Gift ideas for the “Gourmets” of the Holiday List

This is my favorite gift to give! I really spend a lot of time trying to match someone’s personality with food gifts. Whether it’s a youngster experimenting in the kitchen or someone looking to branch out and try new foods, Portland has a LOT to offer. I focus on LOCAL products that they won’t find in any store. I admit that I have fun visiting some of these places. Some are very obscure and specialized, and others are quite well known. Zupan’s is locally owned and has three locations and is full of unique holiday gift ideas. One of my favorite finds out there: Fudge made by Brigittine Monks at Amity Oregon.

Some of the other places I found: A new store on MLK called Jerusalem Rose. I have some great spices, which are great gifts for anyone who likes to have fun in the kitchen. Not far from there is the African market of Mama Pauline. I’ve had honey made in this country, spices for Pepper Pot soup, and a few for Jollof rice, among others. Now these places are more for the adventurous cooks, but Trader Joe’s are amazing for great snacks that aren’t Twinkies. I had pistachio caramel, dark chocolate pretzels, latte mix, flavored hazelnuts in different ways.

There are also many newer local businesses that make great stocking stuffer or food basket items. Portland Caramel Company makes amazing chocolates or salted caramels and sells in several locations by Christmas. You can always get flavored salt at Jacobsen’s, and there is an endless amount of coffee sold locally. A few new things that I’m so glad I tried: Caldera Ginger Ale from Ashland and Khalsa Salsa from Beaverton.

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