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Everybody’s got a few foodie friends within their circle. They know the difference between the oil you’d use to cook eggs and the oil you’d use in salad dressing (yes there’s a difference!). They know what’s in-season, and which flavour pairings work best with hard-to-pronounce wines. They’re your own personal restaurant reviewer, and have dined at places with things like ‘coconut bubbles’ and ‘horseradish snow’ in the menu. Needless to say, these people know their stuff, and get excited about artisanal products and up-and-coming food trends.

Narrowing down what to get for your foodie friends this holiday is not as difficult as you might think. Here at SPUD, we’re constantly meeting and working with new vendors, all with a specially crafted product and a serious passion that is reflected through the quality of their goods. If you’re stuck, here’s some inspiration to help guide you towards the products your friends have been hankering for!

Local honey

Raw honey that hasn’t been heated or pasteurized contains natural vitamins, enzymes, powerful antioxidants, and other important nutrients. Local honey can also help reduce the symptoms of pollen allergies. Beyond these pros, there is the added bonus of supporting your local beekeepers who are doing incredible work to sustain the fading bee population. Your foodie friend will probably serve you some of this honey the next time you come over while telling you about their upcoming urban beekeeping course.

Try these:

Old Fashioned – Buckwheat Honey

GiGi – Wildflower Honey

Gourmet jam

There is something undeniably sweet about homemade jam, not just in the sweet reduced fruit flavour, but also in the cute little jars, and beautiful packaging we’re always seeing here at SPUD. Your foodie friend can look forward to spreading their new jam over their homemade ‘morning bread’ when they have guests over, or setting it on the cheese board at their next cocktail party. A nice jam is a nice touch.

Try these:

Gather Foods – Pepper Jelly

The Funky Gourmet – Orange Brandy Cranberry Sauce

Artisanal oils

You may not be entirely sure which occasion calls for sunflower oil, and which calls for grapeseed, but you can bet your foodie friend knows. Higher grade oils, like extra-virgin olive oil, should actually not be used for high-heat cooking. Instead, they should be saved for finishing soups, crostini, pestos, and vinaigrettes. You can find a full breakdown on which oils to use where right here.

Try these:

Domenica Fiore – Olio Reserva 

Domenica Fiore – Olie Monaco 

Aged Balsamic Vinegar

This extraordinarily rich and thick aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena starts from a selection of the most precious grapes, cooked over a low flame, and left to age in antique barrels. It offers a pleasantly sweet aftertaste. Riccardo Giusti is recommended as a thick sauce for all foods, but is ideal for barbequed meats, poultry, fish, and game. It also adds an interesting twist to desserts and appetizers.

Try these:

Giuseppe Giusti Balsamic Gold 6 Year


Rudolph’s not the only one with a red nose during the holidays. ‘Tis the season to bring out the cocktail shaker and keep the ice trays filled. Mixers are an awesome gift as they can be saved until ready to use, and completely elevate a cocktail, alcoholic or not. They also save your friend from going out and buying ingredients like cardamom seed, vanilla bean, and reduced peach syrup. And instead, are able to serve up grade-A cocktails with a little club soda and whichever spirits. You can’t go wrong.   

Try these:

Owl’s Brew – Tea Mixers: The Classic

Owl’s Brew – Tea Mixers: White and Vine

When you’re shopping at SPUD, finding the foodie products becomes pretty easy. If you’re really stuck, why not get them a SPUD gift certificate or gift basket? Whether your foodie friend prioritizes local, organic, sustainably or ethically produced, or all of the above – we’ve got you covered. Are you a foodie who would want something that’s not on this list? Let us know in the comments!

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