This weekend’s Artisanal L.A. is a food nerd fantasy come to life. Twice a year and for two whole days, the artisan food fair plays host to California’s emerging talent in the arenas of baked goods, jerky, chocolate, pasta—you name it. For those on the lookout for such things, it’s the place to discover a revolutionary cookie or game-changing jam. We say try everything, but here’s a list of five vendors that you should not miss this go around.
Granola Mama’s Handmade: Baked in her Silver Lake kitchen, Wendy Osmundson’s globally inspired granola can make a hippie out of anyone. The Paris blend, a rich combination of dark chocolate, freeze-dried raspberries and sea salt, is so addictive and designed to be eaten by the handful. More exotic tastes might go for the Thai chili- and basil-infused Bangkok blend or the Marrakesh with dried apricots and Moroccan spices.
Baia Pasta: It’s easy to get caught up in all the sweets at Artisanal L.A., but you can also find practical pantry staples, too. Case in point: Baia Pasta. The San Francisco-based company produces dry pastas using local organic grains and traditional Italian pasta-making methods. Talk to the vendors before picking a box—they’ll give you a little lesson on their brand and help you pick the right “cut” for the sauce you’re using.
Donut Snob: There are so many good donuts in town these days, and Donut Snob is one of the best. Flavored with everything from fresh seasonal berries and hand-squeezed juices to organic nuts and marshmallows made from scratch, these pillowy doughnuts really are snob proof. Don’t miss the simple and delicious Salted Caramel or the s’mores-inspired Campfire.
Paragon Jams: Most of the jams and jellies at Artisanal are good, but Paragon Jams is a standout. Almost all the fruit used is organic and local, and the flavors are wonderfully balanced and inventive. We like the pink grapefruit marmalade with pink peppercorns and the strawberry basil preserves, which is a fantastic topper for home-baked tarts and muffins.
Raw Nut Milk: You know that almond milk that you get at the grocery store? Well, it’s nothing like the one that Celina De Luna’s Raw Nut Milk makes, which is painstakingly produced using an hours-long process. As a result, it’s creamy, flavorful, and not cheap—a pint goes for between $9-$12. Once in a while it’s worth it, though, and if you don’t watch out you’ll get addicted. The original flavor is the best, but chocolate vanilla bean and spiced banana are definitely worth a try.
Artisanal L.A. takes place this weekend, October 11-12 at 1933 Broadway, Downtown. Tickets can be purchased online for a discount or full-price at the door. Find more details on the Artisanal L.A. website.