Foodie Friday: The Best Gourmet Food Gifts

My hands-down favorite gifts to give are food. Since food is always appreciated, I’m much more willing to indulge on pricey food gifts than things in other categories because I know food will be used and loved!

Of course, any good New England blog has to start with maple syrup! These absolutely beautiful syrups from Northern Vermont Producer Runamok give you an almost infinite set of options for infused syrups, samplers, pancake gift sets, etc. I’m impressed not just by their beautiful design, but creative flavors like makrut-lime leaf, cardamom and elderberry. It’s hard to even choose which to get.

Hot sauce made with Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon? Yes please! Given that this is made with ghost peppers (the hottest of the hot) you’ll only want it for those on your list who are the most heat-tolerant, but at least you know it will last them a long time… Even a couple drops of this will go a long way!

Everyone loves chocolate, and Valhrona is out of this world! Dark, milk, even chocolate-covered orange peels available on their web site

When it comes to coffee, Kona Coffee, from Hawaii, is hard to come by but hands-down amazing. If you have a coffee lover in your life, this is a great option! This vendor sends direct from Hawaii, and has beautifully packaged options as well as flavored Kona, which is very hard to find. FYI, sometimes I can even find Kona at Trader Joe’s. It’s seasonal and rare … but much cheaper than online options! It’s a great thing to horde it for presents.

Probably the easiest to make cocktail in the world is a Bloody Mary. Make it even easier with this four-pack of Bloody Mary mixes by Dimitri. These are super, super tasty and my go-to for parties. I think the chipotle habanero is my favorite!

Gorgeous nut butters in creative flavors are available from Portland’s Ground Up. These ‘grown up’ peanut, hazelnut, almond and cashew butters sound amazing!

As a cheese addict, I’m a huge fan of Cowgirl Creamery. Yes, it may be weird to give cheese as a gift, but since I’d certainly LOVE to GET it as a gift, why not? Cowgirl has a three-cheese mail order option to celebrate their 20th anniversary, or pick up Humboldt Fog, Mt. Tam and Toma at your local store (I’ve found each of them at Whole Foods before)!

Remember that scene in Marie Antoinette where Kristen Dunst pours a cup of green tea with leaves that look like a blooming flower as they soak? Because I do. Make that happen for your gift-ee with this blooming flower green tea set, including a gorgeous glass teapot (that also comes with an infuser for loose tea). Or you can just buy the tea itself if your recipient is already set for his or her teapot situation …

Yes, I am trying to eat less meat, but I do appreciate some tinned seafood in the pantry that keeps well and makes for a quick no-cook lunch or dinner. It especially makes a nice gift for my city-dwelling friends and family who work late and want something quick yet gourmet. Just put it on crackers and it’s good to go! Wixter Market out of Chicago has beautiful tinned seafood from José Gourmet and La Brújula. I got a bunch of these for family last year and they were a big hit.

The packaging takes them to ‘gift level.’ I mean, have you ever seen sardines packaged this beautifully?

For the ultimate gourmet – a whole truffle! Not cheap, but a foodie will know and appreciate what this is …

Happy eating!