Here are five things to keep in mind when gift hunting:
1. Beyond wine
The go-to gift for the host or hostess is usually a bottle of wine, but there are other great bottled gifts you can bring instead. Olive oils infused with quality herbs, aged balsamic vinegar and liquor-preserved fruit are just a few bottled gift ideas that can be found in gourmet stores.
2. Cooking classes
Experiential gifts are all the rage. A wine tour, a sushi-making class or a beginner pastry-making course are all fun ways to help your aspiring gourmand live out his or her fantasies. You can even find professional cooking schools that offer culinary vacation packages, like this one from Trout Point Lodge in Nova Scotia.
3. Gift certificates and subscriptions
Some food lovers are more interested in the eating than they are in the cooking. Gift certificates to their favourite restaurants will be well received, as will a subscription to their favourite food magazine (like Canadian Living) or a wine-of-the-month club.
4. Care packages
Don't forget the college students who are on tight budgets and missing the comforts of home. They would really appreciate a gift box filled with handy small appliances, such as a stick mixer or a one-cup coffeemaker, alongside homemade treats such as cookies and squares.
5. Homemade gifts
You can easily whip up cookies, brownies or muffins and package them in a festive way. There are even products designed to do so, such as disposable bakeware that comes with packaging supplies.
If you're into DIY food gifting, Gourmet Gifts: 100 Delicious Recipes for Every Occasion to Make Yourself and Wrap in Style (Harvard Common Press, 2011) is a great read.
Check out 10 awesome gift ideas your foodie friends will love!