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Etsy’s Artisanal Foods

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Apart from being the go-to site for procuring whimsical, beautiful, handmade items for the home or garden, a significant number of Etsy sellers offer food items too. From locally-foraged jams and marmalades to hand-harvested salt blends, we spoke to a couple of our favorite sellers about their stories and creative suggestions for using their products.

Who: Laura Lee, Laura Lee’s Larder.
What: Jams, preserves and jellies using ingredients foraged from her neighborhood.
Where: Cheltenham, England
Years in business: One year

Your story:
My first ever preserve was apple and sage jelly, made with stolen apples and fresh sage from the garden. I left some for all my neighbors on their doorstep on Christmas Eve and was delighted to hear about all the different ways they were using it – most popularly in a sausage roll!

What inspires you:
I like to use foraged hedgerow fruits and make old-fashioned traditional preserves that you just can’t buy any more, like elderberry jelly, or new and modern preserves that aren’t available in shops, like mojito marmalade. I also make flavors like strawberry jam and seville marmalade but because I make the jam right after I’ve picked strawberries from a local farm, it has the most wonderful taste.

Personal favorites:
I have two: rhubarb and ginger jam, which made porridge exciting again, and tomato and lavender jam, which was an experiment. It turned out lovely, sweet and beautifully scented.

Creative uses:
Jam is much more versatile than people think. Use it on porridge, layer your favorite flavor between layers of Victorian sponge cake, bake muffins with a jam center, put a blob on some ice cream, or stir some into your yogurt. I’ve even had customers use marmalade on fish.

Who: Nancy Yoder, Saltlandia.
What: Tie-dyer by trade who also makes infused salts and sugars.
Where: Portland, Oregon
Years in business: One year.

Your story:
I always have a slow period in the winter where tie dye doesn’t sell, and I needed something to keep me busy. I began making the salt infusions after a naturopath introduced me to the health benefits of Celtic Grey Sea Salt in 1999. Once I got the salt, I started adding things, like rosemary and sage from my backyard (I have grown my own herbs for the last 20 years). We collect the seawater at a beautiful beach just down from our house and use a commercial kitchen in Newport, OR, to filter, boil and collect the salt flakes.

Personal favorites:
The sage and the rosemary. They can be used individually or together and give things such a wonderful zip. I am a vegetarian, and the little extra  kick from the spices bring the flavors to a whole new level. I use the rosemary salt on my eggs, and for biscuits and gravy, I make a portobello cream gravy with the sage and a touch of cajun seasoning.

Creative uses:
I love using fleur de sel on caramel and ice cream. Some of my friends have also used it on caramel-topped brownies. I’m currently working on a chili salt, which is great on hot cocoa.

Who: Rikki Jamalia, Blue Houses.
What: T-shirt/apron designer and purveyor of hot sauces under the brand “Sadistic Mistress.”
Where: Lexington, Kentucky
Years in business: Three

Your story:
I started Sadistic Sauces while I was managing a Cajun restaurant. Our customers were constantly complaining that we didn’t have any hot hot sauces or that there weren’t enough flavors, so I started making some from scratch to have a higher heat rating and complex flavors. The restaurant closed down a few months later, but the owners encouraged me and gave me the entire pepper stock as severance.

Hot sauce inspiration:
My initial inspiration was to make customers sweat. People complain less when their mouth is on fire. Now, I work closely with a local farm that produces the best peppers for me, growing new varieties each season. For instance, the Trinidad Scorpion Pepper was named hottest pepper in the world last summer. My farmer cultivated several of this variety and I featured it in a sauce called Painslut.

Personal favorites:
East African Rift is my signature sauce, made from a Berbere spice blend and cayenne peppers. It’s a good anytime sauce for all palates and it outsells my other sauces 3:1. I am also fond of my classic cayenne sauce, The Safe Word Is, because it has a wonderfully fresh, rich flavor without straying too far away from that beloved “red flavor” with which everyone is so familiar.

Suggested uses:
People have pigeon-holed hot sauce as being something you add just for heat, but I encourage my customers to think of my hot sauces as more of a condiment to inspire creative uses for their everyday meals. Sweet Daddy, for instance, is a citrus blend habanero sauce that works well as a marinade for seafood. I make an applesauce with bite called Garden Of Good And Evil that I use when roasting pork tenderloin, while a customer used it to make a spicy syrup for her pancakes. Sauces that have a strong vinegar base can be used just like vinegar. One gentleman told me he used Psalms 22:1 (one of my hottest sauces) on collard greens, while his wife used it to baste the Thanksgiving turkey.

About the author: Danielle Tsi grew up in Singapore, a tiny, food-obsessed island on the tip of the Malaysian Peninsula, where every waking minute was spent thinking about what her next meal was going to be. Landing in the United States with her well-traveled Nikon, she turned her lifelong love affair with food into images and words on her blog, Beyond the Plate. When not behind the lens or at the stove, Danielle can be found on her yoga mat perfecting the headstand.

2 Featured Comments

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  • ErikaPrice

    Erika from ErikaPrice says: Featured

    What mouthwatering jams! I've won awards for my strawberry jam - made quickly and easily in the microwave using fruit from my garden - but Laura has some fabulous flavour combinations. And the "sadistic mistress" name from Ricki is totally wicked! Good luck to all these featured Etsy sellers, and their delicious products!

    1 year ago

  • ArleenDesign

    ArleenDesign from ArleenDesign says: Featured

    Love the love and the hard work put into making this innovative and creative condiments not to mention better tasting than the mass produce one. Delicious!

    1 year ago

  • ImYourNonny

    holly mcgee from ImYourNonny says:

    "sadistic mistress" that's the best product name I've ever heard!!!!!

    1 year ago

  • Macramaking

    Ellen from Macramaking says:

    I make homemade apple butter with my mom & sister every couple of years using my grandmothers recipe... making jams & preserves is hard, hot work! I love how Laura Lee adds the foraging to her story. That makes it extra yummy! Great article!

    1 year ago

  • sweetKM

    Kristi Morrow from sweetKM says:

    Love those jam combinations.

    1 year ago

  • ErikaPrice

    Erika from ErikaPrice says: Featured

    What mouthwatering jams! I've won awards for my strawberry jam - made quickly and easily in the microwave using fruit from my garden - but Laura has some fabulous flavour combinations. And the "sadistic mistress" name from Ricki is totally wicked! Good luck to all these featured Etsy sellers, and their delicious products!

    1 year ago

  • blainedesign

    Karen Brown says:

    I think it's wonderful that Etsy is featuring a story on Edibles. Edible producers on Etsy make some of the most original, beautiful, delicious, and healthy things. My personal favorite is the always amazing andiespecialtysweets.

    1 year ago

  • TheIDconnection

    TheIDConnection from TheIDconnection says:

    I love homemade, we use to can on the farm in Ohio, I miss it so much!

    1 year ago

  • EmiliaFaith

    Edie Ann from OhHoneyHush says:

    Love homemade jams and jelly's !

    1 year ago

  • volkerwandering

    Jess from volkerwandering says:

    The pictures are gorgeous!

    1 year ago

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie says:

    Yum!!! Nothing better than homemade!

    1 year ago

  • winnieryan

    Winnie Ryan says:

    Surprisingly rhubarb ginger jam is great with biscuits (American style) and fried chicken. Won't help your figure, but is great on the taste buds. I haven't made it in a long while because rhubarb doesn't grow well in Virginia, but it did great in Colorado. Here I do plenty with peaches, blueberries, and whatever else comes to hand.

    1 year ago

  • CafePrimrose

    Amanda Gynther from CafePrimrose says:

    Wow! Great to hear from other foodies!

    1 year ago

  • warnellcreations

    warnellcreations from warnellcreations says:

    The fresh food in your photo's look delicious!

    1 year ago

  • StringBeardCraftery

    Stephanie from StringBeardCraftery says:

    I learned how to make jams and can this past month. It's so fun, and sooo delicious. I had recently pondered opening a second shop for my yummy creations, as I've been making jams faster than my small household can eat them! I think I'll leave it to the pros for now. Although, if this sour cherry jam made from forraged cherries in my Aunt's backyard comes out, I might be a force to be reckoned with!

    1 year ago

  • RavensCrafts

    Jane from RavensCrafts says:

    yummmmmmmmmmm......love the article and planning on trying the goods :)

    1 year ago

  • glusk

    Tara Galuska from GluskDesigns says:

    I just had breakfast but after reading this I am hungry again. Yummy!

    1 year ago

  • mattyhandmadecrafts

    Matejka Max from NattyMatty says:

    Delish!

    1 year ago

  • ArtsyFlair
  • ikabags

    IKA PARIS from ikabags says:

    Love homemade jams and jelly's ! Each season I am doing at home with fresh fruits ! sure very delicious :))

    1 year ago

  • VintageEye

    VintageEye from VintageEye says:

    I've been making stove top jam from summer fruits for a few years now. My sister loves it & even makes requests-- peach & strawberry being her faves. It has become one of my favorite ways to use the abundant seasonal produce we are so lucky to have here in SC.

    1 year ago

  • valleyviolet

    valleyviolet from valleyviolet says:

    Well, this article definitely made me salivate a bit! :)

    1 year ago

  • Lilley

    Vicki Brown from Lilley says:

    Love this article, I live next door to Laura from Laura Lee's Larder and get to taste all her wares, they are truly truly delicious!

    1 year ago

  • SaritaBaby

    SaritaBaby from SaritaBaby says:

    Mmmmm yummy!

    1 year ago

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat says:

    What else is there to say but... yummmmm! :-)

    1 year ago

  • andiespecialtysweets

    Jason and Andie from andiespecialtysweets says:

    I am so glad to see these amazing edibles featured! I love our creative and industrious (let's not forget yummy) community : )

    1 year ago

  • KoyoDesigns

    Koyo from KoyoDesigns says:

    What a nice blog and beautiful photos! I'm glad to learn about these shops. I grew up making homemade jams with my mom. It's great to try unusual combinations of fruit and herbs (and peppers) that you would never expect to find together. You can't beat homemade!

    1 year ago

  • NorthWoodworks

    Jane Anne from NorthWoodworks says:

    My family loves homemade jams and jellies, too. Our favourites from local berries are saskatoon and chockecherry.

    1 year ago

  • mrbubbs

    jennifer from JWfinearts says:

    Awesome!! Who doesn't love jam!!

    1 year ago

  • ThePolkadotMagpie

    Polkadot Magpie from ThePolkadotMagpie says:

    Love this, and your shops. I am about to put up my first jars tomorrow. Apricots are ripe here. Yummmmmmy treats you sell.

    1 year ago

  • AntoinettesWhims

    Antoinette from AntoinettesWhims says:

    All sounds so yummy! I hope these are all from licensed kitchens.

    1 year ago

  • ADDENDUMhandmade

    Reagan, Emma and Madeleine from ADDENDUMhandmade says:

    Wow, now I really want to buy some pepper jelly.

    1 year ago

  • opendoorstudio

    Martha Smith from opendoorstudio says:

    so great to see the Handmade foods featured! I know there are many talented bakers and makers here! off to search their shops!

    1 year ago

  • TresChicNmodern

    TresChicNmodern from TresChicNmodern says:

    OH WOWWWWWWWWW AWESOME STUFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 CONGRATS FOR THE FRONT PAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)

    1 year ago

  • fbstudiovt

    Laura Hale from fbstudiovt says:

    I learned to make jams at a class at an Audubon sanctuary in MA when I was 10 and have been making them ever since. What an incredibly useful skill to pick up! Seriously folks, teach your kids how to jam and jelly.

    1 year ago

  • KMalinka

    Natalia from KMalinkaVintage says:

    I caned jams and pickled vegetables every Summer before.

    1 year ago

  • GoldenSpiralDesigns

    Lola Ocian from GoldenSpiralDesigns says:

    Neat! Are there special licenses or required certification to sell edibles online? I imagine products being sold in stores go through some seriously regimented steps to insure their ultimate safety - for liability reasons. Do these apply for online goods?

    1 year ago

  • shuqi

    Emily Lim from shuqi says:

    great article.

    1 year ago

  • sanibelsands

    Karen from sanibelsands says:

    Great Story: It brings back memories of childhood.

    1 year ago

  • iammieCLAYshop

    iammieCLAYshop from iammieCLAYshop says:

    Love this post!

    1 year ago

  • deepakabbhi

    Deepak Abbhi says:

    Love the products

    1 year ago

  • TheBeautyofBoredom

    Gracie from TheBeautyofBoredom says:

    Cool! Those jams sound pretty interesting. Not sure I would care for tomato lavender. Jams are very versatile, I wish I had such resources growing in my backyard to make my own. The infused salt also sounds interesting, I have never heard of that before. What are the health benefits, exactly? I know sea salt is good for you, but I don't salt things much. Anyway, good post to get some sellers out there and let the etsy community know about them. Thanks!

    1 year ago

  • ArcadeArt

    ArcadeArt from ArcadeArt says:

    om nom nom :)

    1 year ago

  • PattiTrostle

    Patti Trostle from PattiTrostle says:

    Sounds great!

    1 year ago

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 from Parachute425 says:

    Kudos to the photographers featured on this page. Beautiful pix.

    1 year ago

  • smcgeever

    Susie Kate from ArtGallerie says:

    love it!

    1 year ago

  • dakotamaid

    Barb and Tara from DakotaMaid says:

    I make the easiest and best rhubarb jam. I think its just the idea of making your own? These sellers are wonderful. Loved reading about them.

    1 year ago

  • basement6

    basement6 from AnnArborArtisans says:

    Great article and solid focus. We also needed something else to keep us busy while other 'things' weren't selling so we created artisan granola bars here> http://www.etsy.com/shop/AnnArborArtisans

    1 year ago

  • ScrapHappyLyrebird

    Tess from GildedNotes says:

    Well this was not what I should be looking at with an empty fridge in the next room! I want to take a warm, fresh, biscuit, slather it with Earth Balance, then load on way too much of that tomato and lavender jam.......mmmmm

    1 year ago

  • gippyhenry

    Gippy Henry from GippyHenry says:

    Wow! I hadn't realized there were so many yummy things on FB! The displays are wonderful as well and really make me want to purchase something. They all look so appetizing!

    1 year ago

  • Joliejye

    Julie Duchesne from Joliejye says:

    Love those idea, thank you !!

    1 year ago

  • solocosmo

    Jessica Grundy from solocosmo says:

    I buy jams, honey and other things on etsy all the time!

    1 year ago

  • newtribetextiles

    newtribetextiles from newtribetextiles says:

    Fantastic post, thank you!

    1 year ago

  • ArleenDesign

    ArleenDesign from ArleenDesign says: Featured

    Love the love and the hard work put into making this innovative and creative condiments not to mention better tasting than the mass produce one. Delicious!

    1 year ago

  • martinclaybold

    Martin Claybold says:

    All the items discussed above seem to be very yummy! Long Term Food Storage

    1 year ago

  • Steampunkitis

    Susan Jane from Steampunkitis says:

    Fantastic article. Now I MUST visit your shop. I used to love cooking. Now I want everything prepared for me because I'm much to busy to feed myself. Pathetic I know. Lets see what I can find in your store to inspire me!

    1 year ago

  • soniamt3

    Sonia Lewis from Soniasfineart says:

    Love your presentation Mouthwatering ( -:

    1 year ago

  • lozzamputu

    Laurence from CircleofDaises says:

    the pictures are making me feel hungry, very inspirational, thank you :)

    1 year ago

  • windycitynovelties

    Windy City Novelties says:

    I love jam and your's looks delicious! Great job your first year in the business! I see a very bright future for you.

    1 year ago

  • Melyshoney

    Pam Powell from Melyshoney says:

    Hooray for edibles on Etsy, fantastic article

    1 year ago

  • nowvintage

    Bobbie from nowvintage says:

    My favorite thing i have eaten from etsy is Drunken Winterberry Jam from bovine bubbles. she doesn't have it now I think it is usually a winter thing but I have gotten it for gifts to give at Christmas and EVERYBODY loves it! I have to hide it from my husband sometimes and just bring it out to share with him or it will be gone in a few days! http://www.etsy.com/shop/bovinebubbles

    1 year ago

  • lauraleeslarder

    Laura Lee from LauraLeesLarder says:

    Thanks for all the great comments! I'm sure UK laws regarding food production are different from the US but my kitchen is registered with the council and has been inspected. I have the maximum 5 out of 5 stars awarded to me. I also have the relevant insurance. For all those that keep asking, I'm unable to ship to the US and Canada due to various restrictions. If you do visit the UK however you are allowed to take certain products back with you!! Thanks again x

    1 year ago

  • 4thAveHerbal

    Stacy M. from ThePlantainPouch says:

    I love that this group is getting some attention because people tend to think of Etsy artists as only jewelry makers or fashion designers. But, yes, we are out here too, those who would.like to grace the Earth with luxuries meant for the inside of the body. I for one would like to invite everyone to care for the insides of there bodies just as much as the outside with handcrafted herbal teas and such. Visit my shop to find out how nature's bounty can serve you. http://www.etsy.com/shop ThePlantainPouch

    1 year ago

  • AmberHeartOfTheFinch

    Nicola Hart from StarlightSilverUK says:

    Nom! I've just finished bottling my elderflower champagne, hand picked from our countryside trees. there is nothing better than locally hand made foods, to be able to buy this delicious array on a global scale is a privilege that is underrated by most. I encourage anyone to make their own jams, preserves, and beers. This way you will truly understand just how much time, skill and love goes into these local ingredients. Food sellers, I salute you (especially the fudge makers. Can I get my fudge to solidify? Nope!)

    1 year ago

  • irismiller

    Iris Miller from SimplyAbundantLife says:

    One of my FAV posts yet! Etsy is so wonderfully enlightening! I add an artisan food/product to every SimplyAbundantLife Apothecary Kit I offer...It adds a home grown, feel good touch for your customers! Plus, there is GREAT JOY in creating your very own TREASURE to share and bless others with!!!

    1 year ago