Arkansas Food Products Make Great Gifts – Home for the Holidays Bucket List

 

Stumped for what to give the person who has everything? Opt for consumables in the form of Arkansas food products. Whatever they love – sweet, salty, savory or sour – you’ll find it among Arkansas’s hand-crafted items. Here’s a sampling sure to please everyone on your list (and get an extra for yourself, too.)

 

Arkansas Food Products

FISCHER’S HONEY

 

In a world where consolidation and huge corporate interests dominate the food industry, it’s nice to know some local things are so good they’ve stood the test of time. Fisher’s Honey is one such product, delivering raw, unfiltered honey to Arkansas tables since 1935. 

 

The largest and oldest honey processor in Arkansas, the North Little Rock brand originated when hobbyist beekeeper Raymond Fischer started extracting honey and bottling it in the family kitchen. Demand grew so quickly, the operation quickly outgrew Fischer’s kitchen, basement and garage into its own honey plant. Today, the family-owned 20,000-square-foot plant ships to customers all over the country. 

 

More than just delicious, honey is a great alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners. Last January, CNBC.com reported honey beats sugar in that it contains trace amounts of essential nutrients, including minerals potassium, calcium, zinc and a whole hive of vitamins. Research has shown it to raise blood sugar more slowly, according to a 2018 study released by the National Library of Medicine.

 

In cooking, you can substitute an equal amount of honey for light corn syrup in many recipes, per testsquiz.com. Fischer’ raw honey is also a fabulous sugar substitute in frostings, baked goods, jams and jellies.

 

fischerhoney.com

 

NEIGHBOR’S MILL BAKERY AND CAFE

 

For the best in fresh-baked bread, it’s hard to top Neighbor’s Mill Bakery and Café. The passion project of Mike and Karin Nabors, the company offers a variety of delicious made-from-scratch American Hearth breads, more than 25 varieties in all. Each loaf is lovingly created from wheat berries and other grains ground in a 100-year-old gristmill.

 

There’s a Neighbor’s Mill bread variety to fit every taste in your family from the sweet (raisin cinnamon, cranberry orange, apple cinnamon almond, cranberry pecan and a host of dessert breads) to the savory (asiago and cracked black pepper, garlic triple cheese and tomato herb and cheese). As well, find dinner rolls, baguettes, challah, whole wheat and 9-seed Neighbor’s Best, the company’s top seller. 

 

The company’s products can be shipped coast to coast, or you can opt for a gift certificate in any amount and let friends and family choose their favorites. In fact, why not meet them in person for a post-holiday get-together to enjoy the café’s delicious soups, salads and deli sandwiches using house-made bread.

 

Neighbor’s Mill Bakery and Café operates two locations; the original, opened in 2000 in Harrison, was joined in 2016 by a second location in Springfield, Missouri.

 

neighborsmill.com

 

Arkansas food products

PINK HOUSE ALCHEMY

 

The secret to a good cocktail, like that of a good relationship, starts with chemistry. Pink House Alchemy’s founder Emily Lawson innately understood the interplay of flavors while growing up, a knack she perfected during her training as a chef. 

 

Since founding Pink House Alchemy, she and her band of mad flavor scientists have developed a line of syrups, bitters and shrubs that bring life to cooking, baking and libations.

 

Got a coffee snob or budding baker in your family? Give them Pink House Alchemy’s hazelnut, pumpkin butternut spice, seasonal winter mint or one of the company’s other syrups. 

 

Or, treat the mixologist in your life to craft bitters such as the smoldered, which brightens up bourbon and rum; the sarsaparilla for the perfect Old Fashioned; and the do-everything house variety no home bar should be without. For something completely different, give a bottle of the company’s shrub, a mixer derived from vinegar, water, sugar and fruit. (Ask your Nana; she might know it as drinking vinegar).

 

Pink House Alchemy products are made from the finest ingredients, blended under Lawson’s critical eye. If you want to know what true love tastes like, here it is.

 

pinkhousealchemy.com

 

FELTNER’S SAUCE

 

Among Arkansas-bred burger dynasties, few have a more loyal following than the Feltner family. Whether you crammed for your Arkansas Tech chem exam over a basket of Feltner’s fries or enjoyed the much-awarded place in Fayetteville lately, the restaurant’s fare is the stuff of legend.

 

For the uninitiated, here’s the burger family tree: Bob Feltner founded the original location in Russellville in 1967, a stone’s throw away from the campus of Arkansas Tech University. The institution has won more awards than it can count, including induction into the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame in 2021. 

 

In 2009, Bob’s grandsons Travis, Chase, and Grant Feltner, who are brothers, opened Feltner Brothers in Fayetteville to carry on the family legacy, topping multiple best burger polls along the way.

 

A trip to either restaurant is more than just mere nostalgia, as the friendly staff treats each and every customer like an honored guest. It’s the perfect place to take a colleague from work or the family during the holidays. 

 

But if you can’t bring the herd to Feltner’s, send a little taste of Felter’s to the family with a bottle of their famous sauce. The versatile stuff goes with just about everything – including memories of home. 

 

feltnerbrothers.com

 

MONK SAUCE & ABBEY BRITTLE

 

Theres’s no reason why Subiaco Abbey should be in Arkansas, except that it is. The stately Benedictine monastery, perched on top of a hill in Logan County, is sentinel to the verdant pastures and farmland below. Visitors are taken with the peacefulness of the place and the warmth of welcome by the monks who, as St. Benedict himself decreed, live, pray and work there.

 

The abbey supports itself through various handiworks, including its habanero hot sauces and legendary peanut brittle, both of which have been in production for decades. 

 

Monk Sauce comes in three fiery varieties, original, verde and smoked. Don’t ask for the mild version, it doesn’t exist, just the full-strength elixir made from habanero peppers grown on the grounds. As flavorful as it is intensely hot, Monk Sauce will delight any spicy food fan who finds a bottle in their stocking or under the tree. 

 

If their taste buds aren’t quite up to the scorching sauce level, give a bucket of Abbey Brittle. The monks follow a closely guarded secret recipe for the candy, but this much is known, the amount of peanuts used far outpaces most other craft versions. One taste and you’ll never go back to commercial peanut brittle. 

 

countrymonks.biz

 

McClards

McCLARD’S BAR-B-Q

 

It’s hard to pin down just one barbecue joint to represent the entire state, but McClard’s of Hot Springs comes mighty close. The restaurant is a destination spot for all things low and slow, attracting smoked meat pilgrims from across Arkansas and from every corner of the United States. 

 

Like every great eatery, McClard’s features a great backstory. Born in 1928 as part of a tourist court, gas station and diner outfit run by Alex and Alice McClard, the restaurant might never have reached its iconic status had it not been for a down-on-his luck traveler. Unable to pay his tab, the stranger offered instead a secret recipe for what he called “the world’s greatest hot sauce.” They accepted the offer, tweaked the recipe, and a legend was born.

 

The sauce hit so big, the diner soon outpaced the other business ventures and began a barbecue legacy that would stretch for four generations of the McClard family to follow. And while it’s unlikely most hobby chefs on your list can duplicate the McClard’s experience, you can still give a classic taste of the Spa City with the world-famous sauce and rub that started it all.

 

mcclards.com

 

ONYX COFFEE

 

If your mood and productivity revolves around a great cup of java – or that’s true for someone on your list – you need to look into Onyx Coffee. Whether you’re a coffee roast expert or just know what you like, there’s something for every taste in this catalog. 

 

Onyx takes ownership of every step of its product’s life cycle, from traveling to coffee-growing countries to selecting the best beans to roasting and cupping at the company’s headquarters to ensure the perfect pour, every time.

 

The company also operates with a conscience. It roasts and ships from its solar-powered production facility and provides pricing and trade data with every package, allowing the consumer to buy with confidence.

 

The result is a variety of splendid blends – try the Southern Weather, a brew appealing to a wide range of palates, or the Monarch, a sumptuous blend offering notes of dried berries and dark chocolate. For the more sophisticated palate, browse the company’s line of single-origin coffees, each of which tells a story of the place from where it came and the culture of the people who brought it to you. This holiday season, give them the world in a cup with Onyx Coffee.

 

onyxcoffeelab.com

 

Arkansas food products

FRESH HARVEST

 

Looking for the perfect gift for the gourmet in your life? Why not show your good taste with something good-tasting from Fresh Harvest? This Northwest Arkansas purveyor of ultra-premium olive oils, balsamics and specialty groceries is a chef’s delight, chock full of gift ideas for cooks of all ages and abilities.

 

Headlining the store’s products is its line of extra virgin-olive oils. Olives are purchased through partner growing operations around the world, crushed mere hours after being harvested, then cold-pressed using proprietary techniques. The resulting olive oils are unsurpassed in flavor and rich in antioxidants and nutrients.

 

For the past decade, Fresh Harvest has been a gourmet outpost for sophisticated ingredients, through which founders Troy Johnson and Steve Ketchersid educate their clientele about the healthful benefits of their products versus the big brands. Its extensive inventory of fused and unfused olive oils ensures you’ll find the right gift in the right flavor profile – spicy, sweet, savory or pure and clean. 

 

Can’t decide? Choose from one of Fresh Harvest’s ready-made gift packs, the perfect remembrance for family, friends or business associates. The fine quality and amazing versatility of these products are sure to please everyone on your list.

 

freshharvest.co

    

JANIS & MELANIE

Throughout its history, Janis & Melanie has lived a mission to bring sophisticated, wholesome snack foods to the marketplace. Now, almost 40 years after its founding, the Little Rock company’s products are a staple in pantries throughout Arkansas and the centerpiece of family gatherings, special occasions and ordinary evenings in. 

 

If you’ve never tried cheese straws, you’re missing a true Soutern delicacy. The decadent snack was one of Janis & Melanie’s first big sellers and remains at the forefront of the company’s product line today. Now available in four flavors, their version is considered by many to be the standard against which all other cheese straws are measured.

 

The rest of the product line centers around cookies, ranging from soul-pleasing, soft-baked varieties to tea cookies, traditional cookies and biscuits just like Mom used to make. There’s even a seasonal collection that captures the flavors of the holidays.

 

Janis & Melanie can be found in better retailers and specialty stores throughout Arkansas, but for that extra-special someone, visit the company website and peruse the company’s line of gift boxes. You’re sure to find the perfect combination of savory and sweet as you give a true taste of Arkansas this year.

 

janis-melanie.com

 

MOONLIGHT MIXES

 

Sometimes the simplest things in life are the most satisfying. Walks by the lake, summer breezes and drives through neighborhoods decorated for Christmas can all refresh us in ways that are surprisingly powerful. 

 

The same can be said for gift-giving; whoever said the holidays had to be expensive or complicated never tried Moonlight Mixes. Easy to give and always eagerly appreciated, the company’s products take a lot of the work out of holiday giving. 

 

Moonlight’s famous Wicked Mixes combine bold flavors and satisfying crunch, sure to be a hit among work colleagues, dirty Santa parties or for anyone who enjoys a great snack. Available in spicy original, sweet-salty-spicy, chocolate-laced or smoldering chipotle, these snacks are always in season.

 

Check out the line of Wicked Minis, seasoned oyster crackers available in four tempting flavors – garlic Parmesan, garden dill, crushed red pepper and jalapeño cheddar. These crunchy bits liven up soups and salads or are great eaten straight out of the bag. 

 

With online ordering and corporate gift options, Moonlight Mixes makes gifting easy, so why overthink it? Take care of everyone on your list and hold back a couple of bags for yourself, because no one’s been better than you this year.

 

moonlightmixes.com