This is my favorite gift to give! I really spend a lot of time trying to match someone’s personality with food gifts. If it’s a young person experimenting in the kitchen, or someone who wants to branch out and try new foods, Portland has a LOT to offer. I focus on LOCAL products that they aren’t going to find in just any store. I admit I’m having a blast visiting some of these places. Some are very obscure and specialized, and others are pretty well known. Zupan’s is locally owned and has three locations and is full of unique holiday gift ideas. One of my favorite finds there: Fudge made by Brigittine Monks in Amity Oregon.
Some of the other places I’ve found: A new store on MLK called Jerusalem Rose. I got some great spices, which are great gifts for those who LOVE to mess around the kitchen. Not too far from there is Mama Pauline’s African Market. I got some honey made in that country, Pepper Pot soup spices, and some for Jollof Rice among others. Now these places are more for the adventurous cooks, but Trader Joe’s is amazing for great snacks that aren’t Twinkies. I got pistachio covered toffee, dark chocolate pretzels, latte mix, hazelnuts flavored several different ways.
There are also lots of newer local businesses that make great stocking stuffers, or to put in a food basket. Portland Caramel Company makes amazing chocolate or salted caramels, and are selling at several spots between now and Xmas. You can always pickup flavored salt from Jacobsen’s, and there’s an endless supply of locally sold coffee. A couple of new things I’m super glad I tried: Caldera Ginger Ale from Ashland, and Khalsa Salsa from Beaverton.