One of a Kind Eats at the One of a Kind Show
One of the biggest holiday shopping shows in the nation is gearing up for its 16th annual event, when the One of a Kind Show and Sale takes shape at The Merchandise Mart from December 1 through December 4. Housed on the 7th floor of the historic Mart, the holiday show brings together more than 600 juried artists to fill an entire floor of the building with craft goods and original products from artisans all over the continent. Of course, this includes a good amount of unique food and beverage products, which come from all over the U.S. and Canada to satisfy shoppers with snacks and provide tasty gift ideas for the holidays. Here's a rundown of everything to eat, sip, and savor this year at the One of a Kind Show and Sale:
Big Forks: This Chicago-based, family-run company slings handcrafted sausages made with all natural pork and chicken. Plus hardwood-smoked bacon!
Broomhead Bar: Out of Lansing, Illinois, Broomhead specializes in protein bars that actually look and sound extraordinary.
Brunkow Cheese: Hailing from the Dairy State, Brunkow Cheese has been an artisanal cheesemaking organization since 1899.
Burton's Maplewood Farm: Expect 100% pure Grade A and Grade B maple syrup from this Medora, Indiana-based purveyor, along with uncommon syrup varieties like bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup.
D'Marie: Originated as a corporate catering company, this Ohio-based company has grown to become a gourmet packaged foods purveyor, which includes popular items like their frappe vino, aka wine slushy.
Dell Cove Spice Co.: This locally based family business features small-batch popcorn seasonings and popcorn varieties using sustainable and organic ingredients sourced from the Midwest. Their first retail shop is newly opened in Old Irving Park.
Dia de los Tamales: Renowned for their contemporary Mexican street food, Chicago's very own Dia de los Tamales makes chef-driven tamales out of their Pilsen storefront.
Dip'n Good Dips: Stock up on gourmet dips, rubs, and seasonings, all preservative-free, from this Rockford staple.
Flaherty's - The Irish Candy Co.: The holidays are prime candy season, after all. So hit up Flaherty's to get your fill of Irish toffee, peanut brittle, and coconut peanut brittle, all made with recipes hailing from Galway, Ireland, via Joy and Dennis Flaherty.
Frontier Soups: The holidays are also soup season, considering the inescapable chill in the air. It's an apt excuse to visit Frontier for dried soup mixes to help get you through winter.
Gardner's Wisconsin Cheese & Sausage: More cheese! More sausage! Because you can never have enough comfort food from Wisconsin.
Gourmet Blends: The name may sound modest and common, but the pure balsamic vinegar barrel-aged by producers in Modena, Italy, are anything but.
Grown Up Kid Stuff: All-natural chocolate sauces are the name of the game at Grown Up Kid Stuff.
I Heart Keenwah: As the name suggests, expect a miscellany of quinoa snacks from this Chicago-bred company.
JD's Salsa in Seconds: The salsa seasoning from this Staten Island-based company is used to make fresh salsa, dips, and guacamole.
Jo Snow Syrups: A regular fixture at local markets and events, and rightfully so, Jo Snow Syrups is all about the hand-crafted syrups in offbeat flavors like cardamom-rose water and fig-vanilla-black pepper. Add a splash to your coffee or cocktail.
Katherine Anne Confections: With a storefront in Logan Square, this chocolate staple specializes in truffles, marshmallows, and caramels.
Mayana Chocolate: Another chocolatier to hit up is this Wisconsin-based purveyor, whose luxury chocolates are award-winning.
Pasta Paponne: Go savory with any of the gourmet flavored pasta varieties from this Chicago shop.
Puffs of Doom: Both sweet and savory cream puffs are ready and available from this whimsical outlet.
Rare Bird Preserves: Any of the seasonally inspired fruit preserves and curds would make a nice addition to your home larder.
River Valley Kitchens: Visit this Burlington, Wisconsin-based vendor for all sorts of handcrafted and artisanal foods.
Senteamental Moods: As the name suggests, it's all about the high-end teas from these folks.
Sheekar Delights: Go nuts with the gourmet baklava from Sheekar Delights.
Smith & Donovan Confections: The desserts from Chicago-based Smith & Donovan are as beautiful and artistic as they are delicious.
Spice Heist: Lots of unique and bold spice blends, perfect for the experimental home cook.
St. Roger Abbey: Organic French pastries and desserts are the name of the game from this Marengo, Illinois, company. All items are handmade by the nuns at the abbey, including French macarons and chocolate croissants.
Stu's Kitchen: Hailing from Omaha, Nebraska, Stu's Kitchen hones in on Bloody Mary mix, pickles, and other apt gourmet gifts.
Tiddleywink Toffee: Thin slivers of English toffee get coated in chocolate and other toppings courtesy of this Munster, Indiana, institution.
Twisted Eggroll: One of the most wholly unique businesses slinging food this year at the show, Twisted Eggroll is all about eggrolls filled with uncommon ingredients and combos. Think cheesesteak eggrolls, pizza eggrolls, and even cheesecake eggrolls.
- Matt Kirouac