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Willamette Valley is populated with folks who are passionate about place. Locally made products abound—and they’re all delicious. You’ll want to bring a little of the Willamette Valley home with you, so be sure to save room in your suitcase for wine, chocolate, nuts and other locally produced foods. Most wineries can facilitate shipping, and other gourmet products can be tucked into your bags. Besides wine, Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ picks for the top things to bring home from the Willamette Valley include:
1. Chocolates. Don’t miss the handmade chocolates at Honest Chocolates in McMinnville. You’ll find decadent flavors that range from blueberry-pinot to currant-claret ganache.
2. Truffle oil. Oregon Truffle Oil, made by mushroom guru (yes, there is such a thing) Jack Czarnecki of the Joel Palmer House in Dayton, Ore., is the first all-natural truffle oil ever produced in the United States and is flavored entirely from wild Oregon white truffles.
3. Homemade jam. After you sample a flight of jams at the Republic of Jam store, take home a tasty trio of preserves. Flavors like apricot vanilla Riesling, bacon, and rhubarb rosemary are pretty irresistible.
4. Charcuterie. Bring back a few salamis from Fino in Fondo, owned by the husband-and-wife team from Nick’s Italian Café. A few to sample? Tartufo, Soprassata and Calabrese.
5. Nuts. Freddy Guys Hazelnuts are harvested from a family-run orchard in the mid-Willamette Valley. The dark chocolate covered hazelnuts will make you swoon, and the all-natural, dry roasted hazelnuts have the perfect crunch.