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Eat local, shop local: Durham gift guide for foodies

Posted December 5, 2016
Updated December 6, 2016

Durham gift guide for foodies

— When it comes time to shop for the foodies on your holiday gift list, why not keep it local?

Durham is filled with local and family-owned food and beverage businesses carrying the perfect gifts for loved ones, co-workers and party hosts. You can even get creative and combine a few to create homemade N.C.-themed gift baskets! Below, you’ll find 11 delicious Durham-based gift ideas for the foodies in your life.

Handcrafted mead

For a unique holiday drink that’s also a welcome addition to any house party, try a hand-crafted mead from Durham’s Honeygirl Meadery. Mead is a fermented adult beverage, and its main ingredient is honey. Honeygirl makes all meads in small batches with all natural ingredients using seasonal fruits, flowers, herbs and honey.

The business recently celebrated its two-year anniversary with the release of two new meads -- Ginger Mead and Vanilla Mead. Their Spiced Apple Cyder is perfect for holiday mulling. Several meads are available for online shipping, and you can also stop and shop at the production facility on Hood Street in downtown Durham on Saturdays from 1-6 p.m.

Custom cupcakes

You’ll be a favorite work party attendee or house party guest if you arrive with a box of Smallcakes cupcakes in your arms! Along with their signature flavors and superb seasonal specials, Smallcakes can custom design cupcakes and cakes for any occasion, including holidays like Christmas and Hanukkah or just a general winter wonderland. These sweet and fluffy cupcakes are so good they’ll have you plotting out your order for Valentine’s Day!

Durham gift guide for foodies

Olive oil & artisan gifts

Sample a wide variety of Ultra Premium and infused olive oils and balsamic vinegars then customize your very own foodie gifts at Durham’s newest specialty grocer, Bull City Olive Oil in Brightleaf Square. Whether you’re shopping for co-workers, friends who like to entertain or the home cook in your life, you’ll find everything (including specialty meats and cheeses, artisanal chocolates, local jams, sea salt, pasta and more) at this cozy local shop.

Bull City Olive Oil

Cooking classes

What do you get the person who has everything? How about a gift certificate for a locally taught and globally inspired cooking class? Chef Amanda Cushman, owner of Chapel Hill Cooking Classes, has cooked professionally for over 30 years and offers public group classes and private in-home classes across the Triangle for 2 to 20 people.

Whether you know someone who loves to cook or someone who wants to learn the basics, they’ll appreciate learning new culinary skills while enjoying a fabulous meal. Cushman also has a cookbook called “Simple, Real Food” full of healthy, easy-to-prepare meals!

Durham gift guide for foodies

Locally-made toffee

If you know someone with a sweet tooth, they’re sure to love the carameled buttery goodness of Durham Toffee, which is made with organic dark chocolate.

This adorably packaged, locally-made treat makes the perfect easy gift for co-workers, a great treat for gift swap or a wonderful stocking stuffer! You can find 8 or 4.5 ounce bags sold at local stores like Foster’s Market and Bulldega or purchase it online (where you can also add Brittled Nut Clusters and Bull City Crunch trail mix to your cart). Save 20 percent off your online order with code “BITESOFBULLCITY.”

Future foodie gear

Not all kids like salad and sushi, but it’s impossible to grow up around so many good restaurants in the Triangle and not be a future foodie! Bites of Bull City has the perfect t-shirt for the young people in the foodie families you know -- whether they’re already adventurous eaters or whether you’re anxiously waiting for the day they will be! Bright, fun colors in royal blue, sage green and pink sport this Durham food blog’s adorable Bull City logo, and they're all made of comfy cotton. Save 15 percent off your purchase with code “BITESOFBULLCITY.”

Durham gift guide for foodies

Local cookbook

Taste of Tobacco Road: A Culinary Journey Along the Famous Nine Miles is the latest cookbook from the Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties (JLDOC). A culinary reflection of the community the JLDOC has served for over 75 years, "Taste" tells the stories of our corner of North Carolina to help readers understand -- recipe by recipe -- why Southern Living recently named us “Tastiest in the South.”

Junior League cookbooks are widely considered the best of community cookbooks, and this one comes to you from our own neck of the woods.

Durham gift guide for foodies

Hand-selected six packs

Craft beer is all the rage right now, and you can choose from a vast selection at the Beer Durham bottle shop where it’s easy to get the perfect gift for the beer enthusiast in your life! With the help of knowledgeable and friendly staff, choose your own custom six pack or get a refillable growler, which can be filled to order with any of the 20 rotating beers on tap.

Durham gift guide for foodies

Holiday pies

Nothing quite says it’s the holidays like a handmade fresh-baked pie! East Durham Pie Co. has your holiday dessert needs covered with delicious pies in seasonal flavors like Malted Pumpkin, Cider Caramel Apple and Bourbon Honey Pecan.

Owner Ali Rudel started the company last year making pies with local ingredients and her handmade all-butter crust. She will be opening a bakery and cafe in Old East Durham in 2017. Be sure to order your holiday pies early! Quantities are limited and orders are now being taken for the holidays. Check their website for order details and pick up locations.

Durham gift guide for foodies

Gourmet flavored popcorn

Skip the generic holiday snack tins from chain stores and share locally-made gourmet popcorn from The Mad Popper with your colleagues and friends for the holidays!

The corn is freshly popped daily in 40 flavors like yellow cheddar cheese, pumpkin pie, gingerbread, honey mustard and curry. Order tins, bags or gift boxes for your favorite for Secret Santa or for stocking stuffers and holiday parties. You can ship anywhere in the U.S. and give far away family members a sweet and salty treat from the Bull City!

Durham gift guide for foodies

Luxury gin & liquers

Now is the time of year when everyone is having a Conniption! Now ranked the No. 2 Craft Gin Distillery in the U.S., you can be sure that either of Durham Distillery’s award-winning Conniption gins, American Dry and Navy Strength, will fit right at your holiday cocktail party. And, if you’re more in the mood for sweet decadence, Damn Fine liqueurs are the perfect answer. Featuring local Triangle Videri Chocolate and Slingshot Coffee, Damn Fine liqueurs are available in Chocolate, Mocha and Coffee and are all natural and gluten-free.

Durham gift guide for foodies

They're truly a local luxury. You can buy Conniption gins and Damn Fine liqueurs at ABC stores across North Carolina or order them online to be sent to out-of-state family and friends.

This post was first published on the Bites of Bull City blog.

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