I have a few folks on my list this year that are incredibly hard to shop for. They either have everything they need or are quite particular about what they like. The one thing they all have in common? They like food. Whether it's a passion for coffee or cheese, they could sit and talk about their one passion for what feels like hours. So for these family members, a subscription that keeps on giving and giving each month of the year is where I've landed this year. What is so great about subscription gifts is that they're curated to include unusual blends and rare inclusions that the average customer often won't have access to. And there's something refreshing about letting the experts do the choosing for you, often based on seasonality or themed to align with holidays.
My favorites this year span the range from music to salumi, all products I've tried and loved or distributors and producers I know personally that do great work:
1. Cured Meats Convert: Know a diehard salami fan? There's no better place to turn than Boccalone, purveyors of "tasty salted pig parts." Choose from a 3-month, 6-month or 12-month membership to the "Salumi Society", which includes an assortment of fresh sausage and salumi selected from among more than 20 varieties of artisan meats.
2. The Coffee Lover: Sightglass Coffee, the much-loved San Francisco brewer, is now offering a coffee subscription service. You can choose to have coffee delivered to your door weekly, bi-weekly or once a month, opting for an espresso blend or a seasonal selection of their choosing.
3. Music & Food Afficionado: Turntable Kitchen's Pairings Box, a project by Kasey Fleisher Hickey and Mathew Hickey, is sent to your door each month for a mere $25 and includes a custom 7-inch vinyl single, three original seasonal recipes, 1 or 2 premium dried ingredients and occasional treats and accompanying notes. It's a great deal for your resident music lover, and a truly unique box for the hard-to-shop-for baker or cook in your life.
4. Cheese for Life! New-York based Murray's Cheeses are known for outstanding quality cave-aged and artisan cheeses. Now they have a great Cheese of the Month Club. While a bit of a splurge, their 4-month, 6-month or 12-month options include 3 limited production cheeses (totaling 1.5 pounds!)
5. Chocolate Connoisseur: To receive decadent artisan chocolate at your doorstep each month, Chicago-based Vosges chocolate has you covered. Their Haut Chocolate Lunar Club is structured around the full moon each month (it signals the time to expect new chocolate treats). Choose from a 3-month, 6-month, and 13-month option.
Related: 7 Truly Last Minute (Yet Awesome) Gifts for the Cook
(Image: Boccalone, Murray's Cheese, Vosges, Turntable Kitchen)