Holiday Gift Guide: Food Gifts for Everyone on Your List

Stumped on gift-giving this holiday season? When in doubt, give the gift of food—everyone has to eat, after all.

From mail-order artisanal ice cream to a pork-lover’s breakfast of dreams, here are our best edible gift ideas for everyone on your list. 

For the Sweet-Toothed

Just Add Milk 

A festive cookie platter is a must for the holidays. The folks at Mouth, a specialty foods online retailer that highlights small-batch makers across the country, have curated an excellent seasonal selection. Their Holiday Cookie Plate gift set includes chewy, beautifully glazed Gingerbread Tile Cookies from Rustic Bakery; fragrant Cranberry Orange Cookies from Grey Ghost Bakery; melt-in-your-mouth Butter Pecan Shortbread Coins from Willa’s Shortbread; buttery, not-too-sweet Speculoos Spice Cookies from Little Belgians; and festive Chocolate Peppermint Sables made by Mouth. $66.50 at Mouth.com

mouth holiday cookie plate gift box
Mouth’s Holiday Cookie Platter. (Courtesy of Mouth)

A Package Worth Screaming for 

Who wouldn’t want to receive ice cream in the mail? Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams will ship its luxuriously smooth artisanal ice creams—made without synthetic flavors, dyes, or added stabilizers and emulsifiers for an incredibly clean, milky taste—right to a lucky recipient’s front door. Opening the giant, dry ice-packed box is part of the fun. Jeni’s offers several pint collections for gifting, but you can’t go wrong with the five-pack of Top Sellers: Brambleberry Crisp, Darkest Chocolate, Salty Caramel, Brown Butter Almond Brittle, and Salted Peanut Butter With Chocolate Flecks. $58 at Jenis.com

jenis splendid ice creams top sellers collection
Jeni’s Top Sellers Collection. (Courtesy of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams)

Giant Chocolate Bars With a Mission to Match

Slip a hefty, colorfully wrapped Tony’s Chocolonely chocolate bar into a stocking for guaranteed ear-to-ear smiles upon discovery, from kids and adults alike. The 6.35-ounce bars are smooth, snappy, and satisfying, and made with all-natural, fair trade ingredients. They come in flavors like a dangerously snackable Dark Milk Pretzel Toffee and party-in-your-mouth White Raspberry Popping Candy. And there’s even more to smile about: behind the fun flavors and packaging, the company is on a serious mission to make the cocoa industry 100 percent slave-free. $5.49 at TonysChocolonely.com

tonys chocolonely chocolate bars
Tony’s Chocolonely big bars. (Courtesy of Tony’s Chocolonely)

Farm-Fresh Caramels

Vermont-based goat dairy and farmstead creamery Big Picture Farm makes soft and buttery goat milk caramels using fresh, raw goat’s milk. Their new Golden Holiday Gift Box includes 20 caramels in eight flavors—among them sea salt and vanilla, brown butter bourbon, and raspberry rhubarb—and comes decorated with whimsical sketches of the farm’s free-ranging goats, who have names like Junebug and Mathilda. $24 at BigPictureFarm.com

big picture farm goat caramels gift box
Big Picture Farm’s Golden Holiday Gift Box. (Courtesy of Big Picture Farm)

Hot Chocolate to Sip and Savor

dandelion chocolate hot chocolate mix
Dandelion Chocolate’s Hot Chocolate Mix. Courtesy of Dandelion Chocolate)

Forget the dusty, never-chocolatey-enough powder mixes. Dandelion Chocolate’s Hot Chocolate Mix is made with real ground 70 percent Camino Verde, Ecuador single-origin chocolate—the same that the San Francisco chocolate factory uses for its famed house hot chocolate drinks. When whisked into a pot of hot milk, it makes for a satisfyingly rich, decadent cup. The mix comes in a corked glass bottle, made in Japan, elegant enough to save for another use after its contents are all too quickly depleted. $18 at DandelionChocolate.com

For the Inveterate Snacker

Award-Winning American Blues

Oregon-based Rogue Creamery caused a stir when its Rogue River Blue took the title of World’s Best Cheese at this year’s World Cheese Awards, becoming the first American-made cheese to ever do so. The 2019 champ has long sold out, but plenty of Rogue’s other award-winning offerings are ready for gifting. Delight a blue cheese lover with the Brilliant Blue Sampler ($69), a selection of the organic blues Rogue is best known for; or assemble a crowd-pleasing spread with The Cheese Party ($99), which includes two blues, two cheddars, and sourdough crackers and honey to pair. RogueCreamery.com

Rogue Creamery Cheese Party gift set
Rogue Creamery’s Cheese Party gift set. (Chung I Ho/The Epoch Times)

Plenty of Fish in a Tin

Tinned fish gets a bad rap stateside, but the veritable treasures in Zingerman’s Tin of Tinned Fish, imported from storied producers in Spain, Portugal, and Italy, where they’re top culinary delicacies, will change any skeptic’s mind—or thrill a fish fan already in the know. The quirky gift set starts with a limited-edition metal tin from Conservas Ortiz, fifth-generation family-run Spanish tinned fish royalty, decorated with colorful illustrations. It’s filled with goodies like Ortiz’s famous line-caught, olive oil-packed Bonito del Norte—whose clean, meaty flavor and tender flakiness will ruin all other canned tuna for you—luscious oil-packed anchovies from Italy, and powerfully briny Portuguese smoked mussels. Perfect for making instant tapas, bulking up a dinner, or emergency snacking, straight from the tin. $120 at Zingermans.com

Zingermans a tin of tinned fish
Zingerman’s Tin of Tinned Fish. (Chung I Ho/The Epoch Times)

Sunshine in a Jar

BRINS Lemon Saffron marmalade
BRINS Lemon Saffron Marmalade. (Courtesy of BRINS)

Made with thinly sliced whole lemons and sustainably sourced Herati saffron threads, BRINS Lemon Saffron Marmalade is bright and mouth-puckeringly tart, without being too sweet. The saffron is subtle, a delicate floral note in the background. Stuff a stocking with a jar, or opt for a gift set with a trio of BRINS’s other unique flavors, such as Strawberry Lemongrass or Cherry Chai. $4.99 for a 7.5-ounce jar; $28.99 for a three-jar gift set at BrinsJam.com

For the Curious Home Cook

Breakfast of Champions

Make a carnivore’s morning with Snake River Farms’ new Breakfast Box, an assortment of breakfast classics made from Kurobuta pork. This heritage variety is prized for its rich flavor, tender texture, and heavy marbling; think of it as the wagyu of the pork world. The kit includes two 1.5-pound packages of thick-cut, hardwood-smoked bacon; two 1-pound packages of sausage, lightly spiced with fennel and sage; and half a mini boneless ham, fully cooked and ready to slice. The pork all comes from 100 percent purebred Berkshire hogs, raised without added hormones on small family farms. $120 at SnakeRiverFarms.com

SRF Breakfast Box bundle - mini ham, bacon, and ground pork
Snake River Farms’ Breakfast Box. (Courtesy of Snake River Farms)

Soy Sauce With a Southern Pedigree

A far cry from the often tinny, flat-tasting mass-produced varieties of soy sauce, Louisville-based Bourbon Barrel Foods’ line of small-batch, bourbon barrel-aged soy sauces have impressive depth and complexity. The Bluegrass Soy Sauce starts with Kentucky-grown non-GMO soybeans, soft red winter wheat, and Bardstown’s famed limestone-filtered spring water, fermented and aged for a year until smoky and jam-packed with umami. The Imperial Double Fermented Soy Sauce is an even richer, fuller-bodied version, while the Bourbon Smoked Soy Sauce is potent and meaty, reminiscent of ultra-smoky bacon. Gift them separately, or in a set along with a bottle of Small-Batch Bourbon Ponzu and two pairs of handcrafted bourbon barrel chopsticks. Starting at $10 for individual bottles; $68 for the gift set at BourbonBarrelFoods.com

bourbon barrel foods soy sauce line
Bourbon Barrel Foods Handcrafted Soy Sauce and Bourbon Barrel Chopsticks Gift Box. (Courtesy of Bourbon Barrel Foods)

A Harissa Primer 

The thick, jammy Signature Harissa from New York Shuk, an artisanal condiment company specializing in Sephardic and Middle Eastern Jewish cuisines, is a stand-out version of the smoky North African hot chili pepper paste. Made with a blend of sun-dried chili peppers and toasted spices, it’s subtle in heat and naturally on the sweeter, fruitier side, ready to be swiped on meats or veggies, stirred into soups and stews, or simply smeared on a cheese platter in a stroke of vibrant red. New York Shuk also makes a game-changing Preserved Lemon Harissa, brightened with the addition of the tangy, pungent preserved citrus, and three dry harissa spice blends, including one that adds fragrant rose petals to the mix. $12.95 for a 10-ounce jar; $54 for the full Harissa Collection at NYShuk.com

ny shuk harissa collection
New York Shuk’s Harissa Collection. (Courtesy of New York Shuk)

Honey, No 2 the Same

You’ve heard of varietal wines, but what about varietal honey? Gift a fun tasting experience with Bee Raw’s Nine Varietal Honey Flight, which includes nine hand-corked, beeswax-sealed vials of raw, single-floral source honeys. They come in an eye-opening spectrum of colors, textures, and flavors, from a light and floral Wild Raspberry honey from Maine, to a soft and buttery Sweet Yellow Clover honey from Colorado, to a dark and molasses-y Buckwheat honey from Washington state. Packaged with a handcrafted oak block for display. $78 at BeeRaw.com

bee raw nine varietal honey flight
Bee Raw’s Nine Varietal Honey Flight. (Courtesy of Bee Raw)

Need more ideas? Check out our other holiday gift guides:

The Best Wine and Spirits Gifts, According to Experts
What to Gift the Beer Lover in Your Life

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