“Made in Sonoma” Gift Box
We truly appreciate your support of Sonoma Food Tour & our local businesses in Sonoma and hope you enjoy the products we included. All the items in this box are from companies located in the small town of Sonoma and were carefully selected to represent a sampling of our delicious locally-made products! What’s Included in this box:
VELLA CHEESE COMPANY – was established in Sonoma in 1931. Vella’s is a fourth generation, family-owned business. Only natural ingredients go into their cheeses and coatings. All the milk in their cheese comes from Mertens Dairy: a local sustainably farmed Sonoma family dairy and their happy free-range California cows. The whey, which is a by-product of cheesemaking, returns to Mertens dairy and to local vineyards to enrich their crops. Vella’s is a local gem and we hope you love their cheeses as much as we locals do!
Toma Cheese - This soft, mild, slightly-ripened cheese originated in the Piedmont area of the Italian Peninsula. Toma actually means “cheese made by the farmer himself”! This cheese takes a great deal of hand labor and care and Vella’s believes they are the first US cheese factory that makes Toma. Toma is a perfect melting cheese for making mac & cheese for making a grilled cheese sandwich. It is also lovely just by itself or with some crackers.
Mezzo Secco (Partially Dry Monterey Jack) – This is a cheese you can only find at Vella’s. They created the recipe and tare the only ones in the world who make it! The genesis for this cheese lies in the need for a soft or medium soft cheese to hold up during the hot summer months when there was a lack of refrigeration in the 1920s. Mezzo Secco is translated to “half-dried” in Italian and the cheese is aged 7-10 months. It is a wonderful cheese since it can be melted or grated and the rind is eatable and consists only of oil and pepper – I personally love the rind! Yum! Enjoy it with wine, beer or sparkling!
NOTE: These cheeses will be fine not refrigerated for 7-10 days if it is soft, simply put it in your fridge for a little while.
Here’s a link to how they make their delicious cheese: https://vellacheese.com/images/cheesemaking1.pdf
ANGELO’S WINE COUNTRY MEATS– Angelo’s is a favorite roadside stop for people coming to and from Sonoma on Hwy 12. They have a deli and make amazing jerkies, sauces, olives, mustards, spices and salsas.
VIP jerky - an aged beef with a wonderful blend of white wine and spices.
BOULANGERIE CAFE - Located on the historic square of Sonoma and is a second generation bakery, originally started in Sonoma in 1956 as the Sonoma French Bakery in the Sebastiani Theatre building. The founders' family arrived in the United States from the southwest region of France, specifically the Pyrenees Mountains that separate France from Spain. Their team of talented bakers start late at night, every night, using the old world European tradition of hand crafted baking artisanship in order to create these crusty, hand made loaves of peasant bread, inspired by our founders' Basque ancestors. They use traditional stone hearth ovens to assure the same consistent, traditional bread with no preservatives.
Sourdough Crostini – these tasty rounds of baguette are brushed with olive oil, and lightly sprinkled with pretzel salt and pepper before being baked. They are perfect with cheese or bruschetta (see recipe below):
Fresh Bruschetta with Balsamic Recipe Bruschette is a fresh, deliciously tasty, extremely flavorful and brilliantly simple Italian appetizer that can be prepared in just 15 minutes with just a few common ingredients. Think of a lazy summer night on the garden patio with friends, family, and loved ones, enjoying bruschetta and bubbly and of course a good conversation.
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 5 min
Ready in: 15 min
Yields: 24 bruschetta
Bag of Basque Boulangerie Crostini
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped onions, either white or red
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup Figone’s balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons garlic, either minced, minced pickled, or even powdered
Drizzle of Figone’s olive oil
Pinch of salt & pepper, to taste
Sprinkle of grated Vella’s Mezzo Secco
To a medium mixing bowl, add chopped tomatoes, onion, chopped fresh basil (or parsley), 1 teaspoon of garlic (optional), a drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour in the balsamic vinegar and stir the mixture. Let sit in fridge for 1-2 hours.
Just before serving, spoon the bruschetta mixture over the surface of the toasted bread slices and sprinkle grated Vella’s Mezzo Secco over the top.
SONOMA CREAMERY -founded in 1931 as a creamery and in 2014 they began making crispy, crunchy snacks by baking cheese into a crunchy, portable format. They use simple, high quality ingredients, avoiding anything they can’t pronounce. And all their products are free of preservatives and artificial ingredients.
Parmesan Crisp Bars – are a delicious new snack made from 100% parmesan cheese. They are high in protein and have 0 carbs.
FIGONE OLIVE OIL* - Figone Olive Oil Company is a small, family operated, specialty Olive Oil and Balsamic producer located on the Square in beautiful Sonoma, California. Since 1989 they have produced premium quality estate-bottled extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars. They have over 260 acres of olive trees and vineyards. Frank’s great grandfather’s emigrated from Tuscany in 1928. On the journey from Italy, he brought a live olive tree sapling, planted almost a century ago, it now embodies the heritage of Figone Olive Oil Co. and stands testament to how the roots of a grandfather’s vision nourished the fruit of his great grandson’s dream. Check out Figone’s Recipes
Traditional Balsamic from Figone’s Olive Oil - A 20-year-old barrel aged balsamic vinegar. 100% Natural. Hand crafted in the traditional Modena style.
Tuscan Herb Olive Oil from Figone’s Olive Oil - A great blend of Basil, Thyme, Parsley, Rosemary, Oregano, Sage and dried Garlic herbs infused with our fresh Tuscan Blend Olive Oil. This oil is Great on grilled meats, fish, poultry, pasta salads, green salads, dips and vegetables.
You may have received a different olive oil and balsamic if Figone was out of stock. We also love SONOMA HARVEST! They were inspired by Sonoma County’s famous vineyards, farm-to-table cuisine, and local community of farmers and artisans, so they wanted to create a brand that honored the wine country heritage and our roots as local residents of Sonoma. What first started as a carefully curated selection of olive oil quickly grew into an artisanal assortment of gourmet vinegars, jams, jellies, tapanades, mustards, honeys and sauces.
SAVORY SPICE SHOP – Located in the Market Place shopping center in Sonoma, specializes in fresh, flavorful spices, simple meal solutions, gift sets, and other tasty products to help you live life full - of meaningful moments, delightful experiences, and of course, flavorful food.
Citrus Rub Spice - This salt-free seasoning is peppery, citrusy, and garlicky with herbal notes and medium-low heat. Rub on proteins like chicken and pork before roasting or grilling. Sprinkle on fish and veggies or toss in stir-fries.
WINE COUNTRY CHOCOLATES – Founded in 1999, is based in the Sonoma where they make their chocolates fresh with no preservatives or additives. It is a woman owned business run by Caroline & Betty – a mother daughter dynamic duo. After years of working in the corporate world, they both quit to follow their dream of becoming chocolatiers and after hours of study and practice, and lots of gratifying experimentation they created a line of confections that surpassed all expectations of world-class chocolate.
Dark Chocolate Almond Bark - Their Chocolate Almond Bark is perfect for the almond-chocolate purist. They enrobe California grown almonds in their 61% dark chocolate for a slightly semisweet decadence. Almonds are packed with protein and vitamins, and have extended hunger-satisfaction properties. Paired with dark chocolate this bark is practically a health food!
SONOMA BRANDS – Jon Sebastiani founded Sonoma Brands in 2016. Sonoma Brands partners with passionate entrepreneurs and founders who are creating innovative products. One of their partners is Smashmallow who created the Smash Gummies included in your box. Prior to founding Sonoma Brands, Jon was the Founder & CEO of KRAVE Pure Foods. The Sebastiani family’s roots run deep in Sonoma. Samuele Sebastiani emigrated from the Tuscany region of Italy in 1895 and started Sebastiani Winery nine years later. A stonemason by trade, he quarry-mined the Sonoma hills for cobblestones that were used to build the streets of San Francisco. He worked long hours and saved carefully to buy land in Sonoma County, from which he would make wine for the Sonoma community and San Francisco’s restaurants. The winery was the only one in Sonoma County to continue operations through Prohibition, making a small amount of sacramental and medicinal wines. It has been joked, and perhaps with some grain of truth, that during this time there was a resurgence of people becoming very religious!
Smash Gummies - This is no ordinary gummy. This is SMASHGUMMY™. Experience the thrill of naturally gluten free and deliciously non-GMO ingredients in this simply sweet and satisfying treat. At 3 grams of sugar per serving, it's an every-day, any-time of day fantastical flavor adventure that sends your taste buds soaring. SMASHGUMMY™ is made with organic cane sugar and other natural ingredients – no corn syrup, sugar alcohols, carrageenan, or anything fake or phony. It's made without nuts, dairy, wheat, or soy ingredients.
BARKING DOG ROASTERS - Founded in 1995 in the heart of the Sonoma Valley, Barking Dog Roasters is all about one thing: Community. Barking Dog see coffee as remarkably similar to wine, as they both are so representative of the varietal, growing region, and production style. They treat every batch of coffee beans they roast with as much care and precision as a vintner does with their wines. For this box, Victor and I selected the Alpha Dog & the Moka Java Blends.
Alpha Dog Blend – The Alpha Dog is the blend of choice for their founder of the Barking Dog: Peter Hodgson. It is a blend of Sumatran and Guatemalan coffees and has a flavor profile that is robust and full bodied while also being citrusy and light. This blend show cases characteristics that are commonly found in both medium roasts (citrusy and crisp) and darker roasts(full body and dark chocolate) helping bridge the gap between those who prefer dark roasts and those who prefer a lighter coffee. It is also one of our most popular roasts to date. The favorite of thier own leader, this powerful blend inherits its mild acidity and citrus notes from Guatemala and the chocolate earthiness of Sumatra. Full bodied and spicy, it’ll make an Alpha out of you!
Cupping Notes: Rich, Nutty, Chocolate, Citrus Region: Sumatra and Guatemala Process: Fully Washed Roast Level: Medium (Full City Roast)
If you are a Facebook or Instagram user, please post a picture of yourself enjoying the Made in Sonoma Gift Box and tag us @SonomaFoodTour - Thank you!!