The gifts, decorations, and holiday parties are all well and good, but what really makes it the best season of the year is the food. Southerners have arguably the most delicious of holiday menus: the best main holiday plates and sides come together as a well-rounded meal. You can pick up all the ingredients and prepared dishes for this large, merry feast at Charlotte’s local grocers and butcher shops.
The Finger Foods
Before the main course, munch on Reid’s Fine Foods’ chocolate covered peanuts and plate up crudites to dip in the pimento cheese from Beverly’s Gourmet Foods. The Peach Stand has tons of fresh free-range eggs for classic deviled eggs. While there, you’ll find any veggie you want pickled and an array of local BBQ sauce for your choice of meat.
Healthy Home Market has you covered on everything you’ll need for the sides. They have organic macaroni noodles, a variety of cheddar cheeses, as well as fresh ingredients for cornbread stuffing, butter beans, collard greens, and fresh organic produce for big green salads. There is also a great deli with pre-made salads, slaws, and sides to save time. Sweet potato casserole with roasted marshmallows on top is another must-have side dish: it’s the best of both worlds, a dessert in disguise in a sea of food. You’ll find organic sweet potatoes and regular potatoes, for potato gratin, at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market open Tuesday through Saturday.
The Main Attraction
Finally, the honeybaked ham: crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The Honeybaked Ham Company has your spiraled ham of many sizes, bones or not, that can serve up to 22 people. The Butcher’s Market gives you the options of exceptional steak, beef, and exotic meats such as duck and venison, if you want to make a new tradition. This is also where you can get unbelievable bacon to mix into the collard greens. Every family has a vegetarian these days, so Pasta and Provisions will also offer up fresh pasta for lasagna, amazing house-made tomato sauce, and bread for in-between bites.
A holiday dinner isn’t complete without dessert. Place an order with Midwood Pies, pick up one of Suarez Bakery’s holiday Croquembouche towers, or grab a traditional Yule Log from Amelie’s. Top off your family’s favorite dessert with a cup of decaf from the roasters at Pure Intentions.