The Gift of Food

I always have an incredibly hard time finding gifts for people. I think of myself as a creative person, but for most holidays I find that I develop a severe case of gifter’s block.

I thought it would be helpful to brainstorm a bunch of food related gifts for the upcoming holidays. They vary in price range so if you are stuck on a gift for someone, this list might help.

I think food can be great gift because everyone likes good food. That said, not everyone knows how to make good food. And even less people buy good food for themselves. Food definitely meets the rule that a good gift should be something that the person would use, but most likely not buy for themselves.

Giving actual food. When I’m buying actual food for a gift, I always try to look for innovative companies that offer really outstanding products. Nobody wants a bar of Hershey’s for Christmas, dude.

Long lasting flavor. If you know someone who cooks even occasionally, buying them some nice spices is always a good way to go. I recently bought the 8 pack of artisan salts from Secret Stash Salts. While the 8 pack was a bit pricey, I’m going to split it up and make four smaller gift packs out of it. They become pretty economical at that point.

Immediate Gratification. If your prospective giftee is more of an immediate gratification type, there are lots of new companies around these days making really fantastic food from top-notch ingredients. I recently tried the new ginger cookies from Organica Deluxe and they were very tasty.

These cookies might be a bit pricey, but they are so unique. They are all organic and made from stuff like “organic flour”, “organic cane sugar”, and “organic eggs.” Hard to find these things in an ingredient list these days.

As a note, I don’t have any affiliation with either of these companies. They are just two interesting companies I’ve come across this season.

Dish Deconstructed. Pick your favorite cookie recipe. Something really deluxe. Something like this or this. Buy all of the ingredients and pack them up in little tins. Give them out as deconstructed cookies! I’m not sure that I would ever give this gift because I’m not very crafty, but I would love to receive it!

Free Dinner ticket. You could give a gift certificate to a restaurant but if you have something fail-proof that you can make (and you know the person would like it), give them an invite over to your house for a full on feast. Betsy’s sister-in-law actually requested that I make this for her Christmas present. Sounds good to me!

Learning About food. If you are looking for a gift for someone that likes to cook and not just eat, you can easily find something to help them along. There is always something a cook needs or wants.

A good book. Cookbook that is. But get something that they will really get some use out of. If you aren’t sure, there are a few books that would add to any cook’s arsenal: How to Cook Everythingor maybe The Flavor Bible.

A cooking class. If you live in a city you can probably find a reasonable cooking class that isn’t a huge time obligation. I recently learned about a artisan chocolate shop in DC that has truffle making classes for $35! A two hour class that is probably very fun and I’m sure you get your fair share of chocolate out of the deal.

Become the teacher. Offer to teach someone a dish that they like. Obviously, this will require that you know how to cook the dish, but it can be fun and pretty easy on the pocketbook.

Photo by tofutti break.

What are some food-related gifts that you like to give?

2 comments on “The Gift of Food

  1. How to Cook Everything is a ridiculously comprehensive, awesome book. I hope I’m getting it from Santa this year.

    I know Arlington County (yes, you have to trek into Virginia) offers a ton of moderately priced cooking classes. The sushi class was great.

  2. I always thought those fancy bottles of flavoring (flavors like hazelnut, etc) for coffee/hot chocolate/fruity drinks would make a nice gift…

    William Sonoma has some really fancy, schmancy food item gifts that come in nice tins and all…

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