Most families have a member or two for whom it is notoriously hard to shop. For those people, gift givers should consider one type of present that is universally appreciated: food. Famous foodie outlets like Chicago’s Garrett Popcorn Shops, Oregon’s Harry & David and New York’s Junior’s Cheesecakes have been providing customers with the perfect gourmet gifts for years.

But why not buy local? Central Oregon has a few gourmet food and drink gifts of its own to offer.

“It’s such a pleasure item and indulgence,” Cynthia Lundi, CEO of Bouquet of Beer, said of food gifts. “There’s so much fun and family and socializing around food and drink.”

According to the National Retail Federation, an estimated 34 percent of shoppers plan to gift food and candy items this holiday season. Maybe the 18-year aged balsamic vinegar or the Cinnamon Maca almond butter are too much of a splurge for a weekly grocery store trip, but they’d make the perfect stocking stuffer for your spouse.

In addition to edible items as Christmas presents, specialty foods and drinks make great hostess gifts for holiday parties and co-workers. They’re easy to customize, affordable and appropriate for all age groups.

We’ve rounded up some of the top giftable food items that are made and sold in Central Oregon to give you some ideas for this holiday season.

Gourmet olive oils and vinegars

The phrase “there’s something for everyone” takes on a new meaning inside Navidi’s Olive Oils and Vinegars. With more than 56 oil and vinegar flavors, there really is something for everyone. In addition to basic olive oil and vinegar flavors, specialty flavors range from cinnamon pear to blood orange to blackberry ginger, to name a few.

“If you come in and say ‘Oh my gosh! My mom loves raspberry’ or ‘My dad loves garlic and spicy olive oils,’ well, we can definitely help you make a gift for them that will contain all of their likes,” said Kim Cress, manager of Navidi’s. The oils and vinegars can be used as dressings, popcorn toppings, cocktail flavorings and for blanching vegetables.

The 6-ounce bottles of olive oil and vinegar cost $10 and the 12-ounce bottles cost $15. Navidi’s Olive Oils and Vinegars is located at 120 NW Minnesota Ave., Bend.

A bouquet of beer

Being Beertown, U.S.A., it’s only natural that beer is a popular item to give. One company capitalized on this and delivers beer bouquets. Many women get the beer bouquet for their husbands, and kids will frequently buy the bouquet for their fathers. Each cardboard bouquet includes a six pack of assorted craft beers, usually locally brewed, paired with a pint glass, Hydro Flask pint or Silipint and optional snacks. Craft beers can also be swapped out for ciders or kombucha. Beer bouquets can be purchased online at bouquetofbeer.com. Bouquet prices range from $39.99-$79.99.

Chocolates and truffles

Oregon Craft Chocolatiers is a Bend company making handcrafted small batch chocolates. The company specializes in artisan truffles and chocolate bark. Chocolates are a symbol of indulgence and romance, making it a perfect gift for a spouse with a sweet tooth. Among some of the truffle flavors are mint, raspberry, hazelnut, coconut, velvet and blackberry. They also make chocolate bark with coffee beans, trail mix or pumpkin seed and sea salt. Oregon Craft Chocolatiers is located at 1900 NE Third St., Suite 105, Bend. The cost of chocolate truffles and bark ranges from $25-$35 per pound.

Smoked meats

Now that you’ve got something to drink, something to cook with and something sweet, why not something savory and salty? Cinder Butte Meat Co., a family-owned meat market with locations in Redmond and Prineville, sells traditional beef jerky. The meat is smoked and flavored with teriyaki, pepper, hot and sweet bourbon or brown sugar and garlic. The market also offers summer sausage, smoked pepper bacon, pepperoni and smoked beef franks. The tasty treat will be a hit with any meat-lover and there’s a good chance you’ll be offered a taste when they open it. The smoked meats cost between $19.99-$21.99 per pound and are available at Cinder Butte Meat Co. at 240 NE Fourth St., Prineville, and 197 NW O’Neil Way, Redmond.

Spreadable delights

Jem Organic Nut Butters is a Bend-based brand, selling hazelnut and almond butters and cashew tahinis in sweet, savory and traditional flavors. The nut butters are certified organic, vegan, gluten-free and kosher, so they make great gifts for people with specific diets or allergies. Flavors include the popular cinnamon maca almond butter, superberry almond butter, cashew cardamom almond butter, chocolate hazelnut butter, cashew curry tahini and cashew masala tahini.

They make really great gifts because they’re a little bit more expensive, so when someone gets one for you, you’re like ‘Yes!’” said Danny Van Dyke, financial administrator for Jem Organic Nut Butters.

The butters can be used as spreads for toast, toppings for granola or just eaten straight from the jar. The tahinis are recommended to use as a curry or topping for savory dishes. Nut butters are available for purchase at local grocery stores and online at jemorganics.com. A 16-ounce jar of any flavor costs $29.99, a 6-ounce jar costs $12.99 and a 1.25-ounce jar costs $2.99.

Flavorful teas

The ingredients used to make Metolius Artisan Teas are harvested from farms all over the world and shipped to the factory in Bend where the herbs are combined and packaged for steeping. The teas are a great gift for tea-drinking co-workers or a stocking stuffer for Mom.

“This is the time when our sales spike and people are buying a lot of tea as housewarming presents for holiday parties,” said Amy Stahl, owner of Metolius.

The teas can be purchased at Market of Choice, Newport Avenue Market and C.E. Lovejoys or online at metoliustea.com. One jar of tea costs $10 and has between 15-30 servings, depending on the desired strength.

— Reporter: 541-383-0351, mcrowe@bendbulletin.com

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