Chef Ted Cizma’s lust-worthy lobster meat cakes have a tantalizing, feather-light crunch. Aerie, Grand Traverse Resort & Spa, 100 Grand Traverse Village Blvd., Acme, 231-534-6000.
Scottish Salmon Bridie
2: Scottish Salmon Bridie Meat pies of all description are eaten in Scotland, the most common being the bridie made out of meat and onions (ingins) and shortcrust, but Betsie Bay Inn’s Scottish owner Lesley Perkins also loves the fresh salmon version in puff pastry, the way her mother made them. Order a pie and a pint at her Hotspur Pub. Betsie Bay Inn, 231 Main St., Frankfort, 231-352-8090.
3: Butter Toffee Peanut Butter
Handcrafted in Traverse City by a mom wanting a delicious natural peanut butter for her kids (and herself), this spread is smooth and rich, with just a hint of sweet and made with certified organic peanuts, flaxseed and hemp seed. Find it at Traverse City grocers. Naturally Nutty, Traverse City, 888-224-9988, naturallynutty.com.
4: Curry Chicken Salad This aromatic mélange of pears, pecans, dried cherries and succulent roasted chicken meat in a light curry mayo is great on greens, even lovelier as a late night snack straight out of the takeout container. Look for it in the sleek deli case when Zaccaro’s re-opens for summer. Zaccaro’s Market, 221 Bridge St., Charlevoix, 231-547-9230.
5: Cherry Cheese Coffeecake A former National Cherry Festival queen and her husband run a cherry farm market and sell slices of buttery breakfast cake with nooks of luxurious cream cheese and bright tart cherries. Royal Farms, 10445 N. U.S. 31, Atwood, 231-599-3222.
6: Strawberry Jam Jars of brightly hued homemade jam on every table at Sweet Water Café means juicy, just-picked flavor even in the middle of March. The jam tastes just wonderful on their organic oatmeal wheat toast. Sweet Water Café, 517 N. Third St. Marquette, 906-226-7009.
7: Smoked Bacon Hand-trimmed, fresh Michigan pork bellies are maple sugar cured and then get a turn in the hickory hardwood smoker overnight for a rich, deep flavor. Honor Family Market, 10625 Main St., Honor, 231-325-3360.
8: Stuffed Banana Peppers Be the hit of the party by arriving with an antipasto platter starring tangy-hot banana peppers stuffed with prosciutto-wrapped provolone. Best Choice Market, 222 W. Ludington Ave., Ludington, 231-843-6328.