I grew up in the eastern plains of Colorado. We had a few acres of flat land with a small bunch of skinny trees and a massive garden. There were only specific vegetables that grew well in that massive garden: carrots, radishes, and zucchini. So many zucchinis. I had long forgotten about growing any fruit trees in Colorado. Since our place was lacking in fruit, as a kid we made due with selling crab-apple juice. We seemed to have an endless supply of crab-apples, so we put them to good use. So much sugar in that crab-apple juice, and still… so bitter.
A few years ago, my sister and her family moved to Palisade, Colorado. I didn’t know much about Palisade, besides that they grew peaches. When my family finally got around to driving out to Palisade to visit, I was astonished by the vegetation growth there! My sister and her family had a huge, beautiful, and bountiful garden. I had never seen such large Bell Peppers grow from a Colorado garden! The food that was growing in my sister’s Palisade garden looked like food that came straight from the produce department. I was so proud! Colorado could produce vegetables! In addition to veggies around my sister’s farm, there were fruits everywhere. Grape vines galore, apple trees, peach trees. What?!? Fruit trees besides crab-apples?!? I was in awe.
Ok. I’m probably showing my ignorance here.
I suppose I had always assumed that Colorado had to get the majority of their food (besides chili peppers and crab-apples) from other states, so when I realized that Colorado can produce their own food I was stoked! Am stoked. I still get giddy when I look on the back of a non-perishable food jar and see that “Made in Colorado” sticker. YES! We (meaning Colorado) can produce awesomeness!
Of course, not all Colorado produced products are going to be amazing- but I have found a few that I’ve been pretty impressed with. Here is a quick list of my Colorado favorites that seems to keep growing.
Hay Stack Mountain Goat Cheese (Longmont) – I absolutely love cheese, and goat cheese might be one of my favorites. Goat cheese paired with garlic and dill, yes. I will eat that straight on a fork. But if there are people around, I’ll eat it on a cracker. Purchase at: most King Soopers
Larabar (Denver) – I was interested to try Larabars because they only have 6 to 10 ingredients! Pretty cool, and tasty! These are my go to for a quick on-the-go breakfast while I drive to work, or a little snack for my girls on a hike. Purchase at: Albertson’s, King Soopers, Safeway, Sprouts, Target, Trader Joe’s, Walmart
Noosa (Bellevue) – This yogurt is the ice cream of yogurt. It’s Aussie style yogurt, which I think is code for amazing style yogurt. It’s delicious, and there are so many flavors to choose from! My favorite flavors are Strawberry Rhubarb, Blood Orange, and Honey… and Mango, and Raspberry. Purchase at: Albertson’s, King Soopers, Safeway, Sprouts, Target, Walmart, Whole Foods
Colorado Green Chili (Colorado Springs) – This is the green chili used at King Chef’s Diner in Colorado Springs which is fairly hot and perfectly runny. I recommend this on sunny side up eggs, burgers, and cheese fries. This is good stuff. Purchase at: King Chef’s Diner, King Soopers, Whole Foods
Rocky Mountain Provisions Trail Mix (Denver) – This is my favorite trail mix. The hard shelled chocolates are surprisingly delicious and there are so many in the Gorp mix! There are quite a few other different mixes, but my favorites are Gorp and Sweet Cajun Fire. Purchase at: King Soopers, Safeway
Boulder Canyon Kettle Chips (Boulder) – My love for Boulder Kettle chips directly relate to the amount of crunch I get from each chip. So much crunch. They have great flavors; some of mine include Spinach & Artichoke and Malt Vinegar & Sea Salt. Purchase at: Albertson’s, King Soopers, Natural Grocers, Safeway, Sprouts, Target
Gilberto’s Gourmet Goodness Sorta Smokin’ Salsa (Fort Collins) – This is the perfect salsa for chip dipping or a taco addition. It has the perfect blended chunkiness and I love that smoky taste! Purchase at: King Soopers