12 Artisanal Gifts Made in Brooklyn for the Foodie in Your Life
Brooklyn has become a culinary powerhouse in the past decade. "Everyone you go, whether you're in Australia or England or Paris even, they're referencing Brooklyn in some way," chef Anthony Bourdain writes. "We're looking at the Brooklynization of the world at this point." If that means more handmade, created on-site, locally sourced, farm-to-table wonders in the world, consider us in.
No one is prouder of Brooklyn's new crop of culinary superstars than Susanne König and Melissa Schreiber. The writing duo joined forces with photographer Heather Weston to capture this delicious moment in the food world with their new book Made in Brooklyn: An Essential Guide to the Borough's Artisanal Food & Drink Makers ($26, amazon.com). From Bay Ridge to Williamsburg, the book is a curated guide to where to go to get hand-dipped chocolates, bagels made with old-school techniques, organic caramels finished using antique machines, and the best cup of coffee you'll ever have (promise). König and Schreiber lovingly profile the people behind the delicacies and those creative geniuses repay the favor by pulling back the curtain to show off their craft.
Made in Brooklyn is the next best thing to actually eating your way through the borough. Better yet, if you can't make it to the shops and bakeries in person, we selected 12 of the lovingly profiled artisans in the new book that you can support online. Read on and get ready to start your holiday shopping early this year—just make sure you get a little something extra for yourself.
Ample Hills Creamery's Ice Cream
Owner: Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna
Once upon a time, Brooklyn was a lush greenscape where cows roamed and there was no such thing as "artificial flavoring." American poet Walt Whitman wrote of the pastoral paradise in the poem Crossing Brooklyn Ferry: "I too lived. Brooklyn of ample hills was mine..." That poem inspired owners Smith and Cuscuna's return-to-simpler-times approach to ice cream. Their icy goodness is made from scratch on-site with local ingredients and absolutely no extracts. Get a taste of their super-indulgent ice cream flavors (including Salted Crack Caramel, Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, and more) via their online shop. Bonus: free shipping on orders to the continental U.S.!
Brooklyn Brine's Pickles
Owner: Shamus Jones
The deli staple got a decidedly hipster makeover in the hands of Jones, owner of Brooklyn Brine. A massive quantity of handmade pickles are created (10,000 jars a week!) in Gowanus, Brooklyn with complex flavors like whiskey sour, spicy maple bourbon, and more. Jones and his brine-soaked crew have lent their pickling skills to veggies as well to create some of the tastiest beets, carrots, and green beans we're ever had. Can't make it to Brooklyn? Shop online and Brooklyn Brine will ship your pickles as far as South Africa, China, Japan, and beyond.
Fine & Raw's Chocolates
Owner: Daniel Sklaar
Daniel and his crew of merry chocolatiers make magic in a former garage space in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Sklaar, an ex-Wall Street suit, studied as a raw chef and applies those techniques to his Fine & Raw chocolate bars and truffles. The small-batch artisan chocolates are made with organic ingredients and are free of refined sugars, dairy, and artificial ingredients. That attention to chocolate purity, plus the super cute pin-up girl packaging, have made Fine & Raw a hipster favorite.
Grady's Cold Brew Coffee
Owners: Grady Laird, Dave Sands, and Kyle Buckley
Listen up, java lovers: This is the secret to the perfect iced coffee. Grady's Cold Brew is a rich, New Orleans-style chicory coffee made into a cold-brewed concentrate, meant to be mixed evenly with milk or water and poured over ice for a delicious caffeine buzz that will last all afternoon. Brewed in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, the coffee beans used in Grady's magical elixir are locally sourced from the Porto Rico Importing Co. in nearby Manhattan.
The Good Batch's Cookies, Pies, Ice Cream Sandwiches, and More
Owners: Anna Gordon and Steven Hartong
Husband and wife team Gordon and Hartong have been soothing Brooklyn sugar cravings since they first brought their classic Dutch treats, stroopwafels, to the Brooklyn Flea in 2010. Their business quickly expanded to a bakery in Clinton Hill with a dizzying line-up of Pinterest-worthy pies, custom cakes, fudgy brownies, and some of the best cookies you'll ever eat. Just how good are those cookies? The Good Batch's ginger molasses cookies are currently featured in Häagen-Dazs's artisan ice cream collection.
Morris Kitchen's Cocktail Syrups
Owner: Kari Morris
Boring cocktails should be banned, as far as Morris is concerned. She is on a one-woman mission to elevate your everyday drink and make sure each sip is special. Founded in 2009, Morris Kitchen creates artisanal syrups (like grapefruit hibiscus, pineapple lime, spiced apple, and more) that will make your cocktails sparkle.
Baked's Cookies, Cakes, and More Confections
Owners: Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
From a humble bake shop in Red Hook, Brooklyn, owners Lewis and Poliafito nursed a lifelong dream to make cakes and coffee into a cult following, 4 best-selling cookbooks, and a vintage-inspired bakeware line. How? With a little gumption and a whole lot of delicious recipes.
Salty Road's Salt Water Taffy
Owner: Marisa Wu
Brooklyn confectioner Wu creates retro goodness in the form of salt water taffy. She whips up the boardwalk staple in small batches from real fruit puree, herbs, spices, and coarse sea salt. The taffy is then cut and packaged using antique machines from the 1940s.
Liddabit Sweets's Candy and Caramel Corn
Owners: Liz Gutman and Jen King
Made with love and local ingredients, Liddabit Sweets are yummy candies, handmade in Brooklyn since 2009. Owners Gutman and King met in pastry school and bonded over their shared passion for all things scrumptious. Today, their busy kitchens churn out chocolate bars, lollipops, caramel corn, honeycomb candy, and more—all made the old-fashioned way. Overwhelmed with Liddabit's sugar heaven? We love the beer and pretzels caramels, made with beer from Brooklyn Brewery and New York City's Martin's Pretzels.
Owners: Barella and Leon Pelzer Kirkland
When the husband and wife Pelzer team set out to quench Leon's homesick craving for a soft pretzel from his hometown of Philadelphia, they had no idea that they would end up baking hundreds of the treats daily for hungry Brooklynites. Lucky for us, the Pelzer's pretzel recipe was just too good to keep to themselves! Twisted into a bowtie, the comfort food comes in several mouth-watering flavors (hello, jalapeño cheddar!) and is available online for residents outside the five boroughs.
Bellocq Tea Atelier's Tea Blends
Owners: Heidi Johannsen Stewart and Michael Shannon
American companies get a bad rap when it comes to tea, but that's only because aficionados haven't tried Bellocq Tea Atelier yet. Friends Johannsen Stewart and Shannon joined together to create teas that were more poetry than product. Single-estate leaves are hand blended the old-fashioned way in Greenpoint, Brooklyn—promising to soothe and comfort the way only a perfect cuppa can.
Colson Patisserie's French and Belgian Pastries
Owner: Yonatan Israel
Step into one of Colson Patisserie's charming Brooklyn bakeries and you'll be treated to the golden smells of perfectly crafted waffles, croissants, tarts, and more heavenly treats. Thousands of boxes of buttery goodness are shipped out of owner Israel's business daily to shops, markets, and restaurants all over New York City. If you want to wake up like a true New Yorker, shop their site for the most delicious (and Instagram-worthy) breakfast ever.