Covet Thy Neighbor

Must-try finds from Michigan

A recent jaunt through our neighbor across the lake left us with loads of pantry fodder. If a Michigan trip isn't in the cards, you can still mine some of the state's finest producers without crossing state lines.

Farrell Fruit: Have you ever eaten a jar of jam in less than 24 hours, entirely with a spoon? We hadn't until an encounter with Eric Farrell's lightly sweet, whole-berry blueberry jam. Farrell uses Michigan-grown fruit in his simple and superb preserves ($10). Call Zingerman's Delicatessen to order blueberry, raspberry or strawberry-black pepper.

Durham's Tracklements: This Ann Arbor smokehouse produces some of the region's finest smoked salmon. Call to order Thai-spiced smoked salmon or dill-cured gravlax ($59 for 1½ pounds). Bluefish, trout, scallops and more occasionally find their way into Durham's smokers, as do a variety of meats.

Thornburg and Company: Order preserves, honey, maple syrup and granola from this new Southwest Michigan company. Try Earliglow strawberry jam ($10), sweetened with beet sugar, or grade A Michigan maple syrup aged in whiskey barrels ($20).

The Brinery: Lacto-fermentation is the passion of this Ann Arbor company, whose products ($10) can be special-ordered from Zingerman's. Started by an organic farmer in 2010, the company turns local vegetables into kimchi, sauerkraut and pickles.