Everyone eats. Even better, everyone enjoys eating or drinking something. So, even your pickiest and hardest to buy for friends and family will use and appreciate a thoughtful food gift. The key is to focus on what and how your loved one actually likes to eat and drink. If they enjoy cooking, then ingredients and gadgets could be perfect. If they hate cooking, but love eating, then steer toward food items that are ready to consume.
For the people on your gift list who cook with gusto, some high-quality spices and seasonings are a guaranteed hit. Look for the spendy items that they might not be willing to include in their monthly food budget. Things like saffron, pure vanilla, or the more exotic black cumin or long pepper, can be a delight that your recipient can use the whole year long. If you are shopping on a budget, consider making DIY spice blends that you give in pretty jars and bottles. You’ll get bonus points if you can recommend a recipe or two in which those spices are featured.
People who like wine usually like to try new vintages and labels. For the wine lover in your life, find out what kinds they already like. Then, hit up your local wine shop for a similar type. You’ll probably hit the mark if you can find a bottle in the same price range or just a bit above what they currently spend. A good rule of thumb is that if they spend more on wine than you can afford to spend for your gift, choose a different gift. Although not all wine quality is directly linked to its price, a lot of it is. You don’t want to give a bottle that disappoints the person you are giving it to.
Tea and Coffee
If you are looking for a gift for a coffee or tea lover, you are in luck. There are so many wonderful tea and coffee gifts on the market. From simple gifts like an elegant mug, to more extravagant presents like a barista-level espresso maker, there is something wonderful to buy for anyone who enjoys a cuppa. If you aren’t sure what, exactly, your loved one would enjoy most, look at the delicious gift boxes featuring assortments of coffees, teas, and useful accessories. They’re fun to give and receive.
Most people fall somewhere in between being obsessed with cooking and hating it entirely. They are willing to cook and may even enjoy it sometimes, like for special occasions. For these friends and family, you can put together a basket of scrumptious comfort foods. High end pastas, pure Canadian maple syrup, and jars of delectables like jams and truffles can be a delight because people already know how to use them but they are a splurge.
If you have a genuine foodie on your shopping list, rejoice! They are very easy to please if you know where to shop. Their eyes will light up if you present them with ingredients they’ve never heard of. Things like bottarga, cream of black mint, or teff will make their imaginations take flight. Choose a region of the world, find an interesting recipe from that cuisine, and gather the full set of ingredients. Gift your friend a bag of all of it, including the recipe and then cross your fingers that you’ll be invited over when they try it out.
If you know the person you are buying for likes cooking, but not much more than that, you can aim for the kitchen consumables that are not food, but every cook needs. People who spend a lot of time in the kitchen wear out their aprons, pot holders, and dish towels regularly. They adore sharp knives and would be pleasantly surprised to get a gift certificate for a professional sharpening service. Dish or hand soap with a beautiful scent or in a lovely container are always useful. Attractive food storage containers are an underrated luxury.
Fruit, Nuts, Chocolate and Snacks
When in doubt, go for quality munchies. It’s fun to get some treats to try and even more fun to have unique snacks to put out for parties and holiday get-togethers. There are some classic and fun online services that will send well-stocked boxes of interesting and exquisite edible treats to your loved one. Given the latest trend of over-the-top charcuterie boards, these special snacks are sure to be a hit.