Local "must have" products - Boston MA

We talk a lot on here about restaurants - but a lot of us love to cook at home too. So I was curious about what local products people have discovered that are either “must haves” or “staples” in their homes. I was thinking of things with some shelf life (fridge/freezer/canned/etc) as opposed to take-out/restaurant foods, but we can see where this goes.

I discovered one in 2016 that has become a staple for those “i don’t feel like cooking” dinners and I have to say I really like them.

Chinese Brand Dumplings - made by the Chinese Spaghetti Factory here in Boston. My favorite are the ‘pork and shrimp’ dumplings (think pot stickers and they have other flavors). I found them in a freezer in my local Hannafords, picked them up to try since the entire freezer was full of them - and I was hooked. I steam them and then quick saute to give the bottoms a little color. I could eat a whole bag.

(okay I was thinking just local products but let’s break my rule in my own post)

I also accidentally found “Sir Kensington’s Mayonnaise” at Whole Foods (made in NY). I’m not sure I’ll ever buy another mayo again. It is awesome tasting (for those who like mayo, I won’t be so presumptive to tell non-mayo people they should try it). I often make my own mayo but this is better than mine. I may have to try different oils in my mayo or something.

Anyone have anything that they have discovered recently that they would put out there?

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We keep a container of Rockport Lobster bisque in the freezer at all times. We buy it at Market Basket.

Bob’s Red Mill pancake mix from Market Basket as well.

Very familiar with Bob’s stuff - always good.

Is the Rockport Lobster Bisque found in the freezer section of Market Basket? I’ll have to check it out.

We shop at the Waltham location. It is not in the regular freezer section. It’s in a small case near the fresh fish.

I like the frozen scallion pancakes that you can get at the 88 that are made in Revere.

Oh, good to know about those. Do you know if they are made with lard? Just asking for my veggie son.

The Chinese Spaghetti Factory dumplings are quite good. My husband doesn’t love shellfish, so my favorite are the pork and leek (pretty sure that’s what they are called.) If they aren’t available, I’ll go for the pork and cabbage or just plain pork. They are all good.

There was a thread on Sir Kensington’s mayo on Chowhound Boston a few months back and I picked some up. It is delicious. I particularly like the lemon flavor. It works great in a tartar or remoulade sauce for seafood. Some people found it a bit eggy, though.

I usually have a couple of bags of Moody’s sausages in the freezer for a quick meal. I also have a bag of the smoked pulled pork that I haven’t tried yet.

Not a recent discovery but a long time favorite…Capone Food in Union Square, somerville. great house made sausages, pizza, pasta sauces, empanadas (Al Capone is from Argentina), reasonable prices on imported cured meats and cheese, and house made ricotta and mozzarella.

Oh, I keep meaning to pick up the pizza. Thanks for the reminder. Love Capone. On a completely non-Italian note, the individual vanilla beans there are reasonably priced and fresh. And the parm is cryovaced so it lasts quite a while.

hmmm, I’m not sure. My package of them is in Mass. at present, and I’m not–so I can’t check. They have a website with a contact form (http://www.chinesescallionpie.com/index.html) but not much other info…

Thanks! Maybe I’ll just have to drop by Super 88 in the next few days and check it out. Dumplings and scallion pancakes for dinner…sounds pretty good.

I haven’t made it to Super 88 yet - have been meaning to get there!

I’ll have to check out Capone. Are their pizza’s pre-cooked, take-n-bake, frozen?

The sausage reference made me think of De Pasquale’s sausages in Newton are quite good. They have a breakfast sausage (patties) that are frozen (or were only available frozen last time I was in there) that were great. I like their other sausages too (I think Russo’s carries them too - though I wasn’t thrilled with their chinese sausage but I think I don’t love them in general).

Oh, I almost always have De Pasquale’s sausages in my freezer (or Bianco’s, which I get at Market Basket), but never bothered to try the breakfast sausage. Thanks for the tip!

The Capone pizzas are frozen and come in several varieties. They are bake from frozen.

I forgot that perhaps our most favorite item at Capone Foods are the cracked green olives (no pits) he cures himself. We get them once a week.

My family really likes the fusilli made by Deano’s in Somerville. We usually stock up several bags in our freezer when they come to our local Farmer’s market in the summer. Their raviolis are usually good too.

I love Sir Kensington mayo. It’s expensive, but we don’t use much so it lasts for a long time for us. I know it’s easy to make mayo yourself but we don’t use it fast enough to make homemade.

I recently had a really good frozen, take-and-bake/finish at home pizza from Pepe Bocca. They have stacks of frozen baked pizzas stacked up haphazardly in their freezer. They are sold by weight.

http://www.pepebocca.com/

Moody’s sausages are a go-to for me, too! Every time I stop at Moody’s, I check out the foods in their fridge and freezer for other finds. Confit duck legs (frozen, in a bag) and the house-made sauerkraut from their fridge are some other items we have enjoyed. While not inexpensive, these treats help me put together a nicer meal fast.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold