Photo courtesy The Caviar Co.
The holiday season is officially just around the corner. And after such a crazy 2020 year, I can’t wait to switch to full gift mode. As a foodie, I believe there is no better way to show the people I love how valued they are – and how much I missed being away from them this year.
To celebrate the season, I’ve rounded up my favorite gifts for every type of foodie in your life.
Photo courtesy Laumière Gourmet Fruits
For the one with the sweet tooth
Laumière Gourmet Fruits: With a selection of first-class artisanal products based on dried fruit, Laumière has the mission to combine gourmet excellence with a healthy lifestyle. Your Christmas gift boxes are an increased deviation from the standard chocolates box and offer a selection of bite-sized treats in flavor combinations such as almonds, coconut and dates. Pecan, pistachio, and apricot; and dates with candied orange peel. In addition, all Raumière products are 100% natural and made without the addition of preservatives, refined sugar or additives.
McCrea’s Caramel Advent Calendar: There’s no better way to count to Christmas. This beautiful advent calendar exudes vintage storybook vibes painted with adorable woodland residents in a Christmas shopping scene painted by New Hampshire artist Cindy Hendrick. But what’s even sweeter is the surprise inside – 12 flavors of delicious caramel, one behind each of 24 doors counting down to December 25th. Additionally, McCrea’s Candies use fresh ingredients to deliver smooth, unexpected flavor combinations. The treats only contain butter, sugar, cream and real food flavors like fresh ginger, organic coffee, fair trade coffee and sprigs of rosemary. The caramels are gluten, nut and soy free.
Hillards Hanukkah Bark: Nothing says more about the holidays than peppermint rind. And this selection from Hillard’s doesn’t disappoint. Named one of Oprah’s favorite things in 2018, this limited edition blue and white Christmas bark is made with Hilliards signature dark and smooth white chocolate flavored with a touch of natural peppermint oil to enhance the chocolate flavors, and specifically with crushed Hilliards – Pieces occupied is made of blue peppermints. It comes beautifully wrapped in a hand-carved wooden keepsake box that makes two gifts in one.
Michaels Mandelbrot: If you’re looking to support small businesses this holiday season, I have to recommend Michaels Mandelbrot, a Miami-based gourmet sweet bread company that happens to be right in my neighborhood. Started by Michael, a general contractor who turned into a food business owner, this soft, cookie-like bread is probably not a baked good you’ve ever tried (think biscotti meets pound cake). It goes perfectly with coffee, milk and even as a topping for your favorite ice cream.
Doughup Cookie Dough: This deliciously edible cookie dough is the perfect gift for kids (or kids at heart) and comes in a variety of delicious flavors such as cookies and cream, smores and classic chocolate chips. You can safely eat it raw (who doesn’t love a spoonful of cookie dough?) Or heat it in the oven for 10 minutes for warm, crispy cookies that are as good as homemade. Additionally, part of Doughup’s brand mission is to promote mental health awareness and addiction recreation so you know your purchase is going to a good cause.
Photo courtesy Imperial Caviar
For the caviar lover
From soft scrambled eggs to pasta, caviar instantly adds a bit of luxury to any meal. But it is only recently that consumers have been able to buy this luxurious ingredient outside of five-star restaurants. If you want to surprise the foodie in your life with premium caviar this holiday season, here are two brands that I love recently.
Imperia Caviar is a direct-to-consumer caviar club sourced from sustainable farms in the Caspian Sea and the Amu Darya River. They offer two types of caviar – a milder, buttery Kaluga sturgeon hybrid and a nuttier, salty Royal Osetra sturgeon caviar that can withstand heavier cream sauces and meat.
The Caviar Co. (pictured above in this post) is a San Francisco-based supplier of fine caviar who advocates sustainable farming practices that avoid harm to wild sturgeon species. They have a selection of lovely gift boxes for the Christmas season, as well as a range of cooking classes and virtual events to enhance the luxury experience. All you need is the champagne!
Photo courtesy Laniko
For the truffle lover
Laniko Black Truffle Olive Oil: Laconiko is a 4th generation family owned Greek extra virgin olive oil boutique company based in Manassas, Virginia. The brand’s Black Truffle Olive Oil takes every dish to the next level – ideal for pasta, burgers, pizza, steaks, chicken, but also for vegetables, fries and popcorn. Foodies will appreciate its healthy, high polyphenol olive oil not only for its extremely high polyphenol content, but also because it is organically grown in a Natura 2000 area designated by the European Union, ensuring that the winery is safe from environmental pollutants and pollutants is protected.
Truffle Shuffle Balinese Truffle Salt: Add a layer of sophistication to any dish with this truffle-enriched salt from Truffle Shuffle from California. This mixture was created by chefs Jason McKinney and Typer Vorce and combines pure Balinese sea salt with the best summer truffles. Use it as a dry massage or sprinkled on french fries or popcorn. I’m also a fan of the brand’s truffle honey, which is great to drizzle with a great variety of cheeses or even ice cream.
Photo courtesy of Certified Angus
For the grill
Give away premium beef this holiday season with a box from Certified Angus Beef, an Ohio-based company known for offering premium beef with delicious taste, tenderness, and juiciness. I’m a huge fan of the brand’s Filet, Ribeye & Strip Collection, which contains four 12-ounce. Strip steaks, four 8-ounce. Fillet mignons and four 12-ounce. Ribs.
Photo courtesy of Steep’t
For the cocktail lover
In 2020, most of us need a cocktail (or two). For anyone on your list enjoying a good libation, I recommend three brands:
Steep’t Cocktail Company: It’s the cocktail in a tea bag that you never knew you needed, but trust me. Right, this brand has created tea bag-sized craft cocktails – just high in alcohol and water, and you’ll have a delicious restaurant-quality cocktail in less than two minutes. Steep’t products offer three delicious flavors including Spicy Margarita, Old Fashioned, and Skinny Spicy Margarita. They are made from natural powders and extracts from the dehydrated fruits to create a cocktail in the time it takes to pour a glass of wine.
Simple Goodness Sisters: Another option I love: This brand grows drink barup on the farm for people who want to make a delicious drink at home with minimal effort. These beverage syrups are light, complex, and fresh from the farm and the forest. With unique flavor combinations such as rhubarb-vanilla pod and berry-sage, each ingredient is sourced hyperlocally with high quality and ethical standards. Many ingredients are grown on the owner’s family farm and carefully cultivated using sustainable farming methods. I also think it’s great that Simple Goodness Sisters support other farmer women, use recyclable packaging, and don’t use chemical preservatives or dyes.
Dram’s Premium Gin Advent Calendar: This beautiful calendar is perfect for the gin lover on your list and contains 24 gin minis from a selection of the world’s best craft brands, including Bloody Shiraz Gin with four pillars, Hendricks Lunar Gin and Bathtub Gin.
Photo courtesy of Seedlip
For those who don’t drink
Seedlip is the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic alcohol that solves the ever-growing dilemma of what to drink when NOT drinking. With the brand’s Holiday Trio Bundle, you can enjoy refreshing cocktails – without alcohol. Flavors include Spice 94 (an aromatic blend of Jamaican allspice berry and cardamom with a light citrus finish); Garden 108 (floral mix of garden herbs, hand-picked peas and home-grown hay) and Grove 42 (a complex botanical mix of bright citrus aromas). Pour it over ice or mix it with your favorite non-alcoholic beverage such as ginger ale or mineral water.
Photo courtesy John Donohue; AlltheRestaurants.com
For the gourmet who has it all
An art print of her favorite New York restaurant: In 2017, John Donohue set out to draw every restaurant in New York City. The former editor of New York magazine became an artist, drawing classics like J.G. Melon by standing on the sidewalk with pen in hand. The restaurant critic Adam Platt called him “the Rembrandt of New York restaurant facades”. For the foodie on your list who has it all, grab a limited edition print signed by Donohues to commemorate the location of a first date or engagement, a memorable trip to New York, or a popular neighborhood eatery. I recently gave my brother a print from one of his favorite places in Harlem. This really is a fun and thoughtful way to celebrate and remember those wonderful dining experiences that we all cannot wait for.