The holidays are just around the corner and, if you’re like me, you’ve got plenty of stuff, probably more than you need. Instead of giving more stuff, how about offering a taste of the road? Increasingly, small, artisan food companies are producing terrific products, everything from real maple syrup to fresh-roasted coffee to custom hot sauces. That’s what I’m giving friends and family — artisan food that doesn’t require dusting or taking care of later on!
Many artisan food companies will ship their products to your door or, better yet, right to your gift recipient. Here are some gift ideas for your food-loving friends and family members that won’t break the bank.
Coffee Lovers: Who doesn’t love the taste of great coffee? If your friends and family covet coffee, nothing makes a better gift. Check out Artis Coffee in Berkeley, California. The company vows to roast and ship coffee to your specifications and get it to you in the 10-day “freshness window.” Or try Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, for coffee that’s not overly roasted.
Cookie/Baked Goods Aficionados: I didn’t believe baked goods ordered off the Internet could be great until I discovered Harvard Sweet Boutique in Hudson, Massachusetts. These home-style cookies and brownies are as good (or better) than I can make at home. Gluten-free folks can enjoy wonderful organic, wheat-free, gluten-free, non-GMO cookies that are low in carbs, high in protein and actually taste wonderful from Soulfully Sweet.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Fans: Great oil is part of good cooking. Oregon Olive Mill in the verdant Willamette Valley produces a number of fine virgin olive oils. Its Trio Stack, a set of three small bottles in a tower, lets you try them all. Or check out smoked olive oils from The Smoked Olive, including its Sonoma Smoked (great on bread) and Napa Smoked (super on salads or as a finishing oil).
Maple Syrup/Sugar Groupies: I love real maple syrup; fake maple tastes like chemicals and is full of stuff like high-fructose corn syrup. Real maple syrup is maple water cooked down. A great place to get the real stuff is Brien Fine Maple Products from Canada. It also offers chunky and finely ground maple sugars and delicious maple salad dressings.
Mustard Mavens: The right mustard can create a dip, accent a sandwich or be just the right glaze for meats. Try Beaverton Foods’ Inglehoffer Honey Maple Mustard, super on pork chops or as a dip for pretzels. Saucy Mama makes tasty chipotle, apricot ginger, champagne/honey and other fine mustards. Or check out Monastery Mustard’s offerings. These mustards, made by nuns at the Queen of Angels Monastery, are bold and flavorful.
Road Foodie Favorites: Holiday Food Gifts
Coffee/Baked: Artis Coffee | www.artiscoffee.com
Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters | www.philsebastian.com
Harvard Sweet Boutique | www.harvardsweetboutique.com
Beaverton Foods | www.beavertonfoods.com
Saucy Mama | www.barhyte.com/online-store
Monastery Mustard | www.monasterymustard.com
Have a favorite foodie gift idea?
Email [email protected] (with Road Foodie in the subject line).