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Edible gifts are the low-hanging fruit of the gift world, pun absolutely intended. They’re crowd-pleasing, they typically won’t break the bank and in the case of subscriptions and cooking ingredients, these gifts will keep on giving well beyond the holidays.
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Whether your giftee loves to cook or prefers to take it easy in the kitchen, we've rounded up the best food and beverage gifts for everyone on your list.
Please note that many of these items could be in high demand as we head into the winter months. We recommend starting your holiday shopping early this year to make sure your items are still available—and to ensure that they'll arrive on time, as shipping could be delayed.
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1. For the one who appreciates a classic: a pear-filled gift basket
Our editors have tried countless products from Harry & David over the years, including an especially favorable review of its Moose Munch. But nothing says "happy holidays" quite like Harry & David's iconic pears. Take your pick from pears with apples, pairs with cheese and more fruity bundles.
2. For the grill master: a butcher-approved meat share
We've tested a lot of meat delivery services, and Crowd Cow is easily the best of the bunch. And this holiday season, Crowd Cow has an expert-assembled bundle with everything a grill master could ask for: two 16-ounce boneless ribeye steaks, two 8-ounce top sirloin steaks, four 1-pound packages of pasture-raised ground beef, two 12-ounce packages of beef hot dogs, and one 1-pound boneless pork chop. Whether they're looking to cook up a massive holiday meal or just host a fun barbecue, this bundle will be sure to please.
3. For the spice collector: a build-your-own spice set
If your giftee loves to cook, chances are they'll love Diaspora Co.'s single-origin spices. This set allows you to build your own assortment of spices so you can customize it based on the recipient of this flavorful gift. From vibrant turmeric to comforting cloves, Diaspora Co. has an impressive lineup of delicious and equitably sourced products.
4. For the one planning to do Dry January: a festive non-alcoholic holiday tin
I fell in love with Ghia's non-alcoholic apéritif when I tested booze-free beverages—it's perfect for an afternoon aperitivi, minus the buzz. This holiday season, Ghia is offering a holiday tin with big Christmas in Italy vibes. It includes the original Ghia Apéritif, a mini panettone made by a Sicilian bakery and, a jar of the brand's custom hazelnut spread called Ghianduja, all packaged in a limited edition tin.
5. For the one who always orders the cheese board: a curated cheese collection
This option is extra cheesy, but we're not talking dad jokes—Jasper Hill Farm offers a variety of curated cheese boxes that make incredible gifts. I tried one of Jasper Hill's curd-filled boxes and was delighted by the assortment of wheels and wedges, plus yummy accompaniments. The Diversion Cheese Pairing Collection is ideal for the giftee who loves to try different flavor combinations. And experimentation is 100% encouraged!
6. For the one who misses traveling: a Japanese snack box subscription
Bokksu's monthly subscription boxes are a really fun option for anyone who misses traveling, whether they're staying home for health reasons or busy schedules. Each month your giftee will get a box containing a different of assortment Japanese snacks, from chocolate-filled wafer sandwiches to tiny potato sticks.
7. For the one who hates getting hangovers: a low-proof sampler kit
Let's face it: no one likes a hangover. But if your giftee still loves sipping on something tasty when 5 o'clock rolls around, consider giving them the Haus Sampler Kit. Haus' aperitifs are all 18% ABV, making them a low-proof alternative to other alcoholic beverages.
You can either let Haus pick the flavors for you, or select the options you think your giftee will like most (this is what I did when I tested). Flavors include Citrus Flower, New Fashioned, Grapefruit Jalapeño, Rose Rosé, Ginger Yuzu, Spiced Cherry and my personal favorite, Lemon Lavender.
8. For the budding top chef: high-quality pantry staples
Great pantry staples will make good food taste even better. Enter: Pineapple Collaborative, the women-owned food brand and community platform that's been making delicious products since the launch of its olive oil in 2019. Pineapple's Holiday Set includes the building blocks of any pro's pantry: The Olive Oil, The ACV (that's apple cider vinegar, for short) and The Salt. Your giftee will thank you for making their meals that much better.
9. For the chocoholic: a small-batch chocolate subscription
I love chocolate, but nowhere near as much as my stepdad does, which is why my sister and I gifted him this chocolate subscription last holiday season. Raaka is a small-batch chocolatier based in Brooklyn, N.Y. that emphasizes transparent trade and direct purchasing when it comes to sourcing cacao.
With this subscription, your giftee will get three surprise chocolate bars delivered each month for three, six, or twelve months. My personal favorite Raaka flavors are Pink Sea Salt and Green Tea Crunch, but the subscription also includes experimental bars that aren't available to order à la carte, which is all the more reason to subscribe!
10. For the one who loves starting Sunday with mimosas: brunch in a box
This interactive gift is great for folks who love a lazy, carb-filled weekend. The Knack brunch gift box includes everything your giftee could need, except for champagne and orange juice—blueberry scone mix, pumpkin spice ground coffee, two artisanal jams and a cookbook filled with brunch recipes.
11. For the saffron enthusiast: Moonflowers Co. saffron tins
This is hands-down the best saffron I've ever tasted, and while I'm no connoisseur of this particular spice, I think it's fairly easy to tell the difference between flavorful and flavorless saffron (the latter being what you'll find on most grocery store shelves). Moonflowers' saffron has seemingly limitless recipe applications, from hot tea to crispy tahdig, and it'll make your giftee feel like they've won the spice lottery.
12. For the coffee aficionado: pour-over Vietnamese coffee
Copper Cow Coffee is the brainchild of Vietnamese-American Debbie Wei Mullin. These single-serve pour-over packets are pre-ground, pre-measured, and individually packaged with a filter included, which we loved when we tested. Plus, they're conveniently available in a best-sellers bundle—featuring Classic, Lavender and Churro coffees—that's extremely delicious and highly giftable.
13. For the one who's always craving Sichuan food: a trio of Sichuan sauces and spices
Best known for its internet-famous chili crisp, Fly By Jing is the woman-owned food brand that was founded by Jing Gao in order to bring the authentic flavor of Sichuan-style chili crisp and other pantry staples to the world. All of the products are meticulously crafted in Jing's hometown of Chengdu and they taste good on everything—no really, one of our favorite pairings to come out of testing was the Sichuan Chili Crisp drizzled over vanilla ice cream.
The Triple Threat bundle includes Sichuan Chili Crisp, Zhong Sauce and Mala Spice Mix. This set is great for elevating your favorite home-cooked meals, your go-to takeout dishes and even dessert.
14. For the one still making sourdough bread: An artisan jam sampler collection
Butter and jam are toast's best friend, and if your best friend (or family member) is still baking bread, chances are they'd love a little extra jam. This Trade Street Jam Co. set includes 9-ounce jars of the following flavors: Strawberry Chipotle & Fig, Smoked Yellow Peach, Plum & Rose, Blueberry Lemon Basil, Sour Cherry Ginger and Blackberry Mulled Merlot.
15. For the one who loves their Instant Pot: a limited-edition Asian sauce sampler
If you're already gifting your loved one an Instant Pot—like our favorite Instant Pot Ultra—then this Omsom sauce sampler will be the perfect complement. We tried a few of Omsom's sauce kits after seeing them all over Instagram and can confirm they're just as delicious and easy to use as advertised. The instant Pot x Omsom set includes the best-selling Omsom flavors and six exclusive recipes.
16. For the frequent picnic goer: a one-glass wine subscription
Co-founded in 2018 by husband-and-wife duo Rachel Vodofsky and Matt Dukes, Usual Wines is the by-the-glass wine delivery service that followed the wildly popular first wine venture for the couple, Vinebox. Usual Wines offers subscriptions as well as one-off orders, and the former would make an extra special gift for the one-glass wonder in your life. Choose from 6-, 12-, 18- or 24-bottle boxes per month of either red, white, rosé or mixed wine.
17. For the legume lover: a chef-favorite bean sampler pack
These beans are loved by chefs and home cooks alike because they're thoughtfully sourced, easy to cook, and taste delicious. Rancho Gordo's legumes are extremely giftable because they're shelf-stable, so even if your giftee doesn't get around to whipping up a batch of garlicky chickpeas until next year, they'll still taste just as good.
If you know the recipient of your gift is especially bean-crazy, consider giving them a subscription to the highly sought-after Rancho Gordo Bean Club. Otherwise, stick with the assorted beans sampler pack.
18. For the nature buff: a camping meal kit for two
Patagonia Provisions is the eco-friendly brand behind some of our favorite tinned fish, but its edible offerings go far beyond the ocean. This camping meal kit for two has all the provisions you'll need for a two-day camping trip, including red bean chili, organic breakfast grains, assorted tinned seafood, and much more. This would make the perfect gift for the outdoor enthusiast in your life.
19. For the one who enjoys their daily tea ritual: tea time in a box
This one is for the tea lover in your life. The Tea Time is Me Time set comes with Flying Bird Botanicals White Lemon Ginger White Tea, Bunches & Bunches Snaps Ginger Cookies and a gorgeous porcelain mug, perfect for an afternoon pick me up.
20. For the one who can't fly home this year: a care package from their favorite restaurant
If all else fails, give your giftee a tasty treat from their favorite hometown restaurant via Goldbelly. I tested this food delivery service at the height of the pandemic when I was incredibly homesick and, like magic, frozen pizzas from my favorite Atlanta-based pizza shop basically cured me upon the first bite. Goldbelly ships nationwide from restaurants, delis, bakeries and more, and its pre-curated care packages are almost guaranteed to put a smile on your giftee's face.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
This article originally appeared on Reviewed: Gifts for foodies: Best edible gifts to shop in 2021