Best Rhode Island-Made Food Products + Where To Get Them

Thursday, September 19, 2013


For our relatively small size, Rhode Island is home to some talented food producers. They run the gamut from food to wine and use our landscape as inspiration. We picked 5 of our favorite local products--there are sooo many more--and let you know where to find them...


Thomas Tew Rum, Newport

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Newport was once the largest per capita rum producer in the world at one point. Believe that? Trade with far-off lands left Newporters in possession of a lot of sugar cane, and what else would you do with it? Flash forward some 300 years and you find the fine folks at Coastal Extreme Brewery--they of Newport Storm beer fame--making a rum of a different sort. This dark rum is much more akin to a fine scotch than it is to the rums of our youth. It can be enjoyed with a minimum of additions--even just ice--and features the aroma of blackstrap molasses. They filter it to remove any imperfections and barrel age it. You are left with a product that Thomas Tew--a local pirate--himself would be proud to drink. 293 JT Connell Rd,

Dave's Coffee Syrup, Charlestown

You've got to have some good coffee syrup--and a lot of guts--to crack the market in coffee-crazed Rhode Island. Dave's has done just that. We locals were indoctrinated into the coffee cult at an early age, usually by a parent or grandparent who showed us how to achieve the perfect ratio of syrup to milk. Dave's uses the same care in their syrups that goes into their well-sourced coffees. They use only natural ingredients.

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There is no high fructose corn syrup here, just tremendous flavor. The vanilla version is a hit with our nephews and we love the mocha. You will get that unique authentic flavor that will lead more generations to love our state drink. 5193 Old Post Road, 322-0006,

Yacht Club Soda, Centerdale

For almost a 100 years now, Yacht Club Soda has been making cola in its Centerdale location. It has become, quite literally, an institution. It's the official soda of the state of Rhode Island, and they feature around 30 flavors. It is another product that eschews high fructose corn syrup in favor of the more costly sugar. Classic cola and diet cola are featured alongside the old-school classics birch beer and cream soda. They are clean-tasting because of the lack of additives. You can purchase it at local supermarkets such East Side Marketplace or at great local spots like Nick's on Broadway. Get one of Nick's Blackbird Farm burgers with a Yacht Club and keep it local all the way around! 2239 Mineral Spring Ave. 231-9290,

Daniele Cured Meats, Pascoag

Are you looking for local, family made charcuteire? They have you covered at Daniele, Inc. Since 1977, they have been producing the fruits--meats?--of their ancestors' labor in tiny Pascoag. They may be of Croatian descent, but boy do Italian flavors ring true here. They feature all of your classic Italian cured meats: prosciutto, salame, sopressata, capocollo, and some tasty mortadella. They use local pork in some of their products and they add more local flavor every day. You can order their products on their website or through Amazon. Dave's Marketplace also carries some of their products.

Narragansett Creamery Cheeses, Providence

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Last, but certainly not least, we have the delectable cheeses of Narragansett Creamery. It began when Mark Federico joined forces with Louella Hill and the pair decided that the time was right for locally made, artisan cheeses. Like most "overnight" success stories, theirs is all about passion. Passion for local milk. Passion for local philanthropy. Passion for cheese. You only need a few heirloom tomatoes, some Narragansett Creamery fresh mozzarella a good olive oil and some salt. That's it and you have a restaurant-quality salad at home. The salty sea feta is another fave. Add it to a four -heese pizza for a nice bit of salinity. Find them at better markets around the state and on the menus of several top restaurants in Providence and beyond. 272-4944


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