Delightful delicacies always make excellent gifts, especially when they’re all dressed up for the holidays in a fancy package. Gourmet gifts are a great choice for hard-to-buy-for family members and friends, and they might also alleviate concerns about needless consumption – we all have to eat, after all! This year, we invite you to consider some delicious treats that offer your loved ones a true taste of California. These gourmet gifts are from local producers all over the state, and represent the bounty we’re so fortunate to have at our doorsteps.
(Prices are subject to change.)
Honey Gift Basket – $34.95
From The Valley Hive, Chatsworth, CA
This sweet Honey Gift Basket features a 1-pound jar of Wildflower Honey, an adorable mini honey pot and a 100% beeswax candle. It can be shipped anywhere in the continental U.S. The Valley Hive, located in the San Fernando Valley, offers a wide range of honey and bee-themed gifts including a variety of honeys, raw honeycomb, bee pollen, tinctures, beauty products and books. The company also offers beekeeping classes and supplies (including bees!).
Flagship Six Pack – $36
From Blindwood Cider Company, San Leandro, CA
Blindwood Cider Company, a family-run cidery specializing in small-batch brewing from fresh apples and botanicals, has put together a Flagship Six Pack ideal for any adult who enjoys a boozy beverage or two. The pack includes two bottles of award-winning Ginger Peppercorn cider, flavored with California bay leaves and pink peppercorns; two bottles of Honey Sage cider, infused with Half Moon Bay sage and Sunol Valley honey; plus one bottle each of Dry Hopped and Dry Apple ciders.
Single Origin Sampler Box – $14.40
From Verve Coffee Roasters, Santa Cruz, CA
Verve Coffee Roasters got its start in Santa Cruz in 2007 and has since expanded to 11 storefronts from California to Japan. Its carefully sourced, expertly roasted coffees are all exceptional and sure to please the coffee connoisseur in your life. We suggest their Single Origin Sampler Box, which features six 25-gram samples of top-notch coffees from Africa and Latin America. Sipping a cup each of Verve’s Ethiopia Genji Challa, Ethiopia Halo Beriti Natural, Kenya Githongo, Guatemala Hunapu, Honduras Jorge Lanza Parainema and Guatemala Petrono Perez is a delicious way to explore a wide variety of single-origin coffees.
Family Favorites Gift Box – $53.50
From Nicasio Valley Cheese Company, Marin County, CA
The Nicasio Valley Cheese Company creates delicious organic cheeses inspired by the Lafranchi family’s Swiss heritage. The dairy sources its 100% organic, pasture-based, sustainable ingredients from the family ranch in western Marin County, which dates to the early 1900s. The Family Favorites Gift Box is a lovely introduction to the dairy’s award-winning line of cheeses. It includes Foggy Morning, a fromage blanc-style cheese; the rich and luxurious Nicasio Reserve; and Nicasio Square, a washed-rind cheese and a top-five finisher at the World Cheese Championship.
Vegan Truffle Collection – From $13
From Mama Ganache Artisan Chocolates, San Luis Obispo, CA
The small, family-run Mama Ganache Artisan Chocolates in San Luis Obispo dedicates around half its collection to vegan chocolates, which are just as delicious as their dairy-packed counterparts. Chef Ben Taylor creates an eclectic array of truffles in vegan and classic versions, and a six-, 12- or 24-piece box makes a marvelous holiday gift. The Vegan Truffle Collection is organic and gluten-free as well as vegan. Selections vary but might include such flavors as Earl Grey, cardamom ginger, salted caramel, Aztec, burnt almond and dark orange. We got to try Mama Ganache’s chocolate during the Taste of SLO Food Tour, and highly recommend them!
50/50 Organic Date Combos – From $15.05
From Oasis Date Gardens, Coachella Valley, CA
The Coachella Valley has long been famous for producing dates, those sticky, sweet fruits delicious enough to be worthy of dessert – and even a holiday gift. Use them in baked goods, for adding some natural sweetness to savory fare, or just pop them in your mouth to savor. Oasis Date Gardens, a certified-organic farm in Thermal, grows 16 varieties of dates, including famous Medjool dates and lesser known delicacies like Deglet Noor, Thoory, Saidi and Black Beauty. Their custom 50/50 Organic Date Combos are ideal gifts for any sweet-toothed friend or family member.
ENZO Select Gift Box – From $30.95
From Enzo Olive Oil Co., Clovis, CA
Olive oil is one gourmet product for which quality really counts, and the organic, estate-grown extra-virgin olive oil from Enzo Olive Oil Co. in the San Joaquin Valley is truly exceptional. For the foodie who appreciates the finer things in life, consider the ENZO Select Gift Box, which is customizable and available in two sizes. Choose 250 ml or 500 ml bottles of delicate, medium or bold extra virgin olive oil, and Meyer lemon or garlic infused extra virgin olive oil presented in a lovely gift box.