Want to remember your trip to Charleston? These flavorful souvenirs are the perfect way to do it.
Charleston is a small city with big-city sensibilities. Given the wealth of award-winning restaurants in town, eating is an experience here, but the good food isn't confined to these eateries' walls. Small-batch and artisanal products abound, and local craft is prized above all. So save some room in your luggage for these gifts that evoke the true flavor of this great American city.
Carolina Sea Salt
The term terroir takes on new meaning when the product is actually part of the landscape (or seascape). The Carolina Flake Salt from Bulls Bay Saltworks is solar-evaporated and harvested from a bay just north of Charleston. It's a wide, flat flake that is easily one of the best finishing salts for grilled fish or fresh salads.
Burnt and Salty Korean Mustard
Chef de Cuisine Bob Cook of Cypress and Artisan Meat Share (AMS) has ventured into the condiment business with this first offering from the new Burnt and Salty, a special Korean Mustard. The mustard, which has been sold for a while in tubs from the case at AMS, is now properly bottled and ready to grace anything from cheese plates to burgers with its addictive sweet twang.
Related: Hotels in Charleston
High Wire Distilling Sorghum Whiskey
Sorghum was once many a Southerner's attempt to avoid the molasses tax, and although that failed, this small-batch whiskey from High Wire Distilling is a winner. Full of the dark and yet decidedly "green" sorghum taste (the whole plant is used in production), this whiskey's demand is high at the moment, because it makes a stalwart milk punch or holiday egg nog—or a simple fireside sip.
King Bean Twenty Strong Coffee
Order a coffee at many of Charleston's best restaurants, and the likelihood is high that what comes to the table is a King Bean roast. Twenty Strong is the full-bodied commemorative roast celebrating the company's twenty-year anniversary.
Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice
While officially milled further upstate, this rice is nevertheless quintessentially Charleston. It is the historic grain upon which much of Charleston's antebellum wealth was built, and because of Glenn Roberts, Anson Mills' founder and heirloom grain visionary, the unique characteristics of this historical grain are once again available.
Natural Blonde Bloody Mary Mix
Charleston native and award-winning bartender John Aquino won the Bloody Mary Throwdown at the local Cooper River Bridge Run afterparty in 2012 with this recipe, which he's dubbed Natural Blonde Bloody Mary Mix. It's inspired by a yellow tomato gazpacho he'd enjoyed at Hank's Seafood. What sets it apart is its fresh tomato pulp using Valencia Gold tomatoes grown on nearby Johns Island.
Charleston Spice Company's Aliño Blend
While many of the Charleston Spice Company's blends may not be traditionally "Southern," they speak to the diverse nature and creative talent that the city embraces. Owner Garnette Tuten's childhood memory of Peru comes through in this herb blend with spearmint and lemon, surprisingly good in quiche.
Bittermilk No. 2 Tom Collins Mix
This cocktail mix from from Bittermilk is made with Elderflower & Hops. Days of the cut-rate cocktail mixer are long gone, since Bittermilk came out of the kitchens of The Gin Joint. Home experimentation is encouraged—it plays well with gin, vodka, whiskey, and even tequila.