Top 5 gourmet food picks for holiday gift giving - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Top 5 gourmet food picks for holiday gift giving

Everyone has that friend or family member whose life centers around food and what their next bite might be or they are waiting for their bread to rise made from a 20 year old starter.

They eat, they drink and they Instagram every morsel that goes in their mouth. It is with that in mind this curated list of new edible choices from the Natural Products Expo East show has been created for holiday gifting, entertaining or if you are that gourmand, epicure who wants a superlative taste treat, for you as well.

Number one and top-of-our-list is Le Bon Magot, amazing flavors and pairings of spices, vegetables, fruits sourced from local farms wherever possible, produced in small batches the likes of caponata, chutney, murabba, and marmalata. The Le Bon Magot family only produces what they like to eat and guess what; make me a family member because every item tasted in their product line at the Natural Products Expo East was outstanding. Their family’s journeys from Africa throughout the Middle East and South Asia resonate with punches of flavors and textures in each and every jar of their products.

December’s issue of Food & Wine chose Le Bon Magot’s Tomato and White Sultana Chutney with ginger and garam masala as a “best holiday gift for under $20” but you won’t go wrong with the White Pumpkin and Almond Murabba with cardamom and vanilla or the Brinjal Caponata with purple aubergine with cumin and curry leaves. One can purchase online at their website and they do have retail distribution in the New York City, northern New Jersey and Philadelpia area.

Le Bon Magot ™

  • “Hidden Treasures – Off Eaten Paths”
  • www.lebonmagot.com – order online
  • Facebook, Twitter & Instagram: @lebonmagot

Eat Your Bourbon™ – From the rolling hills of Kentucky, where Bourbon is legendary, the king of libations comes bourbon edibles. The bourbon aging barrels are recycled for new flavor profiles the likes of Bourbon Barrel Foods Bluegrass Soy Sauce, the only micro brewed soy sauce made in the United States and as Bourbon Barrel Foods website states, “The ONLY soy sauce in the world fermented in aged bourbon barrels.” Each barrel of Bluegrass Soy Sauce ages for a year in the recycled barrels, then pressed and bottled in hand-numbered batched bottles.

The Bluegrass Soy Sauce was the beginning for Bourbon Barrel Foods and their unique “bourbon” product line has grown with barrel aged sauces, vanilla extract, and bourbon barrel smoked spices, sugar and other Kentucky-Bourbon inspired items. A recent partnership with the well-known Woodford Reserve® Bourbon producer has developed a cocktail and culinary line with Bourbon Barrel Aged cocktail bitters, bourbon cherries and Woodford Reserve® smoked spice blends.   One can purchase online or find a retail location.

Bourbon Barrel Foods & Woodford Reserve®

Fatworks, a company born out of the Paleo and Just Eat Real Foods movement has a product line of non-GMO, premium cooking oils: Grass Fed Beef Pure Tallow, Pasture Raised Pure Lard, Cage-Free, All Natural Duck Fat, Pasture Raised Leaf Lard, Wild Boar Lard, Organic Free Range Chicken Fat and more!

You know how good duck fat fries are in a restaurant, take that same flavor profile and sauté your hash browns in the cage free, natural duck fat or make a flaky pie crust Fatworks’ leaf lard. Fat is good, it carries flavor and lets it linger on your palate. Any serious cook would love to use any of these premium cooking oils. One can purchase online or find a retail location.

Fatworks®

  • “Meet the Fattitude™ Adjusters!”
  • www.fatworksfoods.com – order online
  • Facebook, Twitter & Instagram: @fatworks

Milton’s Local, sources “clean meat” – “nothing added” from local farmers who use sustainable farming practices and treat the animals humanely to produce their bacon and bacon sausage which are free of antibiotics, hormones and steroids. Yes, we said bacon sausage and Milton’s Local offers two: onion/ pepper and the chipotle/ cilantro, which any cook worth their apron can stir up an amazing gumbo. One can purchase online or find a retail location.

 Milton’s Local

  • “We are changing farming for good”
  • www.miltonslocal.com – order online
  • Facebook, Twitter & Instagram: @Miltonslocal

We’ve not forgotten that midday sweet snacking craving – our pick, SmashMallow. True to their word, “No ordinary marshmallow” SmashMallow’s flavor combinations intrigued; Root Beer Float, Toasted Coconut Pineapple, Meyer Lemon Chia Seed, Mint Chocolate Chip, Cinnamon Churro, Espresso Bean and Strawberries and Cream. These all natural little clouds of flavor are gluten-free and uses 100% organic sugar. Eat them plain, top a hot beverage, make a variation of Rice Krispies® treats or roast them over a fire.

SmashMallow gets an A-plus for packaging design; eye catching and easily resealable. One can purchase online or find a retail location.

SmashMallow™

  • “No Ordinary Marshmallow”
  • www.smashmallow.com – order online
  • Facebook: @smashmallow Twitter & Instagram: @snackapade


About the author

Dara Bunjon

For Dara Bunjon if it is food, Dara Does It, in fact that is the name of her company which offers creative solutions for the food industry the likes of public relations, marketing, social media, cookbook compilations, food styling, culinary events, networking and freelance writing. She even works as a kitchen slave part-time for the continuing culinary education and most important, the leftovers. Dara Bunjon lives, eats, dreams and writes about food and isn’t hesitant to share her views and experiences about restaurants, culinary trends, recipes, cookbooks or even her childhood food memories. She has been on the food scene for too many years to mention. Known both in Baltimore and nationally, Dara Bunjon is on Women Chefs and Restaurateurs’ national public relations committee. Dara believes food is subjective; everyone’s taste is different and she enjoys bringing you to her table to commiserate and enjoy lively discourse. Contact the author.
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