Shopping for food lovers and savvy cooks this season? Want to surprise them with the ultimate gift? Here’s our secret: build your giftees a food-loving gift basket, one packed with the top artisan products sourced locally along the Main Line and its suburbs. Top gourmet goods to gift below.
High-end olive oil: Main Liners L.A. Marchesi and Wendy Diehl redefine the olive oil market with their Bella D’Oliva brand. The duo sources small-batch, extra-virgin olive oils directly from artisans in 700 different cultivars in the most exquisite regions of Italy. Currently, they offer three varieties: the intense Adornare, the delicate Aumentare, and the strong, full-flavored Indulgere. Visit belladolivausa.com.
Artisan chocolates: Lucky for cocoa lovers, major chocolatiers with sharp skill sets call the Philadelphia ‘burbs their home. Consider Phoenixville’s Bridge Street Chocolates, Gail Warner’s enticing shop which offers an array of mouthwatering masterpieces, from sea salt caramel truffles, to chili chocolate bark and chocolate-covered strawberries. Over in West Chester, Eclat Chocolate’s Chris Curtin holds major cred, crafting the life-changing Good & Evil chocolate bars as a collaboration with Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert. Visit bridgestreetchocolates.com and eclatchocolate.com.
Spice-driven creations: For those who like it hot, Downingtown’s Chile Spot is the go-to place for inventive artisan chile pepper products, from jams, sauces, pickled peppers, salsa, dried chilies and more. For the glory of heat comes Philadelphia’s St. Lucifer Spice, which packs a masterful blend of garlic, salt, vinegar and fiery habanero peppers. Enhance lives with a sprinkle of this spice on meat, seafood, veggies, sauces and cocktails (Bloody Marys, anyone?). Visit chilespot.com and saintluciferspice.com.
Carnivore snacks: Stock a couple batches from West Chester’s Righteous Felon Jerky, a band of young cooks specializing in cured strips crafted out of high-quality pasture-raised Black Angus beef from Maryland’s Roseda Farm. All-natural flavors include hickory, chipotle and habanero varieties, among others. Visit righteousfelon.com.
Sweets for the breakfast fanatic: West Chester’s Waffatopia succeeds with a mission to delight customers with their varieties of caramelized Belgian waffle creations. Consider indulgent flavors like cinnamon and vanilla, dark Belgian chocolate stuffed, pumpkin spice and maple bacon. Visit waffatopia.com.
Cheese, please: Chester County cheesemakers are producing award-winning creamy delights right in your backyard, with Birchrun Hills Farm’s raw milk pleasures a hit at any occasion, as is Yellow Springs Farm’s goat milk cheeses, caramels and yogurts. Visit birchrunhillsfarm.com and yellowspringsfarm.com.
Embrace caffeination: Any fresh java blend from Newtown Square’s Burlap & Bean, a small batch roasting company celebrating fair trade, USDA organic beans, will wow coffee lovers and keep them craving more steamy cups. Giftee not a coffee drinker? Consider the hand-blended, organic whole leaf teas from West Chester’s Pureblend Tea. Visit burlapandbean.com and pureblendtea.com.