Food gifts are splurges that your loved ones wouldn’t buy for themselves. This roundup of the best purveyors includes the familiar— chocolates and pretzels…and the exotic—crawfish and charcuterie. You may even want to order some for yourself!


Specialty meats, poultry and seafood. Ariane Daguin, CEO of D’Artagnan, launched the company in 1985 as the first purveyor of game and foie gras in the US—gourmet foods that were largely unknown here at the time. Since then, she has expanded D’Artagnan’s offerings to include artisanal charcuterie…fine poultry and meats…and, most recently, seafood. The company remains a steadfast advocate for natural, sustainable and humane production of its products. The Charcuterie Gift Box for eight, $84.99, offers a variety with a pork or wild boar saucisson sec (dried cured sausage), a duck saucisson sec, a French garlic sausage, duck rillettes, a smoked chicken breast, mousse truffée, duck prosciutto and black truffle butter. More great gifts: Charcuterie Gift Box for four, $52.99, and for 12 for $135.99…cassoulet kits, $79.99 and up…Deluxe Duck Gift Box, $94.99.

BBQ and bacon. Pig of the Month is a BBQ and bacon lover’s dream. Lea Richards, who started her Dayton, Ohio–based business over a decade ago, sources local farms that raise livestock humanely, grass-fed and free range. Made with fine spices, homemade sauces and low and slow heat, the meats are perfectly cooked—all you need to do is reheat. The BBQ of the Month Club, which offers a rotating list of selections from ribs to brisket to pulled pork and more, $255 and up, is available for three, six, nine and 12 months. More great gifts: Best of POTM Sampling Box, $69, with baby back ribs, BBQ sauce, a pound of bacon and another pound of brats or sausages…and the Giant Bacon Cinnamon Roll, a nine-inch extravaganza layered with bacon, $49.95.

Crawfish. Forget clambakes—a crawfish boil is where it’s at, and no one does it better than the Louisiana Crawfish Co. All you need is a large stockpot— this family-owned and operated farm supplies the rest. The 10-pound Party Pack, $119.99 for field run (average) size, includes live crawfish, seafood boil seasoning, Creole seasoning, Mardi Gras beads, bibs, a T-shirt and a koozie (ask about the larger jumbo and select sizes). More great gifts: An assortment of Louisiana favorites such as boudin (choose from meat or crawfish versions of these Cajun sausages), blue crab and gumbo…turducken (a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken) plus crawfish and shrimp jambalaya… and an outdoor boiling kit for handling 30 or more pounds of crawfish at once.

Pretzels. Eastern Standard Provisions has you covered with heat-and-eat treats. The handcrafted soft pretzels have a classic Bavarian-style crust and an airy brioche-like inside. They are vegan and preservative-free. The most bountiful holiday collection is The More The Merrier, $99.99, with two Topknot Signature XL Soft Pretzels, four Wheelhouse signature Soft Pretzels, two bags of One-Timer Soft Pretzel Bites, six Turnbuckle Soft Pretzel Sticks, six SlidePiece Soft Pretzel Slider Buns, two FourSeam Soft Pretzel Buns, one pack each of classic pretzel salt, chili lime salt, three-cheese salt, French toast sugar, and strawberries and cream topper, plus jars of Maui onion mustard, sweet and zesty mustard, dark chocolate fudge sauce and black truffle parmesan dip. More great gifts: Game Day Snack Pack, $29.99…and All You Knead Is Love, $49.99.


Fruit. Growing up in a Cuban-American household in Florida, Tropical Fruit Box founder Desiree Morales’s kitchen was always filled with avocados, mangos, yuca and other produce that is hard to find in the rest of the country. Today, she collaborates with multigenerational, local family farmers in Florida, South and Central America, and the Caribbean to bring tropical and exotic fruits and roots to customers across the continental US. The Create Your Own Tropical Fruit Box, $139, lets you select up to six tropical fruits…the Create Your Own Exotic Fruit Box, $189, lets you select up to four exotic fruits—both from more than a dozen seasonally available choices such as pink guava, sapote and huge tropical avocado…soursop, jackfruit, rambutan, yellow and red dragon fruit, and chocolate persimmon. More great gifts: Taste the Tropics Fruit Box, $99, with PinkGlow pineapple, papaya, longans, avocado and manzanos…Tropical Wellness, $119, with fresh ginger and turmeric root along with fruits…and single fruit boxes such as passion fruit, from $88, and pink guava, from $79.

Chocolate: Cambridge, Massachusetts– based EHChocolatier is the brainchild of Elaine Hsieh and Catharine Sweeney, who left their careers as a physician and Harvard academic administrator, respectively, to turn their love of hand-crafted chocolates into a sweet business. Each delivery in their Artisan Chocolate Club features a box of handcrafted artisan bonbons and a bag of confections, such as pecan clusters, brown butter toffee or one of their candy bars. Options are for three, six or eight months, $130 and up. More great gifts: Peppermint Bark, white and dark chocolate studded with crunchy bits of natural peppermint candy cane and peppermint sugar crystals…the vegan Dark Chocolate Luxury Gift Box, $90, with dark chocolate candied hazelnut bark, tart cherry bites, maple pecan bites, dark single origin tasting bars and five Meltaways made with dark chocolate and organic coconut oil…Your Choice Chocolate Box, starting at $16.50, with six, 12, 18 or 36 pieces to fill with flavors such as banana caramel, passion fruit and hazelnut praline.

Confections. After a successful career as a pastry chef, Christopher Elbow opened his first confection shop in his hometown of Kansas City in 2003. Among the masterpieces of Christopher Elbow Chocolates is the collection of Pate de Fruit, the classic French jellies made from fresh fruits. These intensely flavored gems (gluten-free and vegan), $20.95, come in Berry (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry and blueberry), Tropical (pineapple, coconut, mango, passion fruit and kiwi) and Orchard (cherry, green apple, pear and white peach). More great gifts: Dessert sauces, $12.95 each, in salted caramel, maple bourbon caramel and dark chocolate…Holiday Chocolate Collection, in four, eight and 16 pieces, $11.95 and up.

More confections: Dallmann Confections is the creation of Isabella Knack, whose family founded Dallmann’s pastry shop in St. Gilgen, Austria. Based in San Diego, Knack brings a European flair to her creations. Her signature treat is a take on the Austrian Mozartkugel, a creamy ball of pistachio marzipan surrounded by nougat made from hazelnuts, pistachios and almonds, dipped in bittersweet chocolate, $45 for 16. More great gifts: The 16-piece exotic chocolate gift box, $40, with combinations like coconut curry, passion fruit caramel with the Japanese spice mix togarashi…chocolate bars, $8, in flavors such as açaí and blueberry, and goji berry and pink Himalayan salt…a monthly chocolate club, $55.25 and up.

Delicious desserts: Since 1946, New York–based William Greenberg Desserts has been crafting exquisite cakes, cookies and other baked goods, but only recently did it start shipping across the country. The NY Strong Gift Box, $65, features a dozen iconic black-and-white cookies (mini cake rounds iced with vanilla and chocolate glaze), six brownies, four mini-schnecken (sour cream dough rolled with raisins, pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon) and six cupcakes. More great gifts: Mini black-and-white cookies iced in your choice of colors…tins of butter cookies or rugelach…and gluten-free chocolate chip, linzer tart and sprinkle sugar cookies.

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