CogniTea's Choices: 15 Local Foods You Have to Try This Holiday Season

Gift Guide + Giveaway: Our Favorite Products to Power Your Holidays Reading CogniTea's Choices: 15 Local Foods You Have to Try This Holiday Season 9 minutes Next Shaun Provost: Live Unbreakable #ICANIWILL

Holidays are all about family, friends, and food. Lot’s of food. So we’ve rounded up some of our favorite local (Boston-based) goodies to share with you all. Go ahead and treat a loved one (or yourself!) to some of these delectable wares.

Chirping Chips



Six Foods put insects in your pantry, in chip form. Their Chirps are chips made with cricket flour, wholesome beans, and rice. These delectable baked snacks have 3x the protein and half the fat of the leading potato chip, and come in delicious flavors such as Hickory BBQ and Aged Cheddar. Plus they are all-natural and gluten-free. Founders, Laura D'Asaro, Rose Wang, and Meryl Natow are on a mission to introduce insects as a healthy and sustainable ingredient to replace the use of staples such as ground beef. Think you can stomach it? Join the club, 80% of countries and over 2.5 billion people around the world eat crickets. That’s a lot of chirps!

/ $15.99 for 3-Pack. Based in Cambridge.

Pure Chocolate Bliss



Pure7 Chocolate make mouth-watering chocolate, sweetened with only raw honey. There's no dairy, soy, gluten, refined sugars, preservatives, or chemicals, just honest to goodness pure organic ingredients. Handmade in Carlisle, MA, Julie MacQueen and Carrie Raho perfected their chocolate recipes for over a year, and now have delectable flavors such as Salted Almond, Espresso, and Peppermint. Each bar contains at least 85% cacao, which means these pure chocolate bars are sure to cure your cocoa craving.

/ $5.79 to $7.50. Based in Carlisle.

Natural Hydration



Maple Water provides natural hydration, compliments of the sap that comes straight from maple trees. Founded by Kate Weiler and Jeff Rose, avid triatheletes, this refreshing water offers a hint of maple flavor along with 46 naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, antioxidants and prebiotics -- all with half the sugar of coconut water. So next time you head out on your long training run or 4am cycling ride, be sure to grab this natural tonic.

/ $18 for 6-Pack. Based in Concord.

Bite-Sized Healthy Snacking



Enerchi Bites are a bite-sized chia-based energy snacks for your active lifestyle. Designed to meet many peoples' dietary restrictions, these decadent “truffles” are all natural, preservative free, gluten free, soy free, and nut free. Enerchi Bites was founded by Annie and Marla, twin sisters in Boston who had trouble finding the ideal healthy snack to hold them over during the day, but which wouldn’t fill them up and ruin their appetite for dinner. They come in three delicious flavors: Apple Cinnamon, Cocoa-Date, Coconut Oatmeal Raisin.

/ $6. Based in Boston.

Premium Cold Brew Tea



Evy Tea offers a modern take on ancient tea steeping practices to provide award winning flavors. Unlike boiling water, which often burns and damages tea leaves, cold water allows the tea to bloom slowly offering delicate flavors without bitterness. Evy Chen started the company “to serve tea in the most beautiful way it can be,” which means all-natural and with just 100% tea. The process takes 16 hours and offers clean, vibrant flavors, such as the award-winning Amber Oolong.

/ $25.99 for 3-Pack. Based in Seaport.

Hometown Hooch



Bully Boy Distillers is Boston’s first craft distillery producing small-batch rum, whiskey, and vodka. According to company lore, brothers Will and Dave Willis were inspired by their great-grandfather who ran a Prohibition-era speak-easy on his farm in Sherborn. The whiskeys and vodka are USDA certified organic, and handmade in small, numbered batches. You can schedule a tour at their distillery to learn more about the craft first hand.

/ $28-$32. Based in Roxbury.

Farm-Fresh (Hard) Apple Cider



Downeast Cider comes to Charlestown, Massachusetts by way of a family orchard near Waterville, Maine. Ross Brockman and Tyler Mosher started out hand-picking, pressing, and packing their cider, as a way to “make cider that tasted like the farm.” Their cider is distinctly cloudy because it is unfiltered, and made with fresh-pressed New England apple cider sourced from local farmers. They have six flavors, including their Original Blend and special barrel-aged varieties only available at local watering-holes. You can also catch a tour at their 9,000-square-foot Charlestown warehouse beneath the Tobin Bridge.

/ $10 for a 4-Pack. Based in Charlestown.


Boost your Workout, with Chocolate



Perfect Fuel Chocolate is an organic dark chocolate infused with ginseng for healthy, active people. The idea came to Nicolas Warren the night before a triathlon, when he realized that he forgot his beloved training tools: ginseng and chocolate. Inspiration struck and he decided to create a convenient way to combine the benefits of both superfoods. Perfect Fuel Chocolate is great in the morning, afternoon, or 30 min before a workout to give you the long lasting endurance you need, without the caffeine jitters, combining nutritious cocoa and the vitality of North American ginseng.

/ $19.99. Based in Boston.


Portable Snacking



Cuppow started as a simple idea: How to turn canning jars into travel mugs? Mason jars make great alternatives to throw away cups: They are easy to clean, made of heat-resistant glass, cheap, and durable, but their big opening makes for easy spilling. So, Somerville’s Joshua Resnikoff and Aaron Panone went about creating lids that turns the jars into travel-friendly sippy cups. They have now expanded into a lunch friendly option, the BNTO, so you can separate the canning jar into two compartments (such as salad and dressing). Each product utilize BPA and phthalate free food-grade recycled plastic.

/ $8.99. Based in Somerville.

Artisan Snacking by the Handful



Q’s Nuts make sweet, savory, and exotic flavored roasted nuts that are crafted to taste as good as they smell. Started by husband and wife team, Beth and Brian “Q” Quinn, this family-owned & operated establishment churns out 100 pounds of nuts a day in small batches. The fragrant and smokey aroma wafts out of their Davis Square location, with eccentric flavors such as Key Lime Ginger Almonds, Cayenne Mango Pecans, and Rosemary Sea Salted Cashews.

/ $3.49-$6.99. Based in Somerville.

Handcrafted Brewing Kits



Box Brew Kits make it easy to keep those ugly plastic beer fermenters out of sight, because these beautifully crafted homebrewing kits are something you’ll want to show off. Every aspect of brewing is provided for, from the glassware, to over 25 recipes, to the portable wooden base, so you can get started brewing in style. Founded by Mike Langone, each kit is built by hand in their Somerville, MA workshop from rustic pine and locally-sourced components. The home brewing kits are perfect for brewing cider, mead, and - of course - beer.

/ $159+. Based in Somerville.

Farmers Market Delivery



Something GUD delivers the best locally sourced food directly to your door. Peruse their offering of goods, comprised of small growers and artisanal food makers in the area. Founded by Colin Davis, Something Gud was started “to make it really easy to get great local food,” and you can shop for everything from seasonal veggies to Taza chocolate to freshly roasted coffee, compliments of Barismo. If you find yourself near Union Square, swing by to check out their indoor farmers’ market, have a beer at Aeronaut Brewing Company, or go for a climb at Brooklyn Boulders.

/ Pricing varies. Based in Somerville.

The New Boston Tea Party



CogniTea is an energizing tea crafted to boost cognitive performance. The company is on a mission to reinvent tea, as Founder Alex Kravets notes, “everyone knows tea is good for you, but we wanted to show that it can be functional too, if it has the right ingredients.” Billed as a “better alternative to coffee,” the all-natural tea provides “productive energy,” enhancing concentration, alertness, and mental clarity, without the associated jittery energy from too much caffeine. Who couldn’t use that?

/ $6 for Sample Pack. Based in Seaport.


Snacking Delight




NatureBox delivers five different, carefully sourced and nutritionist-approved snacks right to your door each month. Choose from over 100 snack options, or let NatureBox surprise you, but rest assured you'll be receiving a healthy delight as their wholesome-based snacks contain no artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors. The best part is that they can deliver to your home or office, so you never have to be without a quick, easy, and healthful option. And, for every box they deliver, they also donate one meal through Feeding America® to help the millions of Americans who go hungry.

/ $19.95 per month. Babson stratup.


Don’t forget Fido!



2 Dogs Treats make all-natural healthy dog treats using locally sourced ingredients. Handmade in Port Norfolk, MA, these human-grade quality goodies come in flavors such as Just Chicken, Just Beef, and Just Organic Sweet Potato, which are kind of light a healthy version of a potato chip. With no preservatives, hormones or steroids, the flavors are simply a straightforward and healthy treat for your dogs. And if you order online, they will even handwrite your pet’s name on the label, along with a made on date, and an expiration date, so you know exactly how fresh each treat is.

/ $29.95 for 15 oz. 2-Pack. Based in Boston.

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