In honor of Colorado's 135th birthday, our ten favorite Colorado food and drink products

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Today, Colorado marks a major milestone: The state is celebrating its 135th birthday, and in honor of the anniversary, we're giving shout-outs to ten of our favorite food and drink products made in our own back yard.

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Lori Midson
10. MM Local hot high desert peppers

MM Local, based in Boulder, partners with local farms to make (and jar) a whole smorgasbord of Colorado products, but my favorite is the hot high desert peppers, a spicy bomb of mixed chiles, grown by Grant Family Farms, pickled in vinegar and seasoned with garlic, salt and spices. They're delicious on their own, in salsas, or green chile.

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9. Helliemae's salt caramels

Salted caramels are here, there and everywhere, and while I've never met a salted caramel that I didn't like, I recently discovered the handcrafted sensations from Ellen Daehnick, aka Helliemae -- and I can't shove them in my mouth fast enough. Deep tawny in color, rich with butter, vanilla, cream and pure cane sugar, and soft and chewy, they're judiciously sprinkled with sea salt (from the Savory Spice Shop) and packaged in pretty paper wrappers.

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Lori Midson
8. Il Mondo Vecchio sausages

I've long had a love affair with just about everything that Mark DeNittis creates at Il Mondo Vecchio, his revered sausage and salumi emporium that pimps everything from breakfast sausage to Portuguese longanzia to the best pepperoni on the planet. He's constantly coming up with new creations, each one impossibly better than the last, and his flavor profiles are spot-on. There's a reason that chefs all over the state call him the salumi king: He is.

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7. Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy Queso De Mano cheese

Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy, which started as a small farm in Boulder in 1989, has grown by leaps and bounds over the years, so much so that it quickly outgrew its seven-acre farm and now operates a 5,000-square-foot creamery in Longmont, complete with four aging rooms. But while the cheesery has achieved a national stronghold, it's never compromised its local roots, and the cheeses, of which there are now sixteen, continue to impress, most notably the nutty queso de mano.

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Marc Piscotty
6. Colorado lamb

Colorado is the fourth largest sheep and lamb producer in the United States, and if you ask just about any Colorado chef what their favorite state product is, you'll hear a resounding, unified chorus of Colorado lamb, which is milder -- much -- than its New Zealand counterpart. But it's not just Colorado chefs (and me) who herald its attributes; chefs from all over the country put it on their menus, thanks to it faultless texture, versatility and unparalleled flavor.


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14 comments
Still wrong
Still wrong

No love for longtime local products, e.g., Hammonds?  Not cool.

Allchef
Allchef

Udi's Granola, Colorado born and raised!

Chris Cole
Chris Cole

Morning FRESH dairy...not morning star....jeez

GFTW
GFTW

Stranahan's is definitely some damn good whiskey, and expensive.

Jennifoodie
Jennifoodie

Good call on the nut butter. The Justin's maple is the key ingredient in Jenn's "Banana-Nut-Butter Surprise." I won't give away the secret recipe, but there is a flour tortilla involved.

GFTW
GFTW

"I've long had a love affair with just about everything that Mark DeNittis creates at Il Mondo Vecchio"

Long = the two years since IMV opened, or 2010 when it was first mentioned in WW?

sarah
sarah

SilverTree Vodka!

Jody
Jody

Give Boulder Granola a chance!  Just one taste, please!

Lori Midson
Lori Midson

 So sorry, Chris. Honest mistake. It's fixed.

Chris Cole
Chris Cole

...we're supposed to be hyping up our local producers. Please at least get their name right.

Still wrong
Still wrong

AND not available in "triple" the geography.  A a matter of fact, since they were bought out, I can no longer get it on the East Coast.  I used to be able to at least special order it.  No longer.  So that increased production has resulted in...decreased geographic reach.

Lori Midson
Lori Midson

Since I first tried their products long before Mark opened the plant.

Chris Cole
Chris Cole

Thanks for the local love though!

Chris Cole
Chris Cole

I work at a Whole Foods.... If I hadn't mentioned it, I'd be answering the "Where is the Morning star yogurt" question ALL day. teehee

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