Every year I give my friends and family a themed food related gift basket.
Last year it was based on my trip to Mendoza, Argentina - malbec wine, steaks and chimichuri sauce. The year before was a variety of charcuterie made from the pig that my cousin and I raised. This year's basket is based on some of the fun local products that I have found through out the year.
If you are short on ideas, here are a couple that are good and will help to support our local businesses.
- Harmony Cheese, Valley View, Topsfield - This amazing camembert style cheese is a collaboration between Appleton Farm's cow milk and Valley View's goat milk. It is rich and silky with a slight tang from the goat milk. It was made in limited production so if you can find it, buy it.
- Scourtins, Lark Fine Foods, Essex - This could be one of the most unique cookies that I have ever eaten. It is a french-style wafer that married dried olives and sugar perfectly. It is a taste that leaves thinking for a while until you realized all you want is another cookie. Their whole product line blend sweet and savory elements together creating a wonderful experience.
- Holiday Bark, Ovedia, Amesbury - These small batch artisan chocolates are so good I had to put them on the dessert menu at the restaurant, in Hamilton. Each chocolate is hand crafted to perfection. They too blend ideas of sweet and savory - a pinch of sea salt goes a long way with these chocolates. It is worth visiting them just for their hot chocolate with house-made marshmallows.
- Tsukiusagi Sparkling Sake, Wine Connextion, North Andover - Although this sake is obviously not local, it is an example of the many unique wines this store has to offer. While their variety is large, their price tags are small. It is one of the cheapest wine stores that I have visited with one of the best selections. They only sell wine but they do it very well.
Happy holidays to all.