A collective gasp of horror was heard around the world when the President referred to a pile of Quarter Pounders, Big Macs, Chicken McNuggets, and Dominos Pizzas served to the Clemson football players this week as “Great American Food.”

Frankly, I wept a little in my fair trade, locally roasted coffee, because even presented on silver platters, the fast-food fiasco didn’t exactly showcase the rich and varied culinary history of America. 

Calling it “food” is a stretch*. Calling it “great” is stultifying, especially when the Good Food Awards released its list of the country’s 250 best artisan food products just hours before.

This is the great food of America, made by producers who care deeply about their products and have been selected by a panel of esteemed judges from more than 2,000 entries from coast to coast. They include coffee roasters, butchers, spirit-makers, and ciderists along with chocolatiers, jam makers and fisheries.

Among the 2019 award-winners are 15 North Bay producers and more than two dozen from Northern California. Here are some of our favorites. Let’s Make American Food Great Again, friends, one locally-made product at a time.

Sebastopol: Black Pig Meat Co. prosciutto, Little Apple Treats apple cider vinegar.

Sonoma: St. Benoit plain yogurt, Olive Press jalapeno olive oil.

Petaluma: Bellwether Farms Whole Milk Basket Ricotta, Rustic Bakery organic olive oil and sel gris flatbread, Griffo Distillery cold brew coffee liquor, Cowgirl Creamery Wagon Wheel Cheese.

Fort Bragg: Thanksgiving Coffee Company Upsetter Espresso.

Want to see the whole list? Go to goodfoodfdn.org/awards/winners.

And here’s the perfect ending to this story: Alinea, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Chicago, has invited the team for a free dinner. Lucky dogs.

*Full disclosure. I do enjoy fast food from time to time, even though foodies lambast me for saying it. It reminds me of my childhood. I also craved Big Macs when I was pregnant with my son, and despite gaining 40 pounds everything worked out okay and I haven’t had one since. 

I love McDonald’s French fries with Hot Mustard sauce. I like Burger King’s classic chicken sandwich, but their fries suck. I like In-N-Out (their fries suck too). I like an occasional Chik-fil-a (hateful politics suck). Taco Bell has never been my thing and I find Jack in the Box kind of revolting. I’ve had Dominos, but it didn’t do much for me. Fast food is food that Americans love, even though we shouldn’t, and I’ll cop to that. It’s just not Great American Food.