Buying gifts for foodies can be quite a daunting task, regardless whether you yourself are a foodie. We are so different. We have different tastes, different experiences, different interests. What tickled someone’s taste buds yesterday may not be the case today. So, how in the world do you impress a foodie? What gift is sure to be appreciated?
I am a foodie, at least people around me think of me that way and call me a foodie. They are probably right. I have a discriminating palate. I can be a food snob sometimes. When I taste a dish prepared by someone else I always think about how I would change it to make it better. Unless the dish is truly spectacular. I will always admit one is.
So, even though I can be snobbish about food, there is one sure way to get me excited and to impress me. All you need to do is get me something that I’ve never tried, something that will give me a new experience, a new sensation. You see, being a foodie is not about being a food snob. It’s about appreciating good food. And most importantly, it’s about experiencing new tastes, new textures, new flavors. Even if I don’t like it in the end, the idea of trying something new is all that matters to me. Always trying something new is how I discovered dozens and dozens of foods that I love.
Below is the list of interesting and tasty foods that will make excellent gifts for foodies. I compiled this list based on a combination of some of the following criteria:
- Highly recommended by consumers or some authoritative sources
- Highly recommended based on my own experience
- Not widely known
- Considered unique in some way and/or produced on a small scale
I hope this list helps you find a gift that will be truly appreciated.
Real extra virgin olive oil. According to many sources, just Google it, about 70% of extra virgin olive oil sold out there is fake or adulterated in some way. As in, diluted with cheap oil. It wasn’t until a very good friend of mine gave me a gift box of real Italian extra virgin olive oil that I got a taste of the real thing. And it was really, really good. So good that I refuse to put anything else on my salads, pasta, etc. Tuscan Herb infused olive oil is my personal favorite.
18 Years Old Traditional Style Balsamic Vinegar. The original, expensive to produce, traditional balsamic vinegar is made from a reduction of cooked white Trebbianogrape juice, aged for 18 years, and used as a condiment. It’s highly valued by chefs and gourmet food lovers.
Organic Kampot Pepper. According to Serious Eats, the best pepper is grown in Kampot, Cambodia. Kampot pepper comes in four forms, Green, Black, Red and White. All of these pepper varieties come from the same plant and represent different stages in the fruits maturity and different processing techniques.
Kampot black pepper has a strong character yet a delicate aroma. After initial powerful peppery taste, it reveals outstanding aromas of flower, eucalyptus and mint. It’s perfect for sprinkling on top of salads, pasta, pork, beef or lamb recipes.
Red Kampot Pepper combines the spicy, mature flavor of black pepper with a sugary sweetness. It’s perfect for salads, pastas, pork, beef or duck recipes and desserts.
White Kampot Pepper delivers an intense bouquet and delicate aromas. Its strong spicy taste carries notes of fresh herbs and lemon. Perfect on fish fillets, salads, and vegetable recipes.
Chef’s Essences® & Sprays. This one is for essential oils that substitute dry spices in cooking. They are claimed to have concentrated flavors and a much longer shelf life. This one is a little out there but will sure generate a lot of foodie attention and talk.
To’ak Chocolate Bar. Chocolate that is made for the truest of foodie chocolate lovers. Each bar comes inside a hand made Spanish elm box with a serial number and the year of harvest. The box is surrounded by cocoa shell husks that are meant to be sniffed. The pacakge also includes mini wooden tongs that are to be used to properly pick up and taste the chocolate. Fingers contain oils that may alter the taste of this amazing chocolate.
Lillie’s Q Bar-B-Que Sauce. Lillie’s Q offers some of the best BBQ sauces that use all natural ingredients and stay true to the heritage of the regions each of their sauces represents. These sure will make great gifts for those who appreciate a good ‘Q. For those who appreciate smoke flavor, try this Lillie’s Q Bar-B-Que Sauce – SMOKY sauce.
Traditional Organic Yerba Mate Tea. Yerba Mate is commonly described as having the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate, all in one beverage. The leaves of the rainforest mate tree contain a whopping 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, and abundant antioxidants, which provide tremendous invigoration, focus and nourishment.
Yuzusco Japanese Citrus Hot Sauce. Yuzusco is a new spicy seasoning used by a growing number of places who seek the finest in food products. The rich fragrance of the citron, the spiciness of green chili peppers, and the bracing aftertaste of the vinegar bring out the flavors of the individual ingredients of a dish to the maximum. Perfect for creating new dishes and enhancing the taste of traditional dishes. Any foodie will appreciate this gift, especially when knowing they are one of the first to try this novelty.
Mike’s Hot Honey. The origin of Mike’s Hot Honey goes back to 2003, when founder Michael Kurtz was first introduced to the concept of chili pepper-infused honey while living in Brazil. Upon his return to the States in 2004, Mike created his first batch of chili pepper-infused honey, which became an instant hit. Mike’s Hot Honey can be put on just about anything. According to many aficionados the sweet and spicy compliments just about any dish you can think of, from cereal to meats and seafood.
Valrhona Pure Cocoa Powder. Dark, rich and intensely flavored, Valrhona cocoa powder is used by many pastry chefs and chocolatiers. I personally have been using this cocoa powder for over ten years after I got a small package as a gift.
Valrhona Araguani Dark Chocolate. To’ak Chocolate Bar may provide the best chocolate eating experience even for most sophisticated foodies, but Valrhona’s Araguani is the chocolate you want to use to make the most delicious baked goodies and confections.
Laura’s Famous Handmade Fudge. “Simply the best” is what most customers have to say about Laura’s fudge. If you are buying a gift for a foodie with a sweet tooth, a box of assorted handmade fudge may be a great option.
Set of 3 Jars of Beer Jelly – IPA, Porter and Oatmeal Stout. This is a great complement for beer enthusiasts, created by a self-proclaimed foodie. Beer flavors are subtle, and the jelly tastes sweet and amazingly delicious.
Hot Sauce Lover’s Gift Box. A collection of hot sauces from all over the world will get any chile-head excited. The box features a range of sauces from sweet to spicy to smokey and sizzling hot.
McConnel’s Ice Cream. There is nothing better than ice cream — except really, really ridiculously good ice cream. Apparently many agree that McConnell’s, a classic California-based creamery, sells that kind of ice cream. The best part is, they ship their ice cream all over the U.S. with a 2-day delivery time.
The Jam Stand Assorted 3 Pack Gift Box. The Jam Stand is one of really innovative craft-food businesses out there. Started in a Brooklyn kitchen by two best friends, it now produces and ships some of the best jam you can find. Their Drunken Monkey, jam made of sugar coated bananas, a splash of rum and a dash of lime, is ridiculous.
La Tourangelle Oil. Any culinary aficionado appreciates a great bottle of oil. La Tourangelle produces some of the best quality and innovative oils on the market, such as avocado, walnut, hazelnut, truffle oils, and more.
Angry Man Salsa. There are salsas — and then there is Angry Man Salsa. It’s not just salsa. It has a legend behind it. And, apparently, it’s super delicious. People known to not like salsa started liking it after trying Angry Man Salsa. It’s only available at certain times and on a limited basis. Grab one or two for your foodie friends, they will love you for it.