22 delicious gift ideas to impress the food-lover on your list this year

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and by wonderful, we mean delicious. Cookies magically appear and much talk turns to our favourite topic: food. If you’re shopping for people who are as into food as we are, then this is the gift guide for you. We’ve compiled a list of seafood, snacks, sweets, sauces, and the makings of many delicious suppers from businesses and brands across the country. And while they’re standouts all on their own — some make wonderful stocking stuffers! — there are some gift packaging ideas in the mix, or feel free to browse, buy and ‘basket’ a combo of any of the treats here too.

Pretty much anything from the counter at Mary’s Brigadeiro would make such a stunning gift — check out these holiday exclusives like eggnog chocolate bars, panettone and OMG cookies! — but, these boxes of colourful brigadeiro look like absolute gems. Available in so many sizes, you can shop assorted, nut-free or gluten-free boxes. 

Boxes ranging from $10 to $112, Mary’s Brigadeiro

This salt mix turns salmon into a delicious gravlax with just a fresh cut of fish, some of this seasoning and a few days in the fridge. Gifting idea: Pair with your favourite cream cheese, some pickled red onions and capers, to help jumpstart a beautiful bagel situation. 

Gravlax N°4 Salmon Marinade, $12.95, La Pincée

While you can choose from a myriad of flavours made by this mother-daughter duo, we think candy cane is particularly à propos for the holidays. Jars come with approximately 35 cookies and have a shelf life of five months but we highly doubt they’ll last that long. Gifting idea: Some hot cocoa mix would pair so well with these, and would be a perfect accompaniment to a Hallmark movie marathon — or whatever’s in their queue this season. 

Candy Cane Mini Cookie Jar, $12, The Shortbread Company

Your foodie’s kitchen is full of hot sauce, but not necessarily a chili topping like this. While any of Sachili’s toppings are pretty much made for gifting (and adding the finishing touches to breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks), their newest addition, “brings together the most flavourful superfoods”, namely moringa leaves, goji berry and white chia — plus chilies of course. Gifting idea: Their coconut almond crunch topping would certainly make for a dynamic duo. 

Chia Goji Moringa Spice Topping, $10, Sachili

Give a taco night-themed basket using products from La Tortilleria Taco House and Market. Assemble your own beautiful assortment of groceries like homemade organic nacho chips, hot sauce, taco seasoning, tostadas, and some corn flour for homemade tortillas. If you’re local to them (in Toronto) you could add in some of their refrigerated products that are for pickup only, like their salsas, cotija cheese, and even a tres leches cake for dessert. 

Assorted groceries, La Tortilleria Taco House and Market

With free Canada-wide FedEx Shipping, you can send fresh, P.E.I. oysters to pretty much any oyster lover on your list from Cascumpec Bay Oyster Co. Choose from many varieties, or even gift packs from their shop, but we particularly love the idea of shipping a whole box of Foxley River Premium Cocktail oysters. They’re perfect for a cocktail night at home — their size makes them easy to eat, and the thick shell makes them easy to shuck! Gifting idea: Add one of their signature oyster knives to the cart before checking out.

Foxley River 50 Premium Cocktails, $99, Cascumpec Bay Oyster Co.

A follow up to her wildly-popular Cinnamon Bun Spread, Amy Rosen’s newest creation is for the chocolate lovers on your list. This babka spread has “a cinnamon left hook” and promises to transform pancakes, french toast, ice cream, and even plain old toast into something extraordinary.

Rosen’s Babka Spread, $9.98, Wildly Delicious

You can ship a whole box of sustainable, flash-frozen, ready-to-cook salmon fillets from B.C.’s rivers straight to the door of any salmon-lover this season. Also very cool: the fish from River Select Fisheries Cooperative is traceable with a QR code. Note: Shipping for this item is only available in parts of B.C. But, if you’re in other parts of the country, they have shelf-stable items like canned salmon and wild salmon jerky available on their Amazon store

Flash Frozen Wild Salmon Variety Pack, $145.64, River Select Fisheries Cooperative

To gift this vegan Sukuma Stew, is to gift a delicious, comfort-food supper. Made by Kula Kitchen, this red lentil and collard green stew is “inspired by rich East African flavours.” Note, we spotted both this and the salmon variety pack above at BIPOC Foods Vancouver — and there are a ton more delicious food gift ideas there.

Sukuma Stew, $10, Kula Kitchen

Mixes make for a marvellous present — they take most of the measuring and mess out of the equation and your giftee gets a fresh-out-of-the-oven treat in pretty much no time at all. And we’re pretty sure you can’t go wrong with gifting brownies. 

Alberta Natural Products’ Fudgy Chocolate Brownie Mix, $9.99, Goodness Me

Spice World makes an ‘everything bagel mix’ (you may have heard of Trader Joe’s famous mix!). This makes for a really delicious popcorn topping, so gift with a bag of popcorn kernels, and they’ll be well on their way to a wonderful, wintertime movie night.   

Everything Bagel Mix, $7, Spice World

A lush floral labyrinth in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, Tangled Garden also makes  delicious preserves and jellies. And while single jars make a marvellous gift (hello Hot Dilly Cuke jelly), their jelly tree is quite a stunner, using label-free jars for “maximum visual effect.” Gift with a box of crackers to help them get started on sampling these beauties! 

Jelly Tree, $12, Tangled Garden

For friends who consider sundaes serious business! This ice cream topping from Utoffeea takes their signature toffee, combines it with cashews, and crumbles both to perfection for ice cream snacks — or snacking straight from the bag. 

Ice Cream Topping, $10, Utoffeea

Handcrafted in small batches from local fruit, Salt Spring Island Artisan Vinegar’s fruit wine vinegar makes for a very pretty present too! Their Plum Infused with Thai Chili wine vinegar offering sounds particularly delightful and unique enough for the person with a cupboard filled with condiments.

Wine Vinegar, $18, Salt Spring 

A set for all the garlic fiends you’re shopping for this season (but none of the vampires) this kit from Salt + Mustard features black garlic everything; garlic powder, salt, mustard, vinegar, and hot sauce. There’s even a bamboo spreader to make sure they get every last drop! 

Black Garlic Essentials Set, $50, Salt + Mustard

If you’re shopping for snack fiends this season, may we turn your attention to Konveni Go Mart’s glorious snack section. Featuring tons of tasty options for chomping, like Bento Squid Seafood Snack above, you can curate a mix of treats from mochis to Pockys, to jellies that they’ll be happy to reach for as their late night or afternoon bite.

Assorted Snacks, Konveni Go Mart

This special holiday Panettone from Elena takes the cake (sorry, we had to). They had us at “studded with dark chocolate, Quebec cranberries soaked in Clos Saragnat’s ‘Amer à Boire’ apple amaro, confit orange zest and topped with a chestnut-almond crumble.” While you’re shopping, note that Elena’s Community Cookbook PDF makes an excellent add-on, with all proceeds going to the Montreal Restaurant Workers Relief Fund. 

Panettone alla Elena, $38, Elena

While any of Yawdi’s jellies, marinades and mustards would make for an extremely tasty present this season, their Jerk Marinade is the gift for the person on your list who will appreciate that this one is made with real scotch bonnet pepper.

Jerk Marinade, $5.99, Yawdi’s Corner Shop

These marshmallows from Tout de Sweet are made to taste just like gingerbread, an oh-so-seasonal flavour to enjoy on its own or to add to a big mug of hot chocolate. Gifting idea: Pair them with a pretty mug and some hot cocoa for a rather-perfect little bundle. 

Gingerbread Marshmallows, $7.50, Tout de Sweet

Manba makes a great gift for the peanut butter lover in your life who also appreciates a bit of spice in their snacks. Based on a traditional Haitian recipe, Manba (peanut butter in Haitian Créole) is a savoury, spicy spread available in three spice levels, using almonds (Amanba), and now in a spicy dark chocolate option too. All three make for a present with a bit of a kick. 

3 Jar Combo Pack, from $49, Manba

A sustainable purveyor of canned seafood, Scout’s offerings are made for the holidays! This pack comes with their “Seacuterie” trio of delights (Atlantic Canadian Lobster, PEI Mussels in a Smoked Paprika & Fennel Tomato Sauce, and Ontario Trout with Dill), plus the board and tools needed to turn them into a super-special spread. 

Holiday Bundle, $99, Scout

How amazing is something that makes for a quick and delicious meal on a weekday? These ready-to-use sauces and spices from Shivani’s Kitchen make for easy, flavourful dinners for anyone on your list. 

Butter Chicken & Tikka Holiday Gift Bundle, $55.96, Shivani’s Kitchen

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