For foodies, it goes without saying that the best and most meaningful gifts are the ones you can eat. But the best foodie gifts are also the ones made with equal parts love, thought, and creativity.
Anyone can whip up a delicious tray of brownies. The ideal gifts for foodies require a little extra time and thought to impress their delightfully discerning taste (if this sounds like a euphemism for ‘food snob’, that’s because it is. But that’s part of the reason you love them, right?). To warm the heart—and the belly—of the food lover in your life, follow this guide to creating the best gifts for foodies.
Make it personal
Think about your recipient’s snacking habits, favourite dishes, their most frequented restaurants, the flavours that most remind you of them, and the types of food they cook the most.
Do they love infused olive oil from a certain Italian restaurant? Drop by that restaurant to see if they sell a version or if they’re willing to share a recipe so you can recreate it. Is air-popped popcorn part of their nightly ritual? Make a selection of homemade seasonings featuring unique flavour combinations—like sweet-and-salty nori, coconut curry, or cinnamon sugar. Are they obsessed with a certain conserva they tried on a trip to Barcelona? See if a local tapas restaurant has a hookup. Did they take you out for a memorable meal? Add that extra dose of appreciation to your gift with a paste, olive oil, or sauce from that restaurant and a note about how much it meant to you.
Consider the shelf life
Another thing to think about when finalizing your gourmet gift: timing. The best gifts for foodies don’t need to be consumed on the spot (save your guacamole recipe for a dinner party), so choose a food gift that will last at least a few days.
If you’re making your gift for a foodie from scratch, you’ll need to schedule your cooking and preparation according to when you’ll be doing the gifting. Homemade barbeque rub could be made weeks in advance, but most baked goods should be made the same day to keep your gift as fresh as possible.
Use top-notch ingredients
If there was ever an occasion to make it memorable and splurge on the better butter—this is it. Spending a little more on high-end staple ingredients like chocolate, nuts, cheese, salt, maple syrup, olive oil, and yes, butter, can make your food gift taste that much more special—and your foodie feel that much more appreciated. If you used a gourmet ingredient you know is a favourite of theirs, call it out in your card or an attached note.
Be mindful about the packaging
Skip the tin foil and resealable bags this time. When it comes to the best gifts for foodies, presentation is just as important as taste. Get creative when it comes to packaging and your food gift is guaranteed to be memorable (bonus points if your packaging is reusable—if you can, always opt out of single-use plastic).
For liquid gifts, cork-topped glass carafes add a nice touch. Swing-top jars are perfect for items like homemade granola, and a slate of salvaged wood can act as a presentation board for baked goods or charcuterie but also a cutting board that they can use afterwards. Place your foodie gift inside a luxe gift box and add ribbon or twine. Need something cheaper? Use a plain brown paper bag and add a homemade wax seal for a rustic look.
Attach a note
Add one last meaningful touch to your foodie gift in the form of a handwritten note with sentimental details or instructions about the gourmet goods. If you made the gift yourself, remember to add a ‘best by’ date and a list of the ingredients you used for the gift, just in case there are any food allergies. Write about the sentimental significance of the item, why you’re gifting it to them, what you hope it makes them feel or how it should be best enjoyed (“serve with club soda and ice while listening to Maggie Rogers and watching the sun go down,” for example).
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