Note: Many of the Rhode Island products featured in this cookbook can be purchased online from Only in Rhode Island (http://www.onlyinrhodeisland.com/eatdrinbemer.html).
Jeff the BeeMan started with one hive in 1996, and now harvests from more than 1,000 hives throughout Rhode Island to produce pure, raw, chemical-free honey, “hot” honey, and honey straws.
Since 1895, Autocrat has been making coffee syrups and extracts to fuel Rhode Islanders’ passion for coffee milk (the official state drink), iced coffee, coffee “cabinets”, and all things coffee. In 1990 the company bought the formula of its arch-rival, Eclipse, and now markets both syrups, along with other coffee and tea products.
Fans of The X Files will recognize the name Chepachet, a village in northwest Rhode Island. Chepachet Farms, owned and operated by RISD culinary arts graduate Jody Esposito and her husband, Neil, offers tours of its on-site sugaring house along with many farm-related programs for families.
Linda Kane, a chef/instructor at Johnson & Wales University, met Aimee Fontaine when they worked together at the college’s Feinstein Community Service Center. They started a business on the side –named Sauce on the Side -- and began producing Linda’s secret recipes for hot sauce and ketchup.
On Route 1 near the beach in Charlestown, Dave’s Coffee, a Certified Organic Coffee Roaster and family-owned business, makes coffee syrup that contains no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial sweeteners, and no fake colors. The all-natural, cold-brewed syrup comes in original, vanilla and mocha flavors, and in decaf, too.
Franco DeLucia brought his father's frozen lemonade recipe from Naples to America at the turn of the century. In 1948, Franco’s son opened a frozen lemonade stand in Cranston, and each generation of the family has expanded the business. Del’s comes multiple flavors, and in handy plastic buckets to mix your own at home.
The Conte family dry roasts their pumpkin, sunflower, flax seeds and trail mix, because they feel “baking in a pool of oil is just as unhealthy as frying”. They started their Johnston-based company in 2003, by popular demand – of their friends! Their products are all-natural, gluten-free, and kosher.
For generations of Rhode Islanders, Iggy’s Doughboys and Chowder House epitomizes summer. More than just a clam shack on the beach in Warwick, Iggy’s is a Rhode Island institution, serving clams every which way -- in clam cakes, chowder, fried or stuffed – along with sugary doughboys.
A grist mill is a grain mill that turns whole berries of grain or whole kernels of corn into meal or flour. At Kenyon's Grist Mill, in business in Kingston for more than 100 years, they still do it the old-fashioned way and continue to use the original granite millstones quarried in Westerly.
Former Providence mayor Vincent “Buddy” Cianci was a colorful figure in the city’s history. He rejuvenated the downtown, but was convicted on racketeering charges and served nearly five years in prison. He also created a delicious (and vegan) marinara sauce, and the proceeds of every sale helps fund programs for Providence school children.
While a student at Brown University a decade ago, Louella Hill changed the face of the Providence food scene by founding Farm Fresh Rhode Island, which coordinates farmers markets around the state. In 2007 she turned her attention to cheesemaking, and from that passion was born Narragansett Creamery, a partnership with established cheesemaker Mark Federico’s Providence Specialty Products. Some of their cheeses are available online.
In 1999, Brent, Derek, Mark, and Will, four buddies fresh from college graduation, set up shop with used equipment in a rented space in Middletown. Today, their expanded Newport brewery boasts a visitor center, and turns out more than 30 varieties of beer as well as Thomas Tew Rum.
In the late 1930s, the Stevens family, originally from Greece, moved from New York to Rhode Island and opened a small restaurant in the Olneyville section of Providence. Today, in Olneyville and Cranston, they’re still serving up the state’s famous “New York System” weiners, topped with a sauce made with their secret spice mix.
Poblano Farm is a small, sustainable pepper and tomato farm in South Kingstown. Their line of Mexican-inspired salsas (we’re partial to the hot, hot habanero salsa) and traditional Italian marinara sauces are all-natural and vegan.
In 1980, Johanna Killeen and George Germon introduced the culinary world to the grilled pizza at their Providence restaurant, Al Forno. Since 2009, Top This! Pizza Crusts, based in Providence, has been selling thin, pre-grilled, fresh pizza crusts, so we can make our own designer grilled pizzas at home. We use the whole wheat crusts (they also sell a white wheat version), and top them with lots of good Rhode Island ingredients.
When Jens, chef and former restaurant owner, met Bart, a retired naval officer, in their home town of Bristol, their shared entrepreneurial spirit led to the creation of Wicked Good, a company that makes mustards, ketchups, jams and salsas, featuring Jens’ contemporary twist on some of his favorite Swedish recipes. In Rhode Island, “wicked good” means, well… really, really good, and that describes these condiments to a tee.
Tucked away in the far northwest corner of Rhode Island, Wright’s Farm evolved from a working family farm to a landmark restaurant under the leadership of the Galleshaw family. The restaurant is known for its family-style chicken dinners, which always begin with fresh rolls baked on site, and a salad dressed with their famous Italian dressing.