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Mouth + CH 2013 Holiday Fix

Salty or sweet, sample the best of indie food with these three collections—selected by yours truly

by CH Editors in Food + Drink on 04 December 2013

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It's no secret that we're pretty enthusiastic about food here at CH, as we scour all corners of the country to find the most mouth-watering, handmade culinary offerings from people who've taken risks—and succeeded. We teamed up once again this year with our friends at Mouth—the go-to online purveyors of indie food—to offer a limited-edition holiday taster of our favorite new foods we discovered this year; the stories behind the small-batch goods are often as compelling as the product itself. Organized into "Salty" or "Sweet," these sets of assorted edibles make perfect gifts for anyone; from the highbrow epicurean to the adventurous type. For those who want the best of both worlds, here's an in-depth look of what's inside the combination Cool Hunting Holiday Sweet + Salt Fix (which comes with a bonus bag of Tate's gluten-free double chocolate chip cookies).

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With its bright colors that pop, Dreams Come Chew from Portland-based QUIN Candy immediately catches the eye. It's essentially a natural, real fruit-based version of Starbursts that comes in four different flavors (cherry, strawberry, lemon and tangerine). For something a little more savory, the Chocolate Lab's Vanilla Nougat Goat Milk Caramel Bar, made in Savannah, Georgia, is a unique explosion of creaminess in the mouth and uses local dairy and honey, as well as mostly organic ingredients.

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Change things up by sipping chocolate in oozing, melted form during the next blizzard (or just movie night) with a Drinking Chocolate Kit from Twenty-Four Blackbirds, the bean to bar chocolate makers in Santa Barbara, California. The chocolate is only partially tempered, so it melts into a rich brew that's completely adjustable to your taste. Toss in some Wondermade Peppermint Marshmallows, made with love in Florida without a single drop of corn syrup.

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On with the salt! Blending just two ingredients—California green olives and Californian extra virgin olive oil—this velvety tapenade from Sutter Buttes, spread on slices of toasted baguette along with a little chèvre, might have you forgoing the main course. Or use it as dip with these extra crispy Za'atar Lavash Crackers from NY-based Hot Bread Kitchen, which supports foreign-born and low-income bakers-in-training.

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The Bamboo Ladies in North Carolina use a family recipe that's been passed down three generations to make pickled bamboo shoots from bamboo harvested in their own grove. It's an easy way to add an exotic touch to a salad or dinner setting. Last but not least is Borsellino salami from Iowa-based La Quercia, made from humanely raised local pork and dry-cured with salt (and no preservatives), which makes a thoughtful appetizer or second lunch.

The Cool Hunting Holiday Fix sets range from $45 to $90 and are available exclusively through Mouth. The Holiday Fix, as well as other unique kitchen additions from Antler Beer Taps to our most-trusted slow juicer and more can be found in our 2013 Gift Guide—be sure to check back regularly as it's updated daily.

Images courtesy of Mouth

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