtown L.A., Artisanal L.A. gave us a jump on holiday shopping, a one-stop guide to home-grown artisan foods and crafts and a reminder of the creative diversity in and around L.A. (Yeah, we all know that, but seeing so much in one place underscored it.) Also inspiring: The stories of the artisans themselves, who followed their gut instincts and a dream to launch their own businesses.
Here, in no particular order, is a look at a few of my purchases, a few of the things that caught my eye, a few of the things that I loved, and a few of the things I wish I'd bought. By far, the single best thing I ate was the Breakfast Cake from My Delight Cupcakery in Ontario: It was like a buttermilk pancake, whipped maple syrup and bacon in a cupcake. I can't believe that I didn't buy a dozen. What did you try and buy at Artisanal L.A.? Rumor has it that another Artisanal L.A. is in the works, so stay tuned....
Sweet and spicy grill glaze from Sauce Goddess.
Jalepeno cotton candy was just one of the flavors at Bernod Group.
There were several sweetened goat cheese mixes, including this one from Drake Family Farms in Ontario, made with apricots and honey.
The sweet-and-spicy Hellfire pepper jelly from Jenkins Jellies. I bought a jar.
There were bacon-infused jams, jellies, sauces, brittles, chocolates and caramels, including this one from Morning Glory Confections.
The Dracula oven mit from Collisionware.
I snapped up some champagne mustard from SoNo Trading Company.
I was introduced to the caffeinated delights of Cold Brew & Cola, which I am told is all the rage for Hollywood movie insiders, and coming soon to the rest of us. It's "Mexican" Coke (Coke made with real sugar and not HFCS) poured over frozen coffee ice cubes. When the cubes melt, the drink becomes syrupy.... I'm getting a buzz just from the memory of it all.
-- Rene Lynch
Twitter.com / renelynch
[Updated at 6:06 p.m.: An earlier version of this post said the Breakfast Cake came from Cupcakery in Ontario. The full name of the bakery is My Delight Cupcakery.]