The Best Brooklyn Local Food Companies

July 30, 2012 4:31 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
"Anarchy in a Jar" gets our top honors. (Photo: Creative Commons)

Everyone's been saying it lately: eat local. And depending on where you live, that can either be a blessing, a curse, or a little something of both. But any way you slice it, eating local means cutting your carbon footprint by a significant margin. Even if that means eating the second-best (and lower-ranking) pork in the world (not all of us live in Berkshire), it's a worthy sacrifice.

For those of us in and around the Brooklyn area, it's hard to think of the plethora of locally grown/brewed/smoked/cured products as anything but good luck. But then you get to perusing all the choices, and you realize: holy smokes, you're inundated with a ton of mouthwatering stuff. What the heck should I get?

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Have no fear: your good friends at FoodNRecipe have compiled a list of our absolute favorites. Here's the top three absolute best Brooklyn Local Food Companies in the neighborhood.

The Good Batch

If you're looking for a truly excellent sweet thing, look no further than The Good Batch, Brooklyn's answer to every single question you could ask that has the word cookie in it. While they may not have a store front proper, you can find them just about anywhere: from the Union Market to the Bedford Cheese Shop. But here's a protip: they're so much cheaper if you get them straight from their website.

Our favorite? It's a tie. Their Classic Stroopwafel cookie, which are probably the best stroops you can find this side of the pond. We had them at Smorgasburg with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice-cream between two of them. Talk about your carnal sins.

Sharing the mantle with them is the Honey Bear cookie. If you're one of those vegans that eats honey, or you have a dairy/egg sensitivity, go for this one-- a surprisingly dense, superlatively flavored cookie bodied with oats, applesauce, and house-made honey blended to subtle perfection with sea salt peanut butter.

Brooklyn Brine Co.

Move over, McClure's Pickles-- and we mean way over. We first fell in love with this Brooklyn pickle company when we a half-spear came out with our grilled cheese sandwich at Noorman's Kil, the best darn whiskey bar in the city. One bite of the pickle was unadulterated, sodium-filled bliss. I don't think I've ever had a better pickle in my entire life.

Since then, I've been buying jars of their pickles en masse from a local distributor, and making any kind of sandwich as an excuse to munch on them. Of course, they're fine as a snack right out of the jar, but when they're as utterly heavenly as these pickles prove to be each and every single time, you'll need any excuse possible to slow down and not eat them in one sitting.

Our favorite, of course, is the one we had at the bar that night: the whiskey sour pickle, a surprisingly spicy bite of briny goodness that makes every sandwich feel like a happy hour accouterment. Rounding that up is their Spicy Maple Bourbon pickle, which goes almost impossibly well in a grilled ham and swiss sandwich.

They also pickle other foodstuffs, and our favorite of those is the orange and fennel. Serve that up with beets, goat cheese, and olive oil, and you'll feel like some kind of Converse Contessa.

Anarchy in a Jar

It's the sort of name that makes people cringe: Anarchy in a Jar. What the heck does that mean?

Brooklyn detractors (who have probably never been east of First Avenue, mind you) cite the dissonance between cloyingly (their words, not mine) punk branding and a tame, classic product as a reason to write off the borough entirely. And in all honesty, it could be the name that kept me from trying this jam, jelly, and marmalade company's stuff for the longest. But as it is produce season, I gave them a shot. And I've never looked back.

What can be said about Anarchy that isn't immediately apparent from your first bite of it? On one hand, they're not reinventing the wheel. Their Blueberry Jam is one of the most excellent fruit spreads we've had the pleasure of spreading between wheat bread and baked brie. On the other hand, wilder flavors like the Pear and Chipotle prove that they're setting out to do just that: push the envelope with bold, wonderful flavors that stop just short of being anarchical, meaning that they make a great present for your parental units.

Their product is perfectly flavored, too. Any sugar they add is done by the most masterful hand around. Our absolute favorite of the bunch was a spread that fell right smack in the middle of mild and wild: their strawberry balsamic is a masterpiece. And anyone who says otherwise is dead wrong. Make an amazing sandwich out of it with cold, shredded chicken and fresh spinach. You won't be sorry!

Lastly, a quick plug for their cookbook, Jam On: The Craft of Canning Fruit, which launches on August 2nd. And if you stop by Smorgasburg, you can have their jam in a homemade pop tart. Yup. We had to have an intern mop us off the floor, too.

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