Artisanal Treats and Food Gifts 2014
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Photo: Courtesy of Counter Culture
Who doesn't love unwrapping something edible? We've pulled together our favorite treats and sips.
Jacobsen Sea Salt
This holiday season, give friends and family a tasty treat that tells a story. Handcrafted by artisans who develop their unique flavors in small batches, these products represent the best of edible gifts.
First up is Ben Jacobsen, a Portland, Oregon-based salt maker who creates everything from salted chocolate bars to sea salts infused with local flavors such as Stumptown coffee, Oregon pinot noir, and Oregon cherry wood. His gift set offers a wonderful variety of flavors, with pairing notes included for each.
From $9.95 for a 1.5 ounce jar, jacobsensalt.com
Fat Toad Farm Caramel
Goat's milk is the key ingredient in the velvety caramel sauces made at Vermont's family-run Fat Toad Farm. A take on Mexican cajeta, they're like caramel without the cloying sweetness.
$24 for a sampler pack of four, fattoadfarm.com
Palais Des Thés Tea Blends
Give the tea lover on your list four vibrant blends from this Parisian tea line.
Fig & Onion Jam
This Fig & Onion Jam is a revolution—equal parts earthy onion and floral fig, brought to you by Brooklyn food artisans. Any foodie friend will love this small-batch gift.
Carla Hall's Bite-Size Cookies
The Chew's Carla Hall bakes bite-sized sweet and savory cookies in creative flavors. Ship a gift box to a friend for a thoughtful, tasty treat.
From $6.50 for a 6 oz. cup, carlahall.com
The Rare Wine Co.'s Madeira Wine
The Rare Wine Co.'s Historic Series Boston Bual Madeira, made from bual grapes, has a bracing tartness that performs a very sexy tango with the wine's seductive sweet core. Bring as a hostess gift and sip with dessert.
Grace Hightower & Coffees of Rwanda
These fair trade beans support the efforts of Rawandan farmers. With a variety of flavors (including roasts with chocolate and citrus notes), there's a bag to gift for all your friends.
Lucini Olive Oil
Lucini's Founder's Reserve is a deliciously robust limited edition, estate-grown olive oil—a true treat for home cooks.
Bittermilk Charred Grapefruit Tonic
The combination of charred grapefruit peel, sea salt, and citrus in this Charred Grapefruit Tonic is delicately sweet and dangerously sippable.
Petite Pistachio Vanilla Bean Scones
The crunchy-salty-sweet juxtaposition in this petite scone is a scrumptious reminder that a little can go a long way. Great as a stocking stuffer.
Port Wine Caramel Sauce
Sweeteeth Port Wine Caramel Sauce gives desserts a salty-sweet finish. Bring to a holiday gathering, and you're sure to be the star of the party.
Malvi Marshmallow Confections
Shortbread-style cookies sandwich fluffy handmade marshmallows in this sweet treat. We especially like the Vanilla Salted Caramel. Order a sampler, or create your own collection.
$25/ sampler or $6/4-pack, malvimallow.com
Curried Peach Preserves
Delicately spiced Curried Peach Preserves finishes with just the right amount of heat. The perfect addition to friend's cheese board.
Bonne Bouche Goat Cheese
Vibrant and creamy, Bonne Bouche is one of our favorite goat cheeses. Packaged in a snug wooden box, the tasty cheese is ready for gift wrap.
Chocovivo Chocolate Bars
Patricia Tsai produces stone-ground, bean-to-bar chocolate using the same processing techniques Mayans and Aztecs relied on thousands of years ago. The bars are full of earthy flavors, with a soft, crumbly, slightly gritty texture—an entirely novel indulgence. Gift them to your chocoholic companions.
California-based Bloom Honey produces a line of golden nectars with an array of exotic single-origin honey varietals, including buckwheat, blackberry, pumpkin, avocado, and wild cherry. Their uniqueness makes them the perfect sticky-sweet gift for the holidays.
These handcrafted chocolate wildflowers are filled with rose tea ganache or boozy rum-pecan caramel—a romantic treat for a loved one.
$29.95/box of 9, johnandkiras.com
Big Spoon Roasters Peanut Butter
Big Spoon Roasters has a variety of mouth-watering flavors, including a buttery-rich peanut and pecan spread and a dark chocolate PB that begs for a graham cracker. All are brightened with sea salt and sweetened with wildflower honey.
From $9.95/8-ounce jar, bigspoonroasters.com
Richland Almost Rum
Georgia's Richland Rum now bottles the cane syrup that makes their rum so tasty. Both cooks and mixologists will love this sweet gift.
King Bean Coffee
These coffee beans are roasted to order, so they're particularly fresh and fragrant. Choose Southern Pecan for those who like mild, nutty coffee with just a hint of bitter. For the coffee drinker who prefers more bite, try the new and unflavored Twenty Strong blend.
O's Clementine Olive Oil
Flavored olive oils can sometimes be overpowering, but O's Clementine Oil is one worth trying.
Pukka Organic Whole Leaf Tea
Brought to the U.S. by British tea company Pukka, these leaf teas are rich, flavorful, and 100% certified organic.
$6.26 for 20 sachets, iherb.com
Dukkah Spice Blends
These Dukkah blends (nut and spice mixtures popular in Egypt), range from warm and buttery (sesame and pistachio) to hot and sweet (coconut and hazelnut). Great for a friend who enjoys exotic flavors.
Chile-infused Hudson Valley honey punches up everything from popcorn to pizza. Sriracha-loving friends will be thrilled!
As entertaining to eat as it is to look at, Sparkle Bark boasts crushed peppermint and popping candy dotting dark and white Belgian chocolate. Edible glitter makes each piece sparkle.
O's Orange Blossom Champagne Vinegar
O's Orange Blossom Champagne Vinegar adds a light, lovely acidity to salads—a welcomed addition to any vinegar collection.
Counter Culture Coffee
Photo: Courtesy of Counter Culture
Sourced directly from farmers, Counter Culture Coffee is uniquely roasted to celebrate the beans and the great regions they come from. Go for Hologram if you're looking for a bold, rich, chocolatey brew. For something nuttier and full of flavor, try Big Trouble.