Fun & Tasty
Foodie Gifts

One of my favorite types of gifts to give and to receive are theme gifts: a collection of elements that can make up a much greater whole. We received several such gifts when we were married many (many!) years ago, and I've given my fair share over the years, too. Within the genre of theme gifts, one sub-category gets the most love from me: culinary theme gifts, culinary gift baskets in particular. Something - several things - food-related. Delicious!

Gourmet Gifts

Culinary gifts are gastronomic fun

Theme gifts, especially food themed gifts are easy and fun to put together. They can pack a lot of punch for the investment - and you can go inexpensive to downright indulgent and anywhere in between. The take off point for culinary gift baskets and other culinary gifts can be small, and just keep in mind that they are as much fun to give as they are to receive.

One culinary item can spark instant inspiration

Recently I was shopping for a wedding gift. On the couple's registry was a set of salad servers. Almost instantly, I knew what I would do. I purchased those salad servers, then went next door to the bookstore to get a favorite salad cookbook, then continued on to the gourmet market for excellent balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Once home, I ordered one of my favorite solid wood turned bowls from a secret source; a week later it arrived. A couple days after that I wrapped it up and mailed out one fabulous salad-centric wedding gift.

Consider the culinary inclusions

When putting together culinary gift baskets or culinary themed gifts, consider carefully before including any perishable items. Unless you intend to give the gift to the recipient at his or her house and/or the giftee can access refrigeration quickly, it is probably best to forgo a perishable gift, such as a cheese themed basket with artisanal cheeses.

The culinary gift possibilities are endless

Once you get started putting together culinary gift baskets and other culinary themed gifts, it can be hard to stop. Hopefully these combinations will be just the start for you!

Salad

  • Salad bowl
  • Salad servers
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Aged balsamic vinegar
  • Salad cookbook

Cheese

  • Cheese board
  • Cheese knife
  • Reference books about different kinds of cheese
  • Gift card for a local cheese shop
  • Selection of regional artisanal cheeses

Pizza

  • Pizza stone
  • Pizza peel
  • Pizza cutter
  • Pizza cookbook
  • Basil plant

Pasta

  • Hand-crank pasta machine
  • Drying rack
  • Semolina flour
  • Jar of gourmet pasta sauce
  • Pasta sauce cookbook

Pie

This one is really fun to give to a teacher along with a bag of good baking apples.

  • Pie plate
  • Pie server
  • Pie weights
  • Pie cookbook
  • Pie crust gadgets, such as crust shields or pattern cutters
  • Canned/jarred fruit filling from a local gourmet source

Cupcakes

  • Cupcake/muffin tins
  • Pretty cupcake liners
  • Cake decorating bags and tips
  • Paste food coloring
  • Cupcake decorating book

Ribs

  • Rib rack for the grill
  • Gourmet rubs and seasoned salts
  • Probe thermometer
  • Gift card for a local butcher

Ice cream

  • Hand crank ice cream maker
  • Rock ice
  • Ice cream scoop
  • Banana split bowls
  • Chocolate, caramel and other sauces

Sushi

  • Sushi mat
  • Package of nori
  • Tube of wasabi
  • Jar of pickled ginger
  • Bottle of sushi vinegar
  • Short-grain sushi rice
  • Sesame seeds
  • Special serving dishes
  • Sushi cookbook

Mojitos

  • Couple of pretty tall glasses
  • Bottle of simple syrup
  • Rum
  • Fruit muddler
  • Mint plant

Foufy martinis

  • Couple of fun martini glasses
  • Cocktail shaker
  • Specialty martini mixes
  • Bottle of vodka
  • Jars of specialty garnishes (lemon knots, for example)

Baby food

  • Mini food processor
  • Steamer basket
  • Strainers
  • Ice cube trays
  • Book about cooking for baby

The fruit of your gifting efforts will be appreciated

Whatever theme gift you put together, the most important element is delicious fun. Decide on the theme, choose your gift ingredients, and wrap them up in a creative manner. For example, whisks of several sizes intertwined with the ribbon on the outside of the wrapping calls out, "Open me first!" and gives the giftee a tasty prelude to the culinary goodies to come. Regardless, the person lucky enough to receive the fruit of your efforts is going to appreciate the tasty experience and enjoy the mouthwatering memory for a very long time.

More gourmet gifts to consider

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