Taste of the Heartland

Johnson's BBQ
Johnson's BBQ
River Ridge Winery
River Ridge Winery
Stonie's Sausage Shop
Stonie's Sausage Shop
The Chocolate Factory
The Chocolate Factory
My Daddy's Cheesecake
My Daddy's Cheesecake
Taste of the Heartland

By: Mike Shain

Gifts for the difficult to please...Have people on your gift list that you have no idea what to give them?  Heartland News did some shopping for Made in the Heartland food products that are thoughtful and tasty.

Johnson's Barbecue in Harrisburg must be good.  The family business has been operating for 97 years.  Fourth generation Rupert Johnson makes and bottles the Southern Style Sauce recipe of his grandfather.  Good flavor, a hint of sweetness and a tangy taste that lingers long after you finish a sandwich or one of Rupert's other meat products.  He sells the sauce and dry rub nationwide online. Johnson's BBQ Web site

On the subject of taste, River Ridge Winery in Commerce marks the season with a new wine variety, Holiday Rose.  The table wine is the fastest selling wine Jerry Smith has developed from his vineyard overlooking the Mississippi River.  River Ridge Winery Web site

Roger Wibbenmeyer boasts award winning hams, bacon, and snack sticks at Stonie's Sausage Shop in Perryville.  Despite many awards and 18 flavors of bratwurst, one of the favorite items is old fashioned ring baloney his grandfather started making four generations ago.  Gift baskets, summer sausage, Amish jams, jellies, pickles and other items are among a few of the other products carried by the store.  Try the Amish Bread & Butter Pickles.  Stonie's Sausage Shop Web site

The Chocolate Factory on Illinois 146 near Golconda will make your eyes light up and your mouth water.  The Factory makes dozens of candy items sold by the piece, the pound or the box.  It also makes candy specialties for all occasions and holidays. The Chocolate Factory Web site

Dinner requires a special dessert.  Belly up to some cheesecake from My Daddy's Cheesecake in Cape Girardeau.  They have 30 flavors to choose from, but berry swirl is Wes Kinsey's Christmas best seller.