I just spent a great weekend with my brother and his family. They love to cook and to eat. I'd like to send them a food-related gift as a thank-you present. Do you have any suggestions for mail-ordered gifts that would appeal to food lovers?
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Do they own a paella pan? After last week's contest I need to buy one and someone said there are good reasonably priced ones out there. Maybe you could send along some saffron with it?
Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.
Maybe a selection of spices from World Spice Merchants? Or nice olive oils? I got the blood orange oil that was in the shop a while back, it's really good ... it's from Stonehouse olive oils.
You may also want to check out all the food items in the Shop of Food52! Without knowing their taste, where they live and what they love, it is hard to suggest the perfect match. I was very impressed with my experience with Oregon Mushrooms for fresh specialty mushrooms. They also carry dried products. The idea of the paella is fun; you could include bomba rice, too, if they love that direction! Too bad we can't can aargesi's butternut butter. I sent my sister in Cornwall some Rote Gruetze that was from Harrods. Is William Sonoma too commercial?
StonewallKitchen.com has fabulous gifts for the foodie. They make a whole line of their own specialty food items which are full of all natural, good ingredients and they also have a line of quality cookware and tons of kitchen gadgets. Cool company out of Maine. They always win awards for their specialty foods.
pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
https://www.zingermans.com/ The Zingerman's catalog always has an assortment of "themed" baskets, as well as hard to find items.
P.S. I just noticed that there is actually a Zingermans button on this page.
At more and more farmers markets I am seeing value added products from local farms that can be sent as gifts. Supporting local markets- a great way to go! And then again, there is also Nudo, where you can support an olive tree for a year and get the products sent from Italy twice a year....saving a tradition.
This stuff is mentioned in one of the butternut recipes - it sounds fabulous:
Thanks for all your great suggestions! I'll use all of them as holiday gift giving approaches.
How about a cookbook or two?
http://sunchowdersemporia.com/ for the most delicious handcrafted fruit jams and chutneys. If it sounds familiar, that's because it's one of our very own food52 cooks, sunchowder. Honestly, these have got to be one of the best jams I have ever tasted in my LIFE! Slathered on scones, or pretty much straight out of the jar. And this is coming from the Sconelady, so you know I don't fool around when my scones are involved. This jam is THE BOMB.
I love the cookbook idea, especially one signed...and you could preselect a favorite recipe to include the ingredients. I just got not only Amanda's new book, but also Judith Jones's "Pleasures of Cooking for One," with bookplates signed for gifts. This question is great to plan for upcoming holiday presents. I am starting to read cookbooks for the first time, not just look at the pictures.
AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.
Anything from June Taylor. She's featured in The Shop on food52. Crazy at it sounds, I'd send at least a bottle of her ketchup, and perhaps one of her fruit pastes. The ketchup especially is phenomenal. ;o)
Sites like Zingerman's have such a wide variety of products that it would be very, very easy to come up with a nice little assortment of food items for a gift. I know it has already been mentioned, but if you want to increase the chances of success by offering a variety of products (and lower cost by only paying for shipping from one source), Zingerman's is the way to go.
One other idea would be to package up one (of many) of your own recipes with some key ingredients. Your Onion and Red Pepper Confit for example could even be givenout on a CD of the Food53 video or slide show, or a link to the site!!! Or your plum sorbet on a card with a copy of the Perfect Scoop!
If they don't have it, I think Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything is the best cookbook ever written. (That said, I have ordered Amanda's, but it has not yet arrived!)
I love to send a dinner kit of sorts...some interesting/good pasta and sauce, a salami, some tapenade or something to top some crusty bread, a good bottle of red wine, and something sweet for dessert (amazon or ditalia.com). It's always been a hit with my food-loving friends :) You can also do tapas from latienda.com.
I as well love Zingerman's but if they particularly like Italian food I would recommend Gustiamo.com. They don't have a particularly large catalog, but everything I've tried has been outstanding.
We have really enjoyed Harry and David pears. They run specials sometimes with sales or free shipping. I've never actually tried any other of their products, but their pears are truly amazing and addictive! A very special treat if you want to send gifts via the mail.
These are all wonderful ideas--we should keep adding to this because I think this question will come up a lot in the next month or so. I ended up sending them olives and olive oils from one of the shops on Food52, but I love all the other ideas for the holidays especially. Thanks!
We are lucky enough to receive gifts of olive oil from here:
I also agree that pears from Harry and David are great. We have had some other types of fruit from there, but while they were good they weren't amazing like the pears.
Gift crates from Bella Viva Orchards are filled with healthy dried fruit and nuts. I also like them because they come with a re-usable wooden crate:
penzey's is always wonderful