Savory granola packs an herby surprise

Locavore holiday giving guide: 2012 edition

I know you’ve tried granola before, but it’s entirely likely that you’ve never tried granola like THIS before. Sweet Savory Rosemary Granola, the invention of Sweet Georgia Grains owner Diane Peck, delivers a surprising combination of rosemary, garlic, nuts and just a hint of honey. It’s mostly savory, with just a little sweet. It’s also addictive: I guarantee that once you try it, you will be compelled to take a second taste.

Peck, who launched Sweet Georgia Grains in 2009, came up with the idea for a rosemary granola after seeing some of the creative offerings that farmers market customers were game to try: chocolate and sea salt cookies; strawberry-lavender jams; cucumber frozen pops. “I started thinking, ‘Why can’t there be a savory granola that’s more like a snack than a sweet cereal, and can be used in cooking, like on salad,'” she says. After her new commercial kitchen in Haralson County is completed this winter, Peck hopes to work on developing a whole line of savory snacking granolas. Next up: a Thai-style flavor.

Although the oats used in Peck’s granolas are not Georgia-grown, they are organic. She does use local honey, and the rosemary in Sweet Savory Rosemary is ultra-local: it comes from Peck’s Tallapoosa garden.

Sweet Savory Rosemary Granola would make an excellent addition to a tray of olives and hard cheeses. Or, you could roll your famous holiday cheese ball (or a log of soft goat cheese) in rosemary granola instead of crushed nuts. If you’ve been racking your brains to come up with a gift for me this holiday, I wouldn’t turn down a handcrafted kudzu Bhutan Basket filled with Sweet Georgia Grains rosemary granola, Capra Gia chevre and a loaf of H&F Bread Co. olive bread. Oh, and a bottle of rioja. Just sayin’.

Other Sweet Georgia Grains granola flavors include Very Merry Cherry; Good Morning, Cranberry; Heirloom Oatmeal Cookie; and True Blue (blueberry). Find them, along with Sweet Savory Rosemary, for sale in the $5-$10 range at East Atlanta Village Farmers Market, Grant Park Farmers Market, Urban Cannibals in East Atlanta, Boxcar Grocer in Castleberry Hill, Le Petit Marche in Kirkwood, and the Farmers Fresh CSA store in Carrollton.