Online Resource: Regional Best

Online Resource: Regional Best is a new e-commerce site offering hundreds of foods that are raised, caught or produced by local artisans. Foods appealing to me right now are Maryland blue crab cakes, Idaho grass-fed lamb, and handcrafted pork sausage from Utah.

What I like about the site is that it tells the story behind each food. Take, Beehive Cheese Company, for example.

"Utah's Beehive Cheese Company's Tim Welsh and Pat Ford left the fast-paced world of software and real estate seeking a more simple life as artisan cheesemakers. They traded in their grinding traffic commute for quiet mornings sitting with 500 gallons of farm-fresh milk. Their award-winning, labor-intensive, Barely Buzzed cheese is hand-rubbed with a blend of lavender and espresso."

I'm not totally sold on the marriage between lavender and espresso, but hearing the story endears me to the product instantly, a second best alternative to the long chit-chats I like to have with farmers at the farmers' market.

Proprietors Marsha and Caragh say "We support sustainable, eco-friendly farming and production practices," which is a nice idea, although I wonder how that translates literally to the inventory. Most products do seem to fall, at least vaguely, into the sustainable category.

While I still try to buy my food from local proprietors who do not need to use UPS to get me the goods, Regional Best is a great resource for hard-to-find ingredients or for those on your gift-list who love artisanal foods.

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