Whether homemade by you or handmade by someone else, food stuffs make great gifts because they are consumable, rather than, and I don’t mean to sound ungrateful here, another bad gift destined for the storage closet! I commend those cooks who make time to gift their handmade nuts, chutney, cookies or bread because it is not easy to find time with all the shopping, parties and other holiday festivities filling the calendar. So if you are running out of time, here are some of my favorite savory and sweet food gifts that can be ordered online.
Artisan Cheese - You can’t go wrong with Texas-based gem Mozzarella Company. Cheese queen Paula Lambert’s company has been making award-winning fresh and aged cheeses in Dallas since the early eighties. Some of her cheeses, like Scamorza that’s smoked over pecan shells and her Chile Caciotta, a version of Monterey Jack that is seasoned with chiles, are infused with familiar Texas flavors and techniques. Another option, for a for an original taste of American blue, try Maytag Dairy Farms from Iowa. I’ve given and received both and they are high quality, delicious products.
More Savory- I love the melt-in-your-mouth Cheesesnaps that I first tasted at Monica Pope’s Midtown Farmer’s Market in Houston several years ago. This company is volunteer-driven and proceeds go to adults served by The Center Serving Persons with Mental Retardation. The cheesesnaps are packaged in a gold tin, decorated with a gilded paper ornament made by residents of Willow River Farms, an organic farm and artisan community located near Houston in San Felipe, Texas. They are buttery, spicy from cayenne and nutty with pecans. The company is also known for their gingersnaps.
Zingerman’s – Zingerman‘s is your source for an array of theme inspired gift baskets and boxes and much more. After the birth of my first child, my husband and I were lucky recipients of the Midnight Feeding box that came stocked with and assortment of amazing snacks like Sourcream Coffeecake, Black Magic Brownies, Aged Vermont Cheddar, plus a chocolate cigar and a Zingerman’s bib for the baby. Cute. You’ll find many great specialty food items and delicious holiday gifts like Cinnful Cinnamon Rolls, Pannetone and so much more.
Sweetie Treaties — Goode Company’s Brazos Bottom Pecan Pies are simply one of the best you will ever eat. Nicely packaged in a wooden box, they are a terrific way to send a little taste of Texas. Vosges Haut Chocolate’s Aztec Elixir Couture Cocoa is an exotic, spicy, decadent treat. Send their couture cocoa sampler or something fun like Mo’s Bacon Bar. Closer to my home, check out Araya Artisan Chocolate for locally made chocolates and truffles packed in boxes illustrated by local artists. -alyce eyster