Since 2006, Mt. Baker Candy Co.'s chocolatiers have used a secret 50-year-old recipe as the blueprint for more than 40 flavors of fudge, all handmade in small batches. Now, through SendFudge.com, their gourmet confections can reach chocolate lovers in 48 states, including the ones where chocolate is illegal. Made with milk and soy, the rich, gluten-free fudges range from classics such as butter pecan and rocky road to lemon-meringue cheesecake fudge and caramel-infused fudge topped with sea salt. The dessert wizards also whip up 12 diabetic-friendly flavors of sucrose-free fudge, including mint-chocolate swirl and peanut butter.
Following her culinary curiosity all the way to Varcaturo, Italy, Tiffany Hudson’s found herself learning dry farming and food preservation. More importantly, she discovered how a dinner can bring a community together. After coming back to the States, Tiffany teamed up with Chef Martin Woods whose resume includes serving as opening sous chef at Bastille as well as executive chef at Re:Public. Together, the two created Cassoulet Café, an eatery that serves seasonal French cuisine amid a communal table.
And the collaboration isn’t running short on admirers. Writer Sally Wolff for the Cascadia Weekly praised Cassoulet as “evok[ing] the atmosphere of a country kitchen in France” complete with “heavy plates of well-made food.” These ever-changing entrees have included bacon cinnamon rolls for brunch, ratatouille for lunch, and goat cheese pansotti pasta for dinner, accompanied by specialty cocktails and ciders. Chef Martin also serves up the restaurant’s signature French bean stew bursting with duck and house-cured pancetta.
Along with promoting conversation amongst diners, Cassoulet Café fosters green living. This includes using fresh ingredients from local farms as well as reducing their carbon footprint by 1,200 pounds of CO2 emission. That accomplishment earned the restaurant a 2012 Sustainable Practice Leader award from General Biodiesel, a company named after the first robot five-star general in U.S. history.
With Langley's picturesque countryside as its backdrop, Neck of the Woods Winery concocts red, white, and sparkling wines using grapes grown primarily in the surrounding Fraser Valley. The facility takes advantage of the area's cool climate–which is similar to that of Northern France and Germany–to oversee the entire production process from pressing to bottling. After spending quality time with their maker or a court-appointed barrel, products migrate to store shelves throughout Fraser Valley and Vancouver, or stay right at home in the winery's tasting room. There, visitors pass through daily to sample the varietals, or hang out in the showroom, warmly stocked with rustic casks and a crackling fireplace.
Three generations after John Taves bought his first plot of land in the 1930s, grandson Loren Taves and his wife Corinne still keep the family farm running. At Taves Family Farms Applebarn, guests can navigate the expanded Corn Quest Maze, greet lovable critters at the petting barn, or tour the grounds on a hayride. A zipline lets thrill-seekers soar above the farm, and down below, edible ammo flies at non-ziplining targets from the corn gun and pumpkin cannon.
Stretching across Skagit Valley since 1875, Lenning Farms has seen countless oats, grains, vegetables, and fruit grown and harvested on its land throughout five generations of hard work. The farm’s current operators, Todd and Bev Lenning, erected The Berry Barn more than 10 years ago to house their berry-related goods, then a new endeavor for the farm. The pair stocks the big red barn with dozens of varieties of fresh-picked berries—from strawberries to gooseberries to blueberries—14 types of fresh-baked pies, hand-dipped ice cream, and handmade gifts. To challenge and entertain their visitors, Todd and Bev constructed their mind-exercising hedge maze, which has grown to be one of the largest in North America, where customers search for different stations featuring facts about berries and Lenning Farms. Lenning Farms also has a rope maze available for younger guests.
As visitors approach the rustic 1927 heritage farmhouse, they're greeted with the familiar aroma of homemade country-style classics. Little Farmhouse in the City welcomes travellers, diners, and lost Girl Scout Cookie salesgirls alike with first-class bed-and-breakfast suites as well as a full-service restaurant. Within the dining room, plates of hearty breakfast omelettes are soon replaced by homemade pastries and scones served at high tea, followed at dinner by entrees of hearty homemade soups, perogies, and shepherd's pies. An on-site gift shop peddles cards, chocolates, and artwork as well more than 150 fine teas.