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Best food or food related gift you have given or received?

Just about all the gifts I give out tend to be food related. My most fun was retro candy in paint cans with homemade labels. Give out to 35 people and some got Boones Farm wine or retro toys for those with kids. Or food baskets with themes. Would love to hear any creative ideas out there!

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  1. I gave my husband Bacon of the Month club a few years back and I think it is still one of his favorite gifts EVER. They would send out a pound of artisan bacon each month with a little flyer about the producer. It was fun, the only hicup was when they haulted the shipments in the summer due to heat and I got a phone call at work from my hubby alerting me of a, "Bacon situation". We still laugh about that.
    Really cool gift.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bubbles4me

      What a great idea. I think I may have to do that as a presetn to myself!

    2. I gave my in-laws a bunch of Enerjets, which are coffee flavored lozenges that pack 75 mg of caffeine each. They are quite tasty, and good for long car drives (fewer pit stops). Older people seem to like them.

      1. I ordered frozen pizza from Gino's East for Dh for Christmas and it's one of his favorite gifts ever.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Janet from Richmond

          I worked as an assistant in the corporate office of a pasta company right after college. I didn't have a ton of money but had lots of free pasta. So for the holidays, I jarred homemade sauce, bought really good olive oil and put everything in pasta strainers for an "Italian gift basket."

          1. re: Janet from Richmond

            I really wanted to order a chicago pie for my wife and I, but Im not sure who I had looked up at one point and one pie with shipping I believe came out to about $70 but part of me actually thinks its worth it if its as good as I remember and comes through with quality via mail- can you let me know if you thought it was worth it?

            1. re: yankeefan

              We've received Lou Malnattis (Malnettis?) deep dish Chicago pizzas as a git before. They came on dry ice overnight here to TX. Now as a disclaimer I have never had "Chicago" pizza in Vhicago but these were very good.

              1. re: yankeefan

                I thought it was very much worth it and I believe with Gino's the shipping doesn't vary much based on the number of pies. Dh loved it and I got the benefit of sharing it while getting credit for a great and original gift.

            2. We've given a year's membership to 'cheese of the month' a while ago - also very well received.
              Have a clever creative friend and we teamed up our passions... I infused some lovely olive oil with chillies and herbs etc, my friend designed funky labels. Easy, cheap and everyone loved this. (friends of our did something similar with some decent cheap unlabeled wine they got in France)

              I like making herb&seasalts / rubs, put them in little tins - another easy and cheap one.
              I've done sugar with vanilla pods in an old jam jar and made cute little flowery 'hats' with ribbon for the jam jars.

              Cupcakes in funky presentation boxes (from a gift wrapping shop) always go down well, as do cookies in a tin.

              I think anything someone's made some effort in making is always well received, and then if you package it nicely, you're on to a winner!

              1. For the holidays I usually do bar cookies because they package well in individual clear cellophane bags. It is always funny (or sad) to me how much people freak out over receiving a brownie, lemon bar, or white chocolate chunk cookie bar. Very true that most people just don't bake anymore, especially where I am in carb/calorie/fat/you name it conscious California.

                Also, when I harvest my parents Meyer lemon tree and give those out I get lots of smiles.

                1. I ordered muffulettas from the Central Grocery in NOLA for my husbands birthday. He was surprised and delighted.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Candy

                    oh oooh oooh, I'm doing that for me soon!! I miss those.

                  2. A friend gave me a mini-jar of homemade kimchi with a cute label attached. I loved it.

                    Also, my aunt makes great pickled vegetables ang gives me a jar of them a few times a year. Yum! :)

                    1. Someone once gave me loads of herbs & spices she'd gotten in Amish country. Really loved that.

                      But wow, bacon or cheese of the month would slay me. Wonderful.

                      1. My twin nieces are in college and never have enough money to spare for food...there are so many other important things! Anyway, a couple times a year I go to Trader Joe's (they are about a 500 miles from the nearest) and stock up on their favorite nuts, cookies, sauces, pastas, chocolates, crackers, anything that ships well. A huge hit and fun to do.

                        1. We've given cooking classes as gifts. A number of grocery chains offer them but so do private chefs and the community college.

                          Classes in how to bottle your own wine or beer are fun and a gift that keeps on giving.

                          Wine tasting parties held at vineyards are a great gift.

                          1. Best gifts received: a blender with ice-crushing power (I'm addicted to smoothies), a mini George Foreman, a bag full of contraband dried chanterelles.

                            Best gifts given: a pizza shipped to my dad from the pizzeria in The Sopranos, the "chocolate of the month" club for my mom, a meal at Perilla (the restaurant of the Top Chef guy) for my fangirl friend.

                            1. A food- related gift that I was thrilled to receive recently was a gift certificate to Penzey's.

                              1. I don't know if this qualifies, but a foodie friend of mine gave me a greeting card entitled WWJD? As in "What Would Jesus Do?" but on this card it was a picture of Julia Child in front of a smoking oven, and the caption read "What Would Julia Do?" It's prominently displayed on my fridge.

                                1. Mrs jfood gave jfood two of the best food-related gifts ever:

                                  1 - she used her charm to convince one of jfood's favorite local chefs to come to the house and give jfood a private cooking class. He showed up with all the ingredients and we went at it. Five courses later, the jfoods showed up and the five of us sat down for an incredible meal. The chef told us during dinner that this was the first time he had ever agreed to do this and he was thinking to himself on the way over "what the heck did i get myself into." He then invited jfood to come to his resto and help him any time.
                                  2 - Came home from a trip oversees and mrs jfood takes jfood onto the side terrace. There at the end of the terrace is a 15*20' herb garden. All defined by small boxwoods to keep the deer away.

                                  Two great gifts from a great lady.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: jfood

                                    Wow those are extraordinary and very thoughtful, you are a lucky man! The best presents I've ever gotten were: an ice cream machine when I was in high school.

                                    Also my friend who is very crafty made meyer lemon perfume for me and she gave me some assorted gourmet sea salts (Hawaiian red, grey, etc.)

                                    Now if someone got me an annual Capogiro subscription that would make my year.

                                  2. For Christmas 2 years ago, my mother-in-law gave all the women in the family (and it's a big family!) gift boxes of her favorite spice mixes from the Spice House in Evanston, where she lives. We LOVED them. Better than a gift certificate I think, because it led us to try stuff we probably wouldn't pick out ourselves! This also led to lots of online conversation over the next many months as we exchanged ideas about what we'd made with all the spices, too. Now, every time any of us visits Chicago, MIL takes us back to the Spice House.

                                    1. I had a friend visit me from Europe this week. He is based in Germany, but only a short jaunt from Belgium. He is quite aware of my passion for candy, specifically chocolate, and surprised me with a huge box of assorted artisanal belgian chocolates. They are absolutely some of the most delicious and decadent I have EVER tasted, and trust me when I say, I have been around, haha. He also brought me a box of chocolate covered waffles that are very readily available in Belgium, but a pain to acquire here. Sooo good!

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: ArikaDawn

                                        Best food related item I ever received was from a dear friend when I was pregnant. A subscription to Gourmet magazine. That child is now 30 years old! That's how long I've been getting Gourmet!

                                        1. re: shopgirl

                                          Agree with Oh Robin on how appreciative people are of home baked goodies. For Xmas the past 3 years I've given everyone in my family a platter with 6-8 different treats. It takes me several days to do it because I make up a total of about 15 platters, but it's fun and so rewarding to see how excited everyone is. I get phone calls for days afterwards asking for recipes.

                                          The best food gift I have ever gotten is Dale and Thomas Peanut Butter and White Chocolate drizzle popcorn. I couldn't quit eating it.....salty and sweet is definitely my thing.

                                      2. Two things. One was my first 3 lbs. of Nueske's Applewood-Smoked Bacon. That was ~6 years ago and I've never been without it since. It's too expensive to just eat; I keep it in the freezer and shave off what I need to season fresh veggies, dried beans, grits, etc. I've bought other brands of applewood-smoked bacon but they don't even compare.

                                        The other is the dozen bottles of Schramsberg champagne my girls give me every Christmas. Not full-size bottles and not splits--the in-between size that's just perfect for one person to finish off by herself when she needs cheering up.

                                        1. Sourdough rolls form Boudin Bakery in San Fransisco. They are partially cooked and need only a few minutes in the oven for great sourdough!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: CapeCodBob

                                            thanks for all the replies!! A wonderful mix of ideas!

                                          2. If you want to give someone a great foodie gift, head straight to Neiman Marcus...There is always something delicious in the epicurious dept...I recently gave my Dad a few things from there, but he was wowed over by a new candy they carry that came out at Christmas time...They are chocolate with a peanut butter mousse and pecans...He is pretty picky, and he thought that they were the best chocolates that he has ever had...Their chocolate covered potato chips are a winner as well....

                                            1. Oh this is indeed a hard question. I would say my favorite was a bottle of homemade limoncello and the recipe. A gift from a good Italian friend. While visiting her family there they gave her "their" family recipe. I feel so honored.

                                              The other from my youngest son, another cook, a huge All-Clad pasta pot that is just gorgeous!

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                                a set of all-clad pots..including the fab pasta pot! also..a variety of olive oils from California.

                                                1. re: melly

                                                  Someday......sigh...I dream of owning all, All Clad.

                                                  1. re: chef chicklet

                                                    I had that same dream. Until recently there was an All Clad outlet in my town. So little by little I replaced my old crappy pots and pans with All-Clad. Every time they had a sale I bought another pot. (The prices on sale were about 40% off list.) Eventually I got every pan I wanted EXCEPT the pasta pot, darn it. But I'm glad I bought my pans when I did, because the outlet closed almost 2 years ago.

                                              2. On my then girlfriend (now wife)'s first business trip to Miami, she was having a really hard time of it, and quite lonely in the hotel. A quick call to the concierge in her hotel had a pot of tea and slice of chocolate cake delivered. She lost it. So simple, but so powerful.

                                                Also, individual pints of home-made ice-cream with individual labels have become a tradition for Christmas gifts. My huge family is wearing out my Kitchenaid Icecream maker!

                                                1. My husband and I were given a 14cup Cuisinart for our wedding shower by all our friends and I have been using it constantly for 16 years!

                                                  1. the Blueberry ,Banana cream pies my grandmother used to give me for my birthday

                                                    1. My friend gave me freshly pressed extra virgin olive oil from her farm in Northern Italy. I savored every drop.

                                                      1. Our son gave us a Zojirushi rice cooker for Christmas. When he went off to college we sent one to him. They have been enjoyed many times over.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: chowfamily

                                                          My best friend in NYC gave me a selection of the season frst cold press olive oils from Italy. She purchased it from O & Co.
                                                          One of the best gifts I have ever received.

                                                        2. Every friend of ours who has a baby gets a week of home cooked meals and desserts delivered to their house with reheating instructions and menus soon after they bring the baby home. I've done that for four or five babies now.

                                                          1. I like to give spice gift packs from Penzey's as wedding gifts. They come packed in a box with bay leaves and cinnamon sticks as filler.

                                                            1. One of my favorite clients got me Bacon of the Month Club from Grateful Palate dot com...I then got the gift for other people, suggeted it to friends to get for their husbands and then one of my friends got me the Jarrah Wood Stirrer from grateful Palate...I think Bacon of the Month Club is the gift that keeps on giving.
                                                              Other tops food gifts:
                                                              *Another client got me my beautiful KitchenAid Mixer...yippee!
                                                              *A boyfriend gave me a jar of his MaMaw's Pear Preserves...I keep telling him he needs to learn how to make them with her before it's too late...it's been 10 years since I've had 'em and I still think about it!
                                                              *The latest boyfriend just made me the MOST AMAZING tart...perfect shortbread crust, lemon curd, with all raspberries on top...my favorite!

                                                              1. My sister, knowing my addiction to farmer's markets and veggies, gave me a wok. I just replaced the one she gave me since I used the thing constantly, and that was after 10 years of solid use.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: JSchwo7

                                                                  My former roommate, knowing my addiction to said farmer's markets, bought me a share of a CSA. The gift that keeps on giving.

                                                                2. I love to make and receive home made creative eatable gifts, like: fabulouse holiday rum balls, a creative salsa, peppermint bark, homemade coffee kahlua. My sister makes these to die for pepper cookies. My son loves to send gourmet collections from where he might be - was Seattle, now it's Paris - so a nice basket from a specific location is always an awesome surprise.

                                                                  1. A former colleague used to give us her homebaked loaves for xmas. Loved those.
                                                                    Another friend regifts his Cougar Gold to me
                                                                    And another colleague gave me a small jar of her nona's pickled eggplant, soo good.
                                                                    I can be shamelessly pathetic when others have homemade goodies.

                                                                    I love to give and receive Reidel.

                                                                    1. My grandmother used to live in Binghampton, NY and every time we visisted we would get spaghetti and meatballs from a restaurant named "Little Venice". Well about five years after my grandmother passed, my family had the dish shipped down to me for my birthday. Best Ever!

                                                                      1. This one goes in the "it's the thought that counts" category: I grew up in the Northeast but now live in the SF Bay area. Every time I get back to NY, NJ, or PA, I immediately indulge a craving for chocolate Munchkins from Dunkin' Donuts (sometimes before exiting the airport; if not, often at the first highway exit). Probably more a nostalgia thing than anything else. No DDs anywhere near my current home! Well, my sister-in-law, who lives in Brooklyn and passes at least 3 DDs between home and work, noticed this and found it amusing, and for my birthday, she sent me a box of 50 Munchkins. They were in a plastic container, somewhat stale and crushed, but I was so touched! It was a really thoughtful gift. Aren't my in-laws nice? (I posted about M-I-L above.)

                                                                        1. Years ago I was looking for a Cajun type seasoning blend, but I thought they were all too salty, so I made my own. That year for Christmas I bought the seasoning in bulk at Sam's and got some spice bottles from a silk-screener friend of mine, mixed up a big batch and put my label on them. I called it Sassy Seasoning and people went nuts for it. Some used it like they would a seasoned salt and some as a rub. They especially liked it because it was a bit spicy, but not very salty. It is a blend of about 15 different spices. A lot of them saved the bottles and brought them back for more!

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                                                                          1. re: danhole

                                                                            great great great idea. will you share your recipe?

                                                                          2. I try to always give gifts that are homemade. One year I made my Victorian Toffee and packaged it in nice gift containers, it went over well. One year I made little cookies and packed them in glass mugs with lids...each had a little tag...."Got Milk?"

                                                                            1. The best I've recieved: a bottle of 1996 Dom Perignon that my BIL gave me and my partner, a 2 qt Le Creuset saucepan with the Gourmet cookbook from my brother, intermittent boxes from Penzey's from my dad, a bottle of homemade limoncello from a friend made with Meyer lemons from my back yard, and a Staub Dutch oven from my partner.

                                                                              The best I've given: Every Christmas I make several varieties of cookies and give them as gifts. One of my favorite recipes is a dark, dark, double chocolate cookie. When I drew my BIL's name for gift giving, I packed him a batch in a gift box. He was thrilled, and chose not to share them!!

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: vickib

                                                                                I recall a big bag of Blue Mountain coffee, from a Jamaican friend of my daughter.