When you think of Georgia-made products, odds are you think of peaches and peanuts. Maybe even pecans.
But on a recent visit to St. Simons Island, I discovered GA grown and GA made now includes a whole lot more than the three P’s. And it all tastes good. A lot of it tastes great! Here’s a bite-size portion of info about each.
If you haven’t had a wild shrimp from GA, you are in for a sweet treat. Really, the wild shrimp you find in the marshlands of Georgia’s coast are sweeter than the other shrimp you can sample. And really delicious. The blue crab and oysters are amazing, too, and very plentiful. If you time it right (low tide), you can catch your own bushel of crabs with very little effort (though you are required to get a license for a couple dollars first). Then you can create your own Low Country Crab Boil using the amazing catch of the day.
These are not your ordinary onions. In fact, they are only grown in certain parts of Georgia or they can’t legally use the Vidalia label. That’s how unique they are. Bland Farms specializes in these (don’t let the name fool you, they are anything but bland). They’re sweeter than most and will cost a little bit more, but when you take a bite you’ll see why. They just taste better (in my humble opinion).
The Savannah Bee Company produces award-winning honey right here in Georgia. From Black Sage to Orange Blossom to Tupelo, if you want honey they have your flavor. They even produce honey to be used on the grill, or with cheese, and even tea. And if you want to try it for something other than eating, that’s an option, too. There’s Royal Jelly Body Butter, Beeswax Hand Crème, Beeswax Hand Soap all to nourish your skin. There are claims of healing powers from these natural and organic products.
I know, I know. Wine made from Georgia vines? You bet.
The Still Pond Vineyard in Southwest Georgia produces some incredible muscadine varieties. I have to say I am not much of a wine fan. This company is making me a convert. The Plantation White and Notchaway White don’t taste like other wines I’ve ever tasted. They are sweet. They are fruity. They are delicious. The Savannah River Red and Notchaway Red are also tasty if you like a red. They do suggest all their wines be served very cold.
Sugar Marsh Cottage in Darien, GA, creates beautiful confections, as perfect as the unique seashells you can find in the marshland around Darien (located north of Brunswick). The chocolate and toffee treats are produced there and sold to resorts around the country. They’re whimsical and delicious coastal treats. Honestly, they’re almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
There’s a craft distillery in Americus, Georgia, that will get you into the spirit for fun. The Thirteenth Colony Distillery tagline, “Be Southern, Drink Southern” makes perfect sense since the water is drawn from the depths of the South’s largest, deepest and oldest aquifer. It is naturally filtered by the limestone and dolomite and is the cornerstone of the pure taste created in the Thirteenth Colony spirits.
OK, you already know Georgia is famous for its peaches, but it’s not possible to write about Georgia grown products without giving a little attention to Georgia peaches. Lane Southern Orchards is world famous for its peaches, grown on the 5000 acres there. They also grow pecans and strawberries (and kiwis soon, too), and sell citrus from Indian River (the ONLY place to grow great oranges in my opinion). The peaches are picked fresh, processed on the packing line and sent to your neighborhood store from there. You can bet they’re delicious, too.
Georgia is famous for pecans, too, and we tried some candied pecans our first day on the island. Now, that’s an addictive treat!
The neat thing about all these products is the passion behind the companies. Several are small and family-0wned and the founders are driven by their love of what they’re doing. They know they have a good thing going, or growing, and want the rest of the world to know it, too.
(Special note to readers: I was a media guest of the King and Prince Resort while sampling these products. However, I was not compensated for this post and my opinions remain my own).