Sunday, June 7, 2009

Obscure Local Foods

This morning, I made myself an egg sandwich on a bagel and poured myself a tall glass of coffee milk to go with it. As I did so, I realized how lucky I was to have coffee milk, it being a local product that is difficult to get outside of the MA-CT-RI tri-state area.

For those not in the know, coffee milk is not just coffee and milk. It's made from a very sweet coffee-flavored syrup that, to my knowledge, has only ever been produced by the Autocrat Coffee Company and Eclipse, both Rhode Island-based companies. The Eclipse brand is now owned by Autocrat. According to their website, Eclipse syrup is known to be slightly less sweet than Autocrat syrup with a stronger coffee flavor. In any event, they're both made from real coffee and lots of sugar. You simply add a few tablespoons of syrup to a glass of milk, much as you would chocolate syrup, and you have coffee milk.

It's not bitter like real coffee, so even people who don't drink coffee (like me) often like it. Kids love it, though you should keep in mind the sugar content and that it does contain a bit of caffiene (about 1/8 of what you'd find in a mug of real coffee). Around here, you can even find coffee milk pre-mixed in serving-sized bottles alongside chocolate and strawberry milk at the market, convenience store, or pastry shop. It's Rhode Island's official "State Drink".

As I sit here, sipping and enjoying my coffee milk, it makes me wonder what foods other people know of from their hometown that aren't available elsewhere. I'm not talking about local recipes. I'm talking about unique local manufactured products that you simply can't find outside of a geographic area. Is there one from your hometown???

1 comment:

  1. Fresh, homemade sauerkraut! It's available in the wintertime back down in Lancaster, PA, but I've never seen it anywhere else. I'm not talking about the stuff in a bag or a jar - fresh sauerkraut comes in a deli container, sold by the pound. You generally have to check the newspaper to find out where you can get it - people's homes, farms, roadside stands. If you're lucky, you'll find someone who also butchers hogs and sells pork roasts to have with it, just in time for New Year's Day dinner! YUM.


I welcome comments. However, please be courteous of others when commenting. I always reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.