We tasted products from around the country to find the best of the best from small-production food artisans. By Cindy Hatcher
Photo: Manfred Koh
The Bamboo Ladies Bamboo Pickles ($15 for 2 [9-oz.] jars). What started as seven sprigs of bamboo behind Johnsie Walsh's Wilkes County home in 1970 is now a 3-acre grove tended by three generations of family. If you often find Southern pickles overly sweet, you'll be blown away by a tart vinegar balance and a texture that's crisp and yielding, similar to canned hearts of palm but without the metallic aftertaste. Charming, odd, and delicious, they're a perfect gift for the adventurous foodie.