Snacks, sauces, sweets and more
By Jennifer Kornegay
Alabama farmers grow a wide variety of fruits and veggies; they raise chickens, beef and pork; and our fishermen and shrimpers catch and net huge harvests of Gulf seafood, making it fairly easy to find and eat Alabama foods. But thanks to some innovative cooks and companies transforming our state’s agricultural bounty into all manner of edible products, you can take the idea of “eating local” far beyond meat and produce. Check out these snacks, sauces, sweets and more that are Alabama born and bred.
Golden Flake Thin & Crispy Chips: The granddaddy of Alabama snacks, these paper-thin, fried potato slices are descendants of the chips that started it all for Birmingham’s Magic City Foods, founded in 1923.
Get Some: in grocery stores around the Southeast. goldenflake.com
Wickles Pickles: Salty and tangy with a little sweet and a nice punch of spice, Wickles Pickles are “wickedly delicious.” Based in Dadeville, this pickle purveyor relies on a decades-old family recipe to create pickled products including traditional pickles, okra, pepper strips and jalapenos.
Get Some: In grocery stores around Alabama or order from the website, wicklespickles.com.
Dayspring Dairy: The only licensed sheep dairy in the state, this all-natural farm in Gallant creates several artisanal cheeses from the milk produced by the “girls” in its flock of 80 sheep that roam and graze on the grassy hills of Northeast Alabama. It’s a true family business; Greg Kelly is the shepherd, and his wife Ana, the cheesemaker. Their young kids pitch in too, helping the farm craft its Ewetopia, a raw milk-aged Gouda, its Halloumi and its Farmhouse Feta.
Get Some: order from the website, dayspringdairy.com.
Hummus People: When you think of Southern foods, hummus may not be on your list, but that’s just what this Athens company is turning out. Handmade in small batches, Hummus People’s smooth, creamy versions of this condiment range from the classic to the truly creative, like Voodoo Jalapeno Hummus and Roasted Garlic Masala Hummus.
Get Some: At Pepper Place Farmer’s Market in Birmingham and other markets around the state. facebook.com/thehummuspeople
Jala-Jala Salsa: Some like it hot, and if you’re in this fiery faction, Jala-Jala relishes and salsas were made with you in mind. This Huntsville company is doing delicious things with jalapeno peppers grown in nearby Meridianville. Try the Texacan Salsa or the Amarillo Gold jalapeno-corn relish.
Get Some: At specialty markets around the state or order from the website, jalajalafoods.com.
Alabama Sunshine Hot Sauce: In Fayette, Fred and Sally Smith have been making their Alabama Sunshine hot sauces from fresh peppers for more than 20 years. The company offers 50 products, but with a well-rounded heat that won’t burn but will add a noticeable kick, its original sauce is still the fan favorite.
Get Some: At specialty stores around the state or order from the website, alabamasunshine.com.
Dale’s Seasoning: This dark concoction is the perfect partner for steaks, burgers, chicken and more. It began as the “house marinade” for Dale’s Cellar Restaurant in Birmingham. Patrons so loved the salty sauce with a tang, in the 1940s, they started begging for some to take home, which they did, in washed-out soda bottles. Now Dale’s marinade is a staple in many a Southern kitchen.
Get Some: In grocery stores throughout the Southeast or order from the website, dalesseasoning.com.
Dreamland BBQ Sauce: This Tuscaloosa barbecue legend may be best known for its ribs, but the glistening red sauce that clings to the meat is equally famous. The recipe has never changed and likely never will.
Get Some: At one of the Dreamland locations around the state or order from the website, dreamlandbbq.com.
Moore’s Buffalo Wing Sauce: Like lightning in a bottle, this pout-puckering brilliantly orange sauce will electrify your taste buds. A cousin to the Moore’s Original Marinade, introduced more than 30 years ago at restaurant in Jasper, Moore’s Wing Sauce has gained nationwide acclaim.
Get Some: At grocery stores across the country. mooresmarinade.com
ALAGA Syrup: Made in Montgomery by the ALAGA/Whitfield Foods company (still family owned), this sticky stuff celebrated a century of pure cane goodness in 2006, and this Deep-South delicacy is best enjoyed drizzled on a fat buttermilk biscuit.
Get Some: At grocery stores in Alabama or order from the website, alagasyrup.com.
Hot Damn Jelly Company: Pepper jelly is pretty simple stuff, but the folks at Hot Damn in Auburn have take the time-honored tradition blending sweet and heat and elevated it to an art form. Using peppers they grow and other ingredients that they always source locally, Hot Damn is embellishing their tongue tantalizing products with fruits like peaches, strawberries and raspberries.
Get Some: At specialty stores around Alabama and in Georgia or order on the website, hotdamnjelly.com.
Fox Point Farm Caramels: Buttery, sugary, chewy (but not enough to stick to your teeth), the caramels crafted at Fox Point Farm in the Lake Martin area can credit their delicate but definite hint of something extra to the goat’s milk they use, which comes from their resident goats.
Get Some: At specialty stores around the state including the Governor’s Mansion Gift Shop and Goat Hill Museum Store in Montgomery or order from the website, thefoxpointfarm.com.
G Mommas Cookies: Named for owner Robert Armstrong’s grandmother “Gammy,” and inspired by her recipes and her belief that good food can nourish more than your body, G Mommas Cookies are thin, crispy, bite-sized bits of love. Made in Selma by Armstrong’s Selma Good Co., the cookies come in a variety of flavors including butterscotch oatmeal and chocolate chip pecan.
Get Some: At Cracker Barrel restaurants, World Markets across the United States or order from the website, gmommas.com.
Punta Clara Kitchen Divinity: Made in Point Clear at this candy kitchen that’s been using old-fashioned techniques to turn out a wide variety of treats since 1952, these dreamy white drops of heavenly delight melt in your mouth.
Get Some: At the Punta Clara Kitchen in Point Clear or order from the website, puntaclara.com.
Priester’s Pralines: The family pecan shelling and gourmet candy company in Fort Deposit uses the iconic Southern nut in many ways (in addition to selling them shelled and plain), but enrobed in a coat of cooked butter and sugar is one of the most satisfying ways to enjoy them.
Get Some: At Priester’s retail shop in Fort Deposit or order from the website, priesters.com.
Buy the Bottle
Be it sweet, spicy, red, white or orange, there’s no denying that Alabama is home to some of the best barbecue sauces around. And many of the most famous savory sidekicks for slow-smoked meats can be mailed right to your door, making it easy for you to always have your favorite at hand. In honor of the Year of Alabama Barbecue, here are a few we think you know and can almost guarantee you’ll like.
Full Moon Bar-B-Que
order from fullmoonbbq.com
Bob Sykes Bar-B-Q
order from bobsykes.com
Jim N’ Nick’s Bar-B-Q
order from jimnnicks.com
order from sawsbbq.com
Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q
order from bigbobgibson.com
A Few More Bites of Bama
Our state is full of wonderful farms, families and companies producing Alabama-made foods.
Conecuh Sausage conecuhsausage.com
Eastaboga Bee Company Honey eastabogabeecompany.com
Millie Ray’s Sweet Rolls millierays.com
To Your Health Sprouted Flours healthyflour.com
Piper & Leaf Teas piperandleaf.com
Sweet Home Farms Cheeses southerncheese.org
McEwen and Sons Organic Stone-Ground Grits mcewenandsons.com
Oakview Farms Stone-Ground Grits oakviewfarms.com