Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Favorite Northwest Christmas Treats

Is your family a fan of Hot Butter Rum drinks made with Harvey's Butter Rum Batter?  My family has been making them since I was young - I even remember having a little spoonful of the batter in just hot water when I was little so I could enjoy a special drink along with the adults in our family.  I was surprised when I found out the batter is made right here in Bremerton (the plant is located on National Ave South), and is distributed to grocery stores, bar's and restaurants in the Pacific Northwest.

It was fun doing a little bit of research about Harvey.  He was born in 1916 and moved to Bremerton with his wife in 1942.  He worked at a dry cleaning company, and later owned a hat cleaning business called Master Hatter until hats started going out of fashion and he became a bartender.  In 1952 he developed his own recipe for hot butter rum drinks as a bartender, which became a local favorite!  He was then an advertising salesman for The Bremerton Sun (now The Kitsap Sun) from 1960 - 1976, eventually working just part-time to focus on the launch of his new product.  In 1976 he retired from advertising to work at his new business full-time, when he built the plant on National that to this day still manufactures and distributes the product.

Another favorite treat (that I just learned today is a Pacific Northwest company) is Almond Roca!  This is one of my favorite stocking stuffers, but I also like to get the big jar's to restock our little candy dish when company is over.  Now I have even more of a reason to buy this treat, knowing that they are based out of Tacoma, WA.  In fact, Almond Roca is doing very well globally - especially in China.  According to King 5 News, the company is quickly filling many orders for China's New Year in February.  The article also stated that Roca in Cantonese means 'happy family' and that the gold foil for each piece represents wealth in China.  No wonder they are such big fans of this Northwest treat!

This sweet treat was created in 1923, and is still manufactured in the same factory where it all started.  According to Almond Roca's website, the candy was the first in the world to be sealed in a tin, and was a popular treat to ship to troops overseas in World War II since it would remain fresh.

So, there is your history lesson on some of my Pacific Northwest favorite treats!  What about you? Do any of you have any favorite local treats?  Do tell!

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