Looking for specialty products that are made in Monterey County? You'll find a host of locally grown produce and seafood here, supremely evident when you visit Monterey County restaurants
Artichokes: Nearly two-thirds of the world's artichokes are grown in Monterey County. As the "Artichoke Center of the World," Monterey County hosts the annual Artichoke Festival in Castroville. Local chefs find dozens of ways to prepare the tasty veggie.
Abalone: At one time, abalone grew to dinner plate size and were as common as clams. Now, Monterey County's two abalone farms produce the only fresh, ocean-reared abalone in the U.S. This uncommon shellfish is pricey, but succulent.
Calamari: Calamari is the Italian culinary name for squid. They are commonly fished and prepared in these parts due to their abundance, as well as their popularity in Sicilian cooking (as many Sicilian immigrants settled in Monterey during the late 1800s). A specialty at some restaurants, calamari is most commonly served battered and fried, but is also delicious sauteed, baked or boiled.
With over 40,000 acres of wine grapes planted in Monterey County, numerous varieties and styles of wine are easily found here. Specialty wine shops like A Taste of Monterey and Wine From the Heart, as well as many wine tasting rooms, offer a taste of what makes Monterey County so special.