‘Tis the season to be gifting, and I wanted to share some of my favorite (food, obviously!) products with you! All of these are honest personal recommendations - these are products I use heavily, myself, and there are no affiliate links in here (i.e., I receive nothing in return for these recommendations). For those not in the US, I apologize if these are not easily accessible and would love to hear what some of your favorite products in these categories are!
These are high-quality foods that I am passionate about from wonderful artisan brands and small businesses and I truly hope you find something in here that you love. Don’t forget to gift yourself, too!
The traditional spice industry tends to aggregate spices in bulk via ‘middle-men’ and then repackage them for big companies to sell to consumers, usually diluting the quality and freshness of these products along the way. Any lover of spices should know that the word ‘single-origin’ indicates that this product is purchased directly from the farmer so they make a fair wage, and come to you far earlier than they would, traditionally, preserving their freshness and making your dishes more delicious. My favorite single origin spice companies are Burlap and Barrel and Diaspora Co. I highly recommend the Floyd Cardoz collection from Burlap and Barrel and the Turmeric and Tadka Spoon from Diaspora Co.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
If you’ve read my article on olive oil, you know the secrets to choosing a high-quality EVOO at the supermarket and why you should drizzle generously and often! My favorite highly covetable and giftable brands are Brightland and Enzo‘s Table. Brightland has the most stunning packaging and also makes fabulous vinegars and honey. I love the flavored oils from Enzo, particularly the Clementine Crush that features in my newest recipe.
The Cheese Guy truly knows his cheese and is my single pick in this category! The cheeses are kosher, vegetarian and grass-fed from small family farms, and can absolutely hold their own against French and Italian brands. The Honey Goat Cheese, Parmesan and Pecorino are mainstays in my fridge and feature in several recipes in my cookbook. They also make a wonderful fig preserve, and their latest product is a balsamic vinegar that is on my list to try!
All Things Pasta
While pasta is conventionally made from all-purpose flour that is highly refined, today there are several brands that offer lower-glycemic versions made from legumes or actual ‘whole-wheat’. Zenb is one of my favorite brands of fiber-rich pasta - it’s made from yellow peas and retains the fiber too - while tasting pretty close to the real thing - even my toddler loves the spaghetti! They also make delicious sauces, again from whole vegetables (including the stems and skin). Community Grains is my newest find thanks to. They make true whole wheat products that are milled while preserving the whole grain, as opposed to most conventional whole wheat products today that refine the grain entirely and then add back some fiber. My package of pasta just landed and I have yet to try it but I have high hopes!
Brooklyn Delhi’s tomato and garlic achaars are so versatile. Throw them on anything - eggs, dosa, sandwiches or wraps, salads, even pasta and they make it all better! PODI Life is another fabulous brand that takes authentic South Indian pantry staples (podis) and reimagines their use - sprinkling them on everything from salads to avocado toast to grains. Every podi comes with an adorable postcard that explains how to use it!
Now, now, did you just scroll down to this and ignore everything else? :) Hu Chocolate and Laumiere Gourmet are my picks in this section. Hu Chocolate makes paleo-friendly fine chocolate with no weird ingredients. I have tried so many of their dark chocolate bars and they are all brilliant. They now have a grass-fed milk chocolate that’s so good. Laumiere Gourmet was my Diwali find this year - they make stunning giftable treats that are naturally sweetened with dried fruit - check out their holiday collection.
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