Have you ever noticed that our friends and families are almost scared to give us anything food-related, when in fact those are the things we most want? But then again, we've shopped for enough fellow foodies that we understand the dilemma. Does she already have this? Would he really like that? Is this something they'd even use? Here are a few sure-win gift ideas for any foodie in your life.
• Small Luxuries - There are a lot of ingredients that we food-lovers read about or see used on cooking shows, but can rarely justify (or afford) to use in our everyday cooking. Getting these as gifts feels like such a treat. Here are a few on my own list:
Imported Italian Dried Pasta
• Local Ingredients - When you're buying a gift for a foodie friend who lives far away, think local. Jams from your farmers market, local honey, beer from the brewery in town, even citrus from the tree in your yard: these are things that your friend won't be able to get where they live and that will feel all the more special because of it.
• DIY Food Kits - If you know that the person you're buying for likes big projects, think about giving them something like a Grow-Your-Own Mushroom kit, a cheese-making kit, or a one-gallon beer brewing kit.
• Pretty Serving Dishes - This one can be risky and requires knowing your audience a little, but it can also be a huge hit if you get it right. Personally, serving dishes are the kind of thing I never think of buying for myself, so I'm delighted whenever someone sends me an artsy serving platter for my birthday or brings me a pretty glazed bowl as a thank-you present.
What to Avoid - Unless specifically asked for, we'd avoid giving kitchen equipment or appliances. There's too much of a risk that your gift recipient might already own it, prefer a different model, or simply not want it at all. I find that the same is also often true for cookbooks. Unless I know for a fact that the person really wants a certain cookbook and hasn't already bought it for themselves, I tend to choose a different food-related gift.
What are your favorite food gifts to give or receive?
Related: Homemade Edible Gifts for Mailing
(Images: iGourmet and Back to the Roots Mushroom Garden)