Monday, February 11, 2008

Goodies at the Golden Fig

Today was a rough day at work, boy I'll tell ya. I was charged with ordering chocolates for our clients for Valentine's day. I know, rough right? Oh, the drugery. My bruised fingertips ache from all the Googling I've been doing.
Right, like this isn't my dream assignment. Being a moderate localvore (I can't give up grapefruit - you can't make me!) I'm always looking for the opportunity to take advantage of the great food resources that we have here in Minnesota. I think one of the greatest places to shop on the planet is Golden Fig on Grand Avenue. I did a majority of my Christmas shopping for my mom and sister (and okay, me too) there.
Julie got ruby colored popcorn and a beautiful photograph of pickles, Mom got a cookbook from the Gunflint Trail, gouda with fenugeek in it (delicious!), Matt got a book written by D.J. Tice and I got to sample poke, fondle and smell my way through this tiny little store front. The size belies the resources within. There is an ever changing array of culinary delights held within. There are the sassy jams and pickles from Talmage Farms outside of Duluth, cheeses from everywhere, cider from small orchards and various house made spice blends. Try the hot cocoa with the delightfully gooey raspberry marshmellows! To DIE for!
It stands in stark contrast to the Cooks on Crocus Hill just up the street. Where they are layden with all kinds of exotic and facintating tools, the ubiquious Le Crueset casseroles stacked to the ceiling and the buzz of big money gourmands flitting excidedly around the store. At the Golden Fig you're greeted warmly by the enthusiastic and helpful staff before being turned lose on the free samples. These people are clearly a tight knit group who are there because they love and believe in what they are doing. It's not often, in this world of Big Boxes and Noodles & Co. that you can find such a happy Mom 'n' Pop type homey atmosphere. Not to mention that their products are pure and made with the best intentions. You won't find any High Fructose Corn Syrup listed on the back of anything. Pure, golden maple syrup, hand made coffee mugs with adorable little snowmen dancing on the front, kicky little salsas and framed prints of art, the subjects all discovered at the St. Paul Farmers market. This store is a haven for any foodie and a real gem for the saintly city.
If you're out shopping for some chocolates for your sweetie, I highly recommend getting some here. I bought the Twin Cities blend for most of my clients. The one that claims she doesn't like chocolate (unfathomable) I got the Talmage Farms strawberry rhubarb jam with shortbread cookies! Who wouldn't be thrilled to open that?


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