Turns out, the best gift I ever gave my parents was a last-minute, last-ditch effort – pulling a wooden box filled with tasty smoked salmon from a grocery shelf in 2014. Seriously, they still talk about it.
I felt bad at the time because I hadn’t given it a little more thought, but in retrospect, I’m glad because that gift has eased the pressure every year. The reality is that there’s a treasure trove of unique, interesting gifts waiting to be discovered in our markets. Let us help you find your next last-second gem.
Dazzling Display of Edible Options
There’s so many options it’s hard to know where to start, but our Grocery Specialist Shelley Straume has a few recommendations.
Crown Maple syrups deliver a gourmet, organic flavor that’s perfect for a Christmas morning breakfast or a flourish for your favorite baked goods or haute recipes. Certified organic. We even have a cute mini trio gift pack.
Speaking of flourish, you really need to try the Sour Cherry and Fig spreads from Divina. They’re magic when paired with a high-quality cheese, on sandwiches, pizza or pastries.
Here’s a great idea from left field — our selection of 00-grade Pizza flour, that give the foodie in your life exactly what they need to make the puffiest, chewiest, tastiest thin-crust pizza you’ve ever had.
My personal favorite is a dazzling jar of Dear North Wild Alaskan Smoked Sockeye Salmon. Much to my co-workers’ dismay, I’m no stranger to eating “fish in a can” for lunch, and this is the kind of salmon I’d actually be happy to find in my stocking Christmas morning.
Our Bulk Foods department has a bounty of fragrant, premium oils and vinegars to choose from. You can fill up one of our ready-to-go bottles with your favorite flavor or your own custom blend for a personalized gift that’s elegant, tasty and adds lots of flavor to any meal.
And, of course, lots of delectable chocolates and candies that are locally-made or imported from around the world. Yum!
Keep an eye out for Gifts Under $20 signage in our Health and Beauty Care (HBC) departments, where you can pick fun items like Burt’s Bees Gift Sets, a thoughtful, charming item from Michel Design Works Christmas Collection.
Or how about a set of handmade scarf and gloves from Andes Gifts, a wonderful outfit that directly provides a market for the Bolivian and Peruvian women who make them?
Give the Gift of Good Food – Their Choice
If you REALLY waited to the last minute or your giftee is particularly hard to shop for, there’s the good ol’ gift card. Instead of coffee or Amazon cards, consider giving “The Gift of Food” this year. Especially for the foodie in your life.
You can purchase them for as little as $10 or as much as $500. Who knows they might use that card to buy the ingredients they need to feed you a delicious, locally sourced, home-cooked meal. Win-win!
Our very own cheese whiz, Shauna Howell, offers up a cheese worth discovering.
SOMERDALE WENSLEYDALE WITH CRANBERRIES: That's a mouthful. A mouth full of fresh, tangy, historic English cheese when it meets juicy dried cranberries. A new holiday tradition is born.
Made using cranberries with no high fructose corn syrup. Try this delicious little dessert cheese on a ginger snap or vanilla wafer for a special sweet treat. It’s great crumbled into a spinach salad for a little extra POW. It's even delicious in a breakfast-style toasted cheese sandwich, spread with Our Own Honey-Cinnamon Finishing Butter.
It’s a bit like fruity French toast.
So, don’t underestimate this little cheeses’ place on your holiday entertaining menu, it’s versatile, colorful and would be the star on your cheese plate.
AND it's on our Dec. 19-24 Market Buys, too, for $3 off per pound!
Chris Allen is a copywriter and assistant marketer with Town & Country Markets. He’s a former contributing editor, radio anchor and producer, and an Air Force veteran. He’s also mastered the art of chopping red onions with one hand while sipping a dry Tempranillo in the other.