We are, to put it mildly, insanely excited about the Most Important Food Day of the Year. But there are plenty of people out there who appreciate good food but just can't imagine cooking another Thanksgiving meal. Maybe things are beyond crazy at the office. Maybe you want to impress the family, but your cooking chops aren't quite up to the task. Or maybe just the thought of wading through the masses at Whole Foods reduces you to a whimpering heap. At times like these, we have a solution: tell Thanksgiving to come to you.
To save you some time skulking around online, we've scoured the country to find some of the best dishes out there, for an appetizers-to-pie spread of Thanksgiving splendor. We found a mix of innovative small-batch producers, established caterers who know the game, and hundred-year-old family-owned companies that have just gotten into the shipping business. All of them make food that is interesting, delicious, and a great addition to your holiday table. And all of them will deliver it right to your door, which is truly something to be thankful for. —Deena Prichep
Leave it to Wisconsinites to come up with the perfect counterpart to cheese: these organic lavash-style crackers, made with locally milled whole-wheat flour and a touch of butter and milk. In addition to the standard plain and seeded (sesame, caraway, and so on) options, Potter's also makes seasonal varieties like sweet potato-onion and pumpkin-graham.
These light-as-air cheese straws from North Carolina work well before a big meal. They're rich and crumbly with a strong cheddar taste and a snap of heat. (And in a feat of packaging, they manage to arrive relatively unbroken.)
Yeah, the Brits came up with cheddar. But we've made it our own--especially at Bobolink, whose cave-aged cheddar (made from the milk of their grass-eating cows) has an addictive funk to it, beyond the usual sharp-cheddar snap.
Nothing says celebration like caviar. But for a truly American celebration, ditch the imported stuff and explore locally raised options like this one from North Carolina. Sunburst's trout caviar is similar to salmon caviar, with smaller eggs and a subtler flavor.
Sure, you can buy a turkey at any grocery store. But if you'd like a heritage turkey (and really, you would: trust us!), check out Blue Valley Meats. Their Bourbon Reds, Standard Bronzes, and other traditional turkey breeds are raised in flocks on a sustainable ranch in Walla Walla, WA, and yield a rich-tasting alternative to the standard factory farm creation.
The Kreuz family set up its smokehouse in 1900, and has really nailed things down in the intervening century. Though Kreuz is most famous for its Texas barbecue (brisket, ribs, sausage), every fall it offers whole Texas-grown turkeys, with a heavy smoke flavor but surprisingly moist.
It's rare for frozen vegetables, let alone creamed veggies, to taste bright and fresh, yet this Los Angeles catering outfit's spinach and kale, spiked with cream, asiago, and mozzarella, somehow manage that tricky feat.
Yes, classic stuffing is delicious. But if you want an alternative, try this savory oyster bread pudding. Chunks of bread in a rich sop of cream, cheese, mushrooms, and meaty Washington State oysters. It's big enough to anchor a meal on its own. And if you favor a traditional stuffing, Willapa also sells its own fresh or smoked oysters to spike your recipe.
Each of Lemon Bird's pickles uses a unique brine that complements (but doesn't overpower) the character of the SoCal-harvested produce in the jar. Kick off your feast with their cocktail tomatoes, bright with fenugreek; green beans snappy with Korean chili; or surprisingly smoky-hot DiCicco broccoli.
It's rare for cranberry sauce to be the star of the Thanksgiving table. But during our taste-off, this chutney stole from Portland, Oregon, the show. It's neither too sweet nor too sour, with cooked-down cranberries and punchy chunks of Meyer lemon. Order more than you think you need. We found ourselves ladling it onto crackers, vegetables, outstretched tongues...
Your favorite Thanksgiving flavors in ice cream form: Bourbon Pecan Pie with ribbons of nuts and caramel; Pumpkin Custard Swirled in Spiced Chevre, which tastes like your favorite pumpkin cheesecake; a lightly tart Cranberry Walnut Crunch; and the strange-sounding yet oddly popular Mincemeat Pie (spiced, with bits of booze-steeped fruit) and Orange and Thyme Thanksgiving Stuffing (trust us on this one).
Virginia-based Red Truck Bakery takes a classic pecan pie topping, but instead of Karo sludge underneath, you'll find a layer of not-too-sweet bourbon-spiked sweet potato filling. As if that weren't enough, it's topped off with some Kentucky-smoked bourbon sugar. Consider it two classic Southern pies in one , for when you're too full of turkey to choose.
Maybe once in your lifetime, you'll have a pie that's so good it makes you realize that what you've been calling "pie" has been but a shoddy approximation. San Francisco's Three Babes bakes that pie. For Thanksgiving, order the brown butter-pecan, fudgy, cinnamon-scented chocolate-pecan (in a gluten-free graham crust), or baklava-like honey-walnut. Organic local ingredients are baked in all-butter crusts, and even after the trip through the mail, they arrive shatteringly crisp.
It's an all-too-common Thanksgiving scenario: By the time dessert rolls around, you're too stuffed to indulge. For times like these, try the cloud cookies from Bunches & Bunches, in Portland, Oregon. A cross between a meringue and a macaroon, these airy, gluten-free confections are a sweet and, more important, tiny end to the meal. Plus, they come individually wrapped and piled into an impressively designed container.
Entertaining a diverse group of friends and family means catering to a diverse collection of tastes. Eat Boutique has scoured the country for the best homemade syrups, bitters, rimming sugars, and letterpress coasters, and come up with an all-in-one collection to help you kick off your cocktail hour. All you need to add is the booze.
It's hard to find a wine that can stand up to the flavor onslaught that Thanksgiving dinner brings to the table. But this Gamay is as refreshing as a glass of cranberry juice, and won't weigh you down as you reach for another plate of stuffing.
Hard apple cider is often either so sweet it doesn't pair with food, or so dry it tastes like talcum powder. Bellwether's ciders manage to be refreshingly crisp while also tasting like actual apples (breeds include Brown Snout, Dabinette, and Chisel Jersey). The offerings range from sweet to dry, still and sparkling. We recommend the dry sparkling ones (especially the Legacy and King Baldwin) with turkey.
The Vermont-based Wood family has been making boiled cider for over one hundred years. Their sweet-tart all-cider syrup is a 9-1 reduction that adds a bit of autumn to your turkey, your baked squash, or your apple pie. Our favorite way to use it? Stirred into a cocktail (or mocktail!).