Los Angeles Originals

Todd Coleman

We found an abundance of excellent local food products while putting together this special LA issue. Here are some of our favorites. The third-generation owners of Graber Olive House still handpick their tree-ripened manzanillo olives on the land where founder C. C. Graber discovered olive trees in 1892. E. Waldo Ward Seville orange marmalade  has a history dating back to 1917, when Edwin Waldo Ward Sr. started selling his condiments to railroad dining cars. We love the tiny, garlicky cocktail sausages from La Española Meats. Among our favorite store-bought Mexican snacks are the 22 flavors of Corn Maiden tamales. Nesbitt's Orange soda, from an 85-year-old company, was reportedly a favorite of Elvis Presley's. Littlejohn's, a confectionery started in 1924, is still making superb English toffee. Handmade Morning Glory Confections brittle comes in six flavors. The burrata from Gioia Cheese Company, owned by a third-generation cheese maker from Apulia, was the first of its kind made in the U.S. and is still the finest in town. The best-selling Lawry's Seasoned Salt originated at the Los Angeles steak house Lawry's the Prime Rib. We think LA is home to the country's best pastrami,
specifically the tender, hand-sliced brisket from Langer's Deli. Incendiary Chichen Itza hot sauce is made from an old family recipe. We adore the San Gabriel Valley-made Sriracha chile sauce, and we're not alone: 10 million bottles of the sweet-hot condiment are sold worldwide each year. When the communist government of East Germany seized the original company in the 1960s, the makers of Kruegermann German-style mustard pickles moved to LA; we're glad they did.