Foodies can either be super fun or incredibly difficult to shop for. On one hand, they're typically game for just about anything, favoring interesting and/or unusual flavors over more tried-and-true fare. On the other hand, their refined palates can be somewhat intimidating for non-gourmands to suss out, making gifting an anxiety-inducing guessing game.
If you're in the second camp, there's no need to worry. Do some deep breathing, and let me guide you through some gifts that I, a capital-F Foodie, would be happy to receive. (Hint: if ever in doubt, any food is happily accepted - and nearly always better than no food at all!)
Goldbelly is a veritable treasure trove of inspiration for gifts for food lovers. Whether they're craving deep dish pizza from Chicago eatery Lou Malnati's, New York's famous Junior's cheesecake, a Philippe's French Dip from LA, or any other kind of regional specialty, Goldbelly delivers every time.
For cheese lovers, I recommend Sonoma, CA-based, James Beard Award-winning Cowgirl Creamery. Their Classic Collection is a selection of three signature organic cheeses - nutty, delicate Wagon Wheel, funky, buttery Red Hawk, and their luscious best seller, Mt Tam. All that's missing is a bottle of wine!
Condiments play a big role in this list because they're a low-risk, high-reward way to elevate even the simplest of dishes. Mikuni Wild Harvest's Black Garlic Molasses is a syrupy sweet, garlicky umami explosion that's a bit like balsamic vinegar's cool Japanese cousin. Use it to dress up noodles, drizzle over a salad, as a base for marinades, or even in a Bloody Mary!
If they're the kind of foodie who loves to cook at home, try giving the gift of a versatile and aesthetically pleasing kitchen gadget! As the name suggests, Drew Barrymore's Beautiful line of small appliances and tools are all so lovely to behold, they won't mind keeping them out on the counter.
The immersion blender with chopper, whisk attachment, and measuring cup is my pick for this list. It can blend soups right in the pot, chop vegetables, make smoothies, and more! Sure to become an invaluable tool to aid gastronomic pursuits.
For giftees who are serious about keeping tabs on their creations, this gorgeous recipe journal from Papier is sure to please. Features include sections for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, convenient measurement conversions, ample space for notes on favorite restaurants and grocery stores, and places to rate each dish. Personalize it with their name to make the gift extra special, and they'll treasure it forever.
Did you ever think a cutting board could be this gorgeous? Made from the leftover materials of solid-colored boards, these chopping blocks are like a joyful burst of confetti in the kitchen. Whether they use it to julienne carrots or as a serving tray for a charcuterie spread, this stunning board will bring a smile to their face.
A food torch might seem a little extra, but aren't foodies themselves a little extra? Allow them to play out their Michelin star chef fantasies in their own kitchen with this tool from Legendary Chef. It's incredibly easy to use and features an adjustable flame level knob and safety lock to prevent accidental ignition.
For the demure pasta enthusiast, these dainty bow ties are a subtle nod to their favorite carb. Each piece in Delicacies Jewelry's Al Dente collection is quirky yet luxe, featuring a variety of noodle shapes cast from sterling silver and plated in 14 carat yellow gold. If farfalle are far from their favorite, perhaps they might prefer Penne Rigate cufflinks or a Ravioli necklace. Give one of these fun baubles, and bask in the "grazie mille!"
Porter Road offers only the highest quality meat products, hand cut from animals raised on their small farms. Their livestock are fed a 100% vegetarian diet, without hormones or antibiotics, and spend their days happily roaming the fields of Kentucky and Tennessee.
The Best Of Box is a sampling of all of Porter Road's most popular selections, including dry-aged steaks, chorizo, pork chops, thick-cut bacon, country sausage, and ground beef. It's an eight-pound parcel of meaty goodness guaranteed to please the carnivore you adore.
The simple pleasure of a deeply flavorful finishing salt cannot be overstated, and this one - a blend of sumptuous, earthy black truffle and crisp Italian sea salt - elevates everything from a perfectly seared steak to humble scrambled eggs. Gourmands go gaga over any opportunity to make their food even a little more luxurious.
A friend of mine recently gifted me this knife, and as soon as I opened it, it was love at first slice. It's a Japanese-style santoku knife forged from a single piece of of high carbon stainless steel set in a triple-riveted, ergonomically-designed handle.
The ice-hardened blade stays sharper longer than other chef knives and features a hollow, granton edge that discourages food from sticking while you cut. It's a beautiful mid-budget knife that your home chef pal will be over the moon to receive.
Even foodies get the "what should we have for dinner" blues. These clever dice will help gamify mealtime and maybe even inspire creativity and innovation in the kitchen! It's a set of nine birch wood cubes laser engraved with a variety of proteins, starches, herbs, and cooking methods, plus bonus ingredients like seasonal vegetables to round the meal out.
With over 186,000 possible outcomes that can be rolled, that'll take care of meals for about the next 170 years!
Salty, a tad sweet, and unctuously nutty due to the diet of acorns fed to the pigs before they're processed, a sliver of genuine Jamón Ibérico is worth its weight in gold. But you can gift a few ounces of it to a special gourmand in your life for less than $30.
Mercado Famous sources its products directly from Spain, choosing only purebred, free-range animals that have been fed organic acorns and nothing else. After a 48-month cure in a facility in Salamanca, the ham is sliced paper thin and vacuum sealed for freshness before delivery. Choose a one-time purchase, monthly subscription, or if you really like the giftee, go all in on a whole leg!
Of course, not all foodies are meat eaters. Traditional Mexican cuisine gets a plant-based makeover in Provecho: 100 Vegan Mexican Recipes to Celebrate Culture and Community. This book - named by both Glamour and The Boston Globe as one of the Best Cookbooks of 2021 - is truly a feast, with gorgeous, full color photography accompanying the elegant yet approachable recipes.
Many of the dishes in Provecho take thirty minutes or less to prepare and are as delicious as they are nourishing. Sweet Potato and Kale Tacos, No-Bake Enchiladas Verdes with Jackfruit, Burritos de Desayuno, and Oat Milk Horchata are just a few of the mouth-watering eats found in this tome. This book is destined to become a favorite reference guide for vegans and non-vegans alike.
Raw honeycomb is another one of those "little" gifts that has the power to make so many things better, from tea to salads to charcuterie boards, even pizza! The Savannah Bee Company sources their combs from the best beekeepers in the world with each slab simply bursting with liquid gold.
The honey is sweet and rich, with notes of florals and vanilla. Even the wax itself is edible. A simple, sweet treat in a beautiful presentation - what's not to love?
A shipment of those gold foil-wrapped pears are nice. So are the bouquets of flower-shaped pineapple chunks. But for many foodies, the more exotic the fruit basket, the better.
Allow me to introduce you to the mangosteen. Native to the tropical region of Southeast Asia surrounding the Indian ocean, these rare fruits are known for their sweet-and-sour juiciness and were a favorite of Queen Victoria (it's said she offered 100 pounds Sterling to anyone who could deliver some to her fresh.) Where once these delicacies were difficult to find in the United States, mangosteens can now be delivered directly to you door through TropicalFruitBox.com.
The fruit comes nearly ripe and ready to eat within a few days of arrival. Choose a three, five, or seven pound box or browse their selection of other exciting offerings like pink glow pineapple, rambutan, and papaya. You can even build your own mixed box to make it truly personalized.
No big deal, but these kitchen shears are famous. They've been written up in GQ, The New York Times, and Bon Appétit, just to name a few. They are beloved by home chefs the world over for their sleek, aesthetically pleasing design and durable construction.
The micro-serrated blades are super sharp, capable of snipping herbs, spatchcocking a chicken, or slicing through pesky plastic packaging. No job is too tough for The Good Shears. Featuring ergonomically-designed, ambidextrous handles with removable silicone grippers, these kitchen scissors are comfortable to use regardless of whether your left handed or right handed. Beautiful, functional, affordable. These are a must-have for every kitchen.
Good olive oil - I mean, really good olive oil - is a condiment in and of itself. Graza's Drizzle EVOO is not for cooking with. This uber-flavorful oil is best on its own. Made from young Picual olives grown exclusively in the sunshine of Jaen, Spain, this oil is rich in antioxidants and bold in character.
Dip crusty pieces of homemade bread in this oil, use it to put the finishing flair on a Neapolitan-style pizza, or squirt some over freshly popped corn before tossing with salt. Drizzle is one kitchen staple that's truly gift-worthy.
A cook-along experience from Uncommon Goods is a two-fold gift: you're not only giving a box of tasty ingredients, you're also gifting one-on-one instruction from an expert on how to use them!
In this course they'll make three dishes from the earthy, spicy cuisine of East Africa: red lentil stew, cabbage with garlic and ginger, and yellow split peas in turmeric. As a bonus, instructor Eleni will even demo how to make Ethiopian flatbread staple, injera. This class is 60 minutes and will feed your giftee for a night, but the knowledge and memories will last forever.
If you grew up on tuna salad sandwiches made from the watery canned stuff, it might surprise you to learn that there is a whole wide world of tinned fish out there that is fresh, flavorful, and high-end.
La Tienda's Galician Seafood Gift Box features four of their best conservas all packed in a beautiful wooden box. The set includes sardines, mussels in vinegar and spices, whole scallops in a tomato and paprika sauce, and octopus.
Conservas are a delicacy of the Iberian peninsula, where there is a long tradition of fisherman taking their freshest catches and preserving them to enjoy later.
Foodies tend to be evangelical about the bites they love best and this sweatshirt from Etsy shop Compliments of the Chef will let them rep their fave fermentable in style. Made from a super soft air-jet spun cotton/poly blend and cut to be chicly oversized, it's cozy, cute, and available in five color combos.