From salted egg cereal chocolate bars to homemade kombu butter, these finely crafted foods make perfect treats and gifts for your foodie friends.
Handcrafted food items have always held a special place in our hearts; they are an expression of a dedication to the love of food. In recent years, we have seen a rise in unique local artisanal foods that are lovingly created in small batches here. From salted egg cereal chocolate bars to homemade kombu butter, we’ve rounded up eight that you’d want to purchase. Oh, and they make lovely birthday gifts too.
1. Bean-To-Bar Chocolate by Fossa Chocolate
Fossa Chocolate is Singapore’s first award-winning bean-to-bar chocolate company. Their small team of passionate chocolate makers works tirelessly to produce fine chocolate from sustainably sourced cacao beans and they do it from scratch instead of melting store bought couvertures. They shine at showcasing the unique flavours that different cacao origins have to offer, roasting the beans, grinding and tempering in small batches and finishing them in hand packaged chocolate bars. The process is time-consuming but they declare that they love it. In addition to quirky flavours such as Shrimp and Bonito chocolate and Salted Egg Cereal, they have also presented Nanyang Kaya, Ethiopia Worka Wuri Coffee Chocolate and limited edition bars such as Strawberry Bliss.
About: Prices start from $8 for 35g.
Available at Glasshouse at CHIJMES, Old Hen Coffee at Rangoon Road, Plain Vanilla Bakery at Yong Siak Street and more. Visit: www.fossachocolate.com
(Also read: The Reason You Should Be Eating Chocolate Regularly)
2. Addict Kombu Butter by Sam Chablani
This dangerously addictive butter is mainly made with butter, kombu and sea salt and the results are intense, umami and savoury. Chef Sam Chablani, who came up with the butter back in 2017 while he was still helming the kitchen of Fat Lulu’s (now defunct), tells us that while this Kombu Butter is great as a spread, it is also awesome to cook with – it’s excellent with roasted fish, mussels and prawns to be specific The butter takes 10 days to prepare and each batch yields 50-70 jars. This puts waiting time to about two weeks before you can collect your order, so do be patient.
About: Priced at $15 per jar.
Call 9062 1146 for orders or order via Instagram @freshaf_sg.
3. Homemade Tempeh by Tempeh Culture
Tempeh Culture is founded and run by a Singaporean household that has eaten homemade tempeh (fermented cooked soybeans formed into a dense cake) as a staple all their lives. They have grown accustomed to the freshness of homemade tempeh, a wonderful source of plant-based protein, and couldn’t find anything in the market that matched the quality they are used to at home. This sparked an idea to bring the goodness of homemade tempeh to consumers. Made according to a heritage family recipe using organic non-GMO soybeans grown in Australia, each batch takes three days to produce – from soaking to cooking and fermenting the beans – and each piece of tempeh is carefully hand-wrapped. The easiest way to enjoy the fresh tempeh? Simply toast it in the oven and add it to one’s salad bowl. Quick, healthy and nutritious.
About: Prices start from $3.50 per block for Soy. Soy and Roasted Sesame Seeds tempeh ($3.70) and Soy and Flax Seeds ($3.70) are also available. They are too small to have deliveries so pickups up are held at Newton MRT on weekends.
(Also read: 6 Probiotic-Rich Foods to Start Eating Now)
4. Vegan Cheese by Nut Culture
What’s that you say? Vegan cheese? Indeed, in addition to their organic nut butters and vegan yoghurts, the good folks at Nut Culture, a local plant-based food company, also makes vegan cheese. This milk-free cashew-based offering contains zero animal products, and has no preservatives or additives. It does, however, go through a similar process (fermentation, drying and aging) as real cheese making. Each wheel of creamy vegan cheese can take about two months to make. Choose from the slightly spicy Smoked Paprika Cheese, savoury Garlic and Herb Cheese and Vegan Blue Cheese, and yes, they taste pretty good.
About: Prices at $17.50 for a 130g wheel. They are in the midst of moving into their new kitchen at Tuas, so do look out for more updates.
5. Kefir and Kombucha at Craft & Culture
With over 15 years of brewing know-how, microbiology and medical research experience between them, the ladies at Craft & Culture know a thing or two about probiotics and fermented drinks. Kombucha, a naturally fermented tea drink, is believed to help increase antimicrobial activity, reduce cholesterol levels, reduce inflammatory problems and aid digestion. Milk Kefir is a cultured probiotic dairy drink, with a similar consistency to a yoghurt beverage and contains large numbers of probiotics that contribute to health benefits such as boosting immunity, calming inflammation, and aiding in digestion. In addition to contributing to your body’s wellness, Craft & Culture’s light bubbly home-brewed Kombucha and creamy Milk Kefir also taste delicious. Expect Kombucha flavours such as Peach Black Tea, Rose-Chia Black Tea and Lychee Black Tea, and Milk Kefir flavours such as Mango Whole Milk Kefir, Rose Bandung Whole Milk Kefir and Blueberry Whole Milk Kefir. Seasonal flavours available too. Definitely on our list of must-tries.
About: Prices start from $6.50 per 250ml bottle.
Available at 183 Jalan Pelikat, B1-113, Singapore 537643, tel: +65 98779675 or +65 90177837 (By appointment only, contact to arrange). Visit www.craftculturesg.com
6. Tropical and Asian Marmalades by Straits Preserves
Marmalades, a fruit preserve usually made from the juice and peel of citrus fruits boiled with sugar and water, are marvellous with scones and warm, fluffy toast. At Straits Preserves, each award-winning flavour has a unique story to tell. It all started when founder Sharon Lee An created her first marmalade with calamansi limes. After many refinements, this marmalade, named Tropical Calamansi, went on to win The World’s Best International Marmalade Award 2012 in The World’s Original Marmalade Awards in the UK. And that inspired her to continue creating more delightful (and award-winning) marmalades with a local touch, such as Ginger Garden and Pineapple Tart. Singapore Sling, inspired by the famous cocktail created in 1951 at The Raffles Hotel Singapore, is also a popular choice. Think: orange, pineapple, lime, lemon and natural cherry flavours. So refreshing.
About: Priced at $15 per jar.
Available at Gardens by the Bay, National Gallery, Naiise, Tangs at Tang Plaza, Redmart, KrisShop and more. Visit www.straitspreserves.com
7. Vegan Hummus by Holymoleydips
For founder of Holymoleydips, Liwen, the love of hummus prompted her to start her hummus-making business in November 2017 and it has been going strong ever since. She now has five flavours available. The original Classic Hummus is always a good one to start with; the rich Valrhona Chocolate Hummus is popular with children (no refined sugar added) and chocolate lovers; the Spicy Sweet Potato Hummus has a good balance of spiciness and tanginess; the savoury Marmite & Caramelized Onion Hummus is a genius creation; and for those who like things hot, do try the Harissa & Habanero Hummus. All hummus dips are vegan, dairy-free, low in sugar, all natural, and free of preservatives and artificial flavouring. Besides enjoying them with the usual pita bread and crackers, Liwen also suggests enjoying hummus with roasted vegetables, in toasties (toast with ham and cheese), and with tortilla corn chips.
About: Prices from $10 for classic hummus.
Visit www.holymoleydips.com to make orders.
8. Cold brew coffee and tea by DGC
d’Good Cafe is known for its themed outlets and European cuisine with a local twist, but it also pays a lot of attention to the beverages it serves. It has been sourcing and roasting its own coffee beans since 2012, and has more than 120 types of tea in its menu. Its coffee and teas are produced under its own brand DGC, and for its teas, typical flavours include the Alishan High Mountain Oolong and White Chai tea, while adventurous flavours include pineapple green tea and rum and raisin, a special blend. Coffees include blends and single origins.
But if you prefer something cold, DGC also has its own range of brewed and bottled tea and coffee too. For cold brew coffee, there’s D’White ($7.5) which features fresh Hokkaido milk and is lightly sweetened, or the D’Infused ($8) which has an interesting earl lavender tea extract. Love a surprise? The D’Unknown ($7.50) features a secret ingredient that is changed seasonally. Cold brew teas include the Pink Blossoms ($7) which has a floral, sweet and aromatic profile, and the Golden Sunrise ($7) which is fruity, citrusy, and refreshing.
Available at d’Good Cafe’s three outlets — Holland Village, Takashimaya and Jewel Changi Airport. Visit here for more info.
(Also read: Best Places to Get Your Coffee Fix in Singapore)