Yesterday I went on the hunt for Massachusetts-made goods to fulfill my lost wager on the Bruins in the NHL Playoffs. To my surprise, I found a lot of fun and interesting foods, and I’ve gained a new appreciation for what’s manufactured in my state.
To find all of these things, I did one of my favorite activities: Grocery store perusal. Whenever I go to a grocery store that’s new to me, I love to walk up and down each aisle and look at all the products. It’s a hobby that drives my husband nuts, but I love seeing all of the regional differences groceries can have, even though we have so many national brands. It’s thanks to this hobby that I got turned on to things like Hawaiian animal crackers, which I wouldn’t have found if I hadn’t gone poking around the cookie aisle (a place I don’t normally frequent) when visiting Hawaii.
In completing this task, I wandered each aisle, and every time I came across a brand I didn’t recognize, I took the product off the shelf and found out where it was made. While it was interesting to see brands coming out of Wisconsin, North Dakota, Iowa, Tennessee and Idaho, I found a lot of products that are made in my state–and some of these I regularly use but didn’t know they were made so close to home.
My friend will now have peanut butter, strawberry preserves, several kinds of chips, coffee, marshmallow fluff, cranberry mustard, applesauce, salad dressing, chili mix, oyster crackers, peanut butter crackers, stuffing mix, Craisins and microcreamery hot fudge. I’ll also make some whoopie pies (because really, the whoopie pie is the best way to consume marshmallow fluff). The basket is either going to be a hit, or it could be like one of those gourmet gift baskets where you look at half of the contents and wonder who’d eat that stuff in the first place. Hopefully I’ll have put together the former.
Now to get it all to Chicago.