Photo by Kathy Jefcoats
Reed Crouch drove his family from Marietta to the State Farmers Market in Forest Park for Saturday’s event. He sampled hot — as in spicy — honey produced by Atlanta Honey Co. Company representatives are Justin Engle (l) and owner Grant Giddens.
By Kathy Jefcoats
FOREST PARK — Reed Crouch drove his family down from Marietta Saturday to sample dozens of Georgia Grown products at the State Farmers Market.
Although his wife and children shied away from a spicy honey ideal for barbecues and dips, Crouch was more adventurous.
"If you don't like it real hot, it'd probably be real good," he said. "I'm willing to give it a try."
The Hotlanta Honey is sold by Atlanta Honey Co. on Chamblee Dunwoody Road. Owner Grant Giddens said the idea came from his dad.
"My dad grew up in Gulfport, eating spicy foods," he said. "He's always looking for hot stuff."
The introduction of the hot sting of spices to the sweetness of honey combined to make a winning formula. The "honey with a sting," took last year's Flavor of Georgia prize in the barbecue and hot sauces category.
The Crouch family was one of hundreds who turned out for the annual Georgia Grown event. Grazers partook of fresh strawberries from Jaemor Farms in Alto, gluten-free blueberry muffins from American Gra-Frutti in Roswell and jams, jellies and relishes from Edibelles Gourmet Food in Savannah.
Brandon Crumley married into the Echols family, which is behind Jaemor Farms. The 100-acre farm also produces more than two dozen varieties of peaches, and apples, muscadine and scuppernong, vegetables, watermelon and blackberries. The farm also produces jams, jellies and relishes created from some of that same produce.
An on-site bakery incorporates strawberries, peaches and pecans into breads.
Jill McMaster with Southern Press and Packing in Blackshear participated in the event for the first time Saturday.
"I think this is just wonderful," she said. "It's a great way to sample the best of what Georgia has to offer."
McMaster's product is 100 percent blueberry juice, Regenerate, with no added sugar and 80 calories in a 5-ounce serving. Each bottle has the equivalent of 1 pound of blueberries. While the juice is carried by Kroger, Piggly Wiggly and Whole Foods — in addition to grocery stores outside the metro Atlanta area — McMaster has expanded her market into public schools.
"We're in juice boxes in schools," she said. "It's great for kids to have a half-serving of fruit in a juice instead of a whole lot of sugar."
Many Georgia Grown products are carried year-round at the market's Welcome Center next door to Oakland Cafe.