Louisiana Made

Our Annual Products with local label

SARA ESSEX

There are many reasons to buy locally: the environmental benefit, the element of freshness, the sense
of community support: Whatever the reason, Louisiana-made products are also some of the most delicious and unique.

From wine and spirits to produce, meat and condiments, locally grown and distributed products are a plus for everyone.

The following products are just a hint of the bounty Louisiana has to offer.

Pontchartrain Vineyard
John Seago views himself as the unofficial spokesman of Louisiana vineyards. He argues that good wines can come from the Bayou State, despite what some believe, and he’s willing to prove his belief by displaying white, rosé and red wines from his own vineyard. “We produce serious, serious wine,” he says. “Our wine is special. If you’re looking for a high-quality food-related experience, a bottle of Pontchartrain wine will deliver.”

In 1991, Seago –– a former lawyer –– and his wife, Susan, jumped into the wine-making business when they planted fruit on 34.5 acres of land north of Covington. Today, their products include Louis D’Or 2004, a rich medium-bodied white wine; Zydeco Rosato 2005, made in the style of a French rosé; and Criolla Rosso 2005, a svelte-bodied red wine. “We have wines that are very expressive of our environment, geography, soil climate and a willingness to be an important member of a well-set table in Louisiana,” Seago says.

Pontchartrain Vineyard
81250 Old Military Road, Bush
(985) 892-9742
www.pontchartrainvineyards.com
 

Celebration Distillation
Chris Sule, the master distiller at Celebration Distillation, has an affinity for making spirits the old-fashioned way.

USA Today newspaper named Old New Orleans Rum one of the Top 5 spirits of the year in 2000. At the 2008 International Rum Festival, the company won gold, silver and bronze for its products. Old World techniques are the secret to the company’s award-winning Old New Orleans-brand rums.

“I think New Orleans Rum is special because we actually use a combination of traditional distilling practices,” Sule says. “We actually use American oak barrels along with Louisiana sugar cane that’s raised in Gonzales.”

The company was started by New Orleans artist James Michalopoulos and put its first white rum on the market in 1999.

Today, Crystal (white rum), Amber, Cajun Spice and a Ten-Year Special Edition rum are helping the company make a mark on the American public. “Making our rum borders on a whiskey-making style because there are a lot of similarities between whiskey and rum,” Sule says.

“We use older stills, and that helps us reclaim some older ancient flavors that we like.”

Celebration Distillation
2815 Frenchmen St., New Orleans
(504) 945-9400
www.neworleansrum.com

Jacob’s World Famous Andouille and Sausage
To some people, Jacob’s World Famous Andouille and Sausage is the best, according to shop employee Simone Rel.

Sure, she’s biased, but having worked at the business for a number of years, she’s been on the receiving end of lots of praise. Either way, Jacob’s has obviously been doing something right –– they first opened their doors in 1928.

“Everything is made on the premises; that means food like andouille, smoked sausage, fresh sausage, hog head cheese and smoked chickens,” Rel says.

The recipes used are original, and fourth-generation owner Aaron Lions isn’t interested in changing it the slightest bit. Interestingly, the Jacobs clan first came to Louisiana in 1753 from Germany. According to the family story, two descendants made names for themselves in the 1800s making sausage. Nelson Jacob –– the man who started the current business –– started selling andouille and smoked sausage in the 1920s.

“And we’ve been at our present location since 1978, when we moved to River Road,” Rel says.
Today, the business sends andouille and other goodies anywhere they’re wanted.

Jacob’s World Famous Andouille and Sausage
505 W. Airline Highway, LaPlace
(985) 652-9080
www.cajunsausage.com

Louisiana Pecans
 A move from Tennessee to Little Eva Plantation in the heart of Louisiana has paid off for Jill Anderson, her family and pecan-lovers. From October until December, Anderson’s shop is open for walk-in business, and she provides pecans both in their natural state and flavored all year-round via mail order.

All of the pecans are harvested from 200 acres of land near the Cane River. “We have something for every group: those who like to crack and shell their own pecans and those who don’t,” she says.

Anderson relocated to Louisiana in 1990 and self-educated herself about the pecan industry. In 1992, the business started selling mail-order. Since then, gourmet flavored pecans have been added to the list and include chocolate, dark chocolate, Cajun roasted, creamy white chocolate, honey toasted, praline, cinnamon spiced and glazed.

“Our business is in a historic train depot that we moved from Natchez, Miss.,” says Anderson, who lives on the property with her pecan orchard.

A side note: Little Eva Plantation is named after a character in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Louisiana Pecans
208 Little Eva Plantation, Cloutierville
(800) 737-3226
www.louisianapecans.com

Crystal Hot Sauce
Crystal Hot Sauce, a simple mix of cayenne peppers, salt and vinegar, has been on Louisiana tables since 1923. Alvin Baumer Jr., the son of Baumer Foods founders Alvin and Mildred Baumer, says the simple concoction does something good to food: “It has a unique flavor. It’s not hot but has just the right ingredients that come together and make food taste better.”

Originally opened on Tchoupitoulas Street in New Orleans, Crystal is now made in Reserve after a new manufacturing facility was fitted after Hurricane Katrina. Baumer says that the hot sauce wasn’t the family’s first business concern back in the early 1900s. “My dad actually bought another product, and the Crystal description came in the deal,” he says. “Yeah, it was a rather simple recipe with stone-ground pepper, salt and vinegar. The way we put it together makes it stand out.”

Different palates like different condiments, but Baumer proclaims that Crystal Hot Sauce on such dishes as crawfish-and-corn chowder or a Creole rémoulade sauce is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. “And people like it,” he says, “because it complements their food without adding heat.”

Crystal Hot Sauce
Baumer Foods
2424 Edenborn Ave., Suite 510, Metairie
(504) 482-5761
www.baumerfoods.com
 
Camellia Beans
Red beans, Great Northern beans, black-eyed peas, lima beans, pinto beans — hungry for any of these? Then plan on spending some time in the store looking at Camellia Brand products. Another longtime Louisiana company, Camellia has been selling beans to the public since 1923.

After the 2005 hurricane season scattered residents throughout the country, the company found out just how important their dried beans were. Displaced residents who wanted to remind themselves of home wanted Camellia dry beans.

“Camellia beans have been an integral part of the culture here for generations,” says Connelly Hayward, who is a fourth-generation partner in the business and also serves as chief business development officer.

And why do Camellia beans have such a strong following?

“Cooking our beans brings back memories for people,” Hayward says. “The aroma. And just being able to cook beans just the way you like them.”

Camellia beans come from specific growers, some of which have been dealing with Hayward’s family for years.
“With dry beans, you can cook them consistently every time,” Hayward says. “Louisiana’s residents appreciate dry beans more.”

Camellia Beans
5401 Toler St., Harahan
(504) 733-8480
www.camelliabrand.com

Plantation Pecan Oil
Tommy Hatfield would had never thought of the possibilities surrounding virgin pecan oil if a friend hadn’t asked what he thought of the product 10 years ago. Now Hatfield distributes the oil that is touted as having saturated fat levels that are lower than olive oil.

Hatfield’s Kinloch Plantation Pecan Oil can be found in 27 states and shops throughout Louisiana.

“I was in another industry and had sold it when a friend who is a cookbook writer suggested the idea of pecan oil,” Hatfield says. “It’s a good product that a person can stir-fry, braise and flash-fry with.”

Even more impressive is Hatfield’s claim that because the oil has a high burn point, a person could make a dark roux a lot quicker than with other oils. “Just turn up the temperature,” he says.

Kinloch Plantation is based in Winnsboro. “We’re not a big company,” Hatfield says, “but we’re growing.”
After he started selling the pecan oil, Hatfield began traveling the state attending festivals and events in an attempt to introduce the cooking public to the product.

“At the end of the day, this pecan oil is heart-healthy and good for everyday use,” he says.

Kinloch Plantation Pecan Oil
1304 Cornell St., Winnsboro
(318) 435-1455
pecanoil.gourmetfoodmall.com

Haring’s Pride Catfish
When it comes to farm-raised catfish, the Haring family in Wisner knows just about all there is. Pete Haring got into the fisheries business in 1954 when he started selling minnows in Sicily Island. In the 1960s, Haring hatched his first crop of catfish fingerlings and in the early 1970s was farming more than 700 acres of catfish.

“My grandfather has always had a vision, and we’ve been able to diversify and change with the times to keep a good business,” says employee Hannah Sharp.

Today, Haring’s Pride Catfish processes 550,000 pounds a week from two plants. Catfish is harvested from 13 farms over 3,200 acres.

But the Harings don’t just raise catfish; they also make the feed that nourishes the fish.

“We have our hand in everything that goes into the catfish and know it’s a good product,” Sharp says.
The fish are sold in Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, California, Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana.

“My grandfather has always worked hard and has always done things he thought would make a profit,” Sharp says. “He started with minnows and just kind of got into catfish.”

Haring’s Pride Catfish
681 Pete Haring Road, Wisner
(800) 467-3474
www.haringspridecatfish.com

Dumas Candy Co.
Dumas Candy Co. in Delhi originally started out in El Dorado, Ark., in the 1930s. There were two ownership changes more than 40 years later, and it fell into the hands of the Johnson family, who brought the candy company to Louisiana and have since made a product that’s shipped all over the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom –– and is a hit in the northern part of the state, too.

“We manufacture stick candy, and I don’t think anybody else in Louisiana does that,” says Dumas President
Dave Johnson.

The candy-maker also provides peanut patties, peppermint bites, pure sugar soft cut mints, sugar sticks and a 3-pound holiday season peppermint stick.

“Our recipes are original and are from the Dumas family,” Johnson says. “Because of new machinery, we’ve had to alter them a little, but it’s nothing to it; it’s the same product.”

 Dumas Candy Co. makes 40 different flavors. “But peppermint is the top-seller,” Johnson says.

Dumas Candy Company
153 Superior Drive, Delhi
(800) 256-9973 or (318) 878-2294
www.dumascandy.com

Pleasant Acres Jams and Jellies
Pleasant Acres Jams and Jellies in Pineville is the brainchild of the mother-and-daughter team of Doris Hayes and Claudia Fuqua. The team started making their goods in 1991 as a part-time venture.

But the public demanded more once they tasted the women’s interpretations of jams from blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and figs. The folks who tasted jellies made from mayhaw, muscadine, dewberry and mixes such as cinnamon- apple also couldn’t get enough.

“We try to stay all-natural,” Fuqua says. “We don’t use any preservatives and make sure our fruits are ripe. We take pride in what we make, and all of it is handmade and hand-poured.”

In 1998 the family decided to expand and built a hardwood-and-timber building that holds the gift shop and commercial jelly kitchen.

“It’s just me and my mom, and nothing is done commercially,” Fuqua says. “We’re small enough to mange and keep the quality of our products high.”

The ladies send their products to Louisiana stores and also keep a vibrant online business.

Pleasant Acres Jams and Jellies
2027 Louisiana Highway 454, Pineville
(888) 738-5109 or (318) 253-5109
www.jelliesandjams.com
 
Panola Pepper Corp.
Of all the goods made inside Panola Pepper Corp.’s facility in Lake Providence, the gourmet pepper sauce is the one that owner Grady Brown probably touts the most. He should –– because he’s been putting it on food for most of his 75 years.

“It’s my mother’s recipe,” he says. “The sauce is mild and full-flavored with spices and not salty and vinegary like typical Louisiana hot sauces. Martha Wyly Brown put the recipe for the hot sauce together using ingredients like onions, sugar, allspice and even ginger.”

In 1983, Grady and his wife, Jennie Lou, got serious about learning how to make the sauce, first giving it away before starting to sell it.

“Panola is a unique product that adds flavor to food and not heat,” he says.

Panola can be found around the state and also is exported to Germany, Japan, Denmark and the United Kingdom.
Panola also makes barbecue sauces and marinades, mustards, seasonings, pickled items, stuffed olives and novelty items. All of the products are made on a 5,000-acre plantation the family has farmed for years.

Panola Pepper Corp.
1414 Holland Delta Road, Lake Providence
(318) 559-1774 or (800) 256-3013
www.panolapepper.com
 

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