2019 Holiday Foodie Gift Giving Guide - Madison Eats
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    2019 Holiday Foodie Gift Giving Guide

    Dec 18 2019

    Struggling to find the perfect gift to get the foodie in your life this holiday season? Or maybe you’re just looking to treat yourself (self-care is important!) with something fun and food related. Regardless of the reason, there are so many locally made goodies to offer the foodie in your life. Whether you’re shopping for an experience, new artisan made kitchenware, or some tasty treats – there’s something for everyone! Check out some of our top picks in our holiday foodie gift giving guide. You can CRUSH gift-giving and shop locally while you’re at it!!

    Chocolates from Gail Ambrosius


    Gift Box/Basket Ideas

    If you’re looking to put together a tasty gift box and want to support a great business that serves local entrepreneurs look no further than the awesome products being made by Common Wealth Development’s current tenants. Common Wealth has worked with some amazing local start-up businesses over the past forty(!) years since its founding. Common Wealth provides local entrepreneurs the opportunity to get their start-up businesses off the ground and thriving. Include some of these products for your perfect gift basket!

    • Potter’s Crackers have been making high quality, organic crackers since 2006. Not only are their handmade products delicious – they also source many of their ingredients locally! Combine these crackers with a great jam or cheese and they are sure to keep that foodie you know very happy. Potter’s Crackers can be found all around Madison so click here to find out where you can pick some up! 
    • Quince and Apple have been making award-winning artisan foods for over ten years. Their small batch preserves are incredible (Figs and Black Tea is my personal favorite) and will be perfect for your food gift box. If you’re overwhelmed with the prospect of making your own they do sell their own food gift boxes
    • Giant Jones Brewing is the only certified organic brewery in Madison and you can pick up bottles of their brews all over town. The Pale Weizenbock is super drinkable, but if you’re more of a hop head the Double IPA will not disappoint!

      Tasting Giant Jones beer

    • If you’re looking for an incredible selection of spirits including rum, brandy, and honey liqueur you should definitely stop by Old Sugar Distillery. Their Queen Jennie whiskey is a favorite, but if you’re having a tough time choosing you can always pick up a beautifully packaged gift box complete with a recipe booklet for cocktail ideas. 

    Want to learn more about Common Wealth Development? Click here!

    Tasting hot sauce from Dashelito’s


    Make a Cheese Board

    Who doesn’t love a great cheese board?? They are perfect for the people in your life who love entertaining and cheese boards will make a stunning addition to their holiday table. Fromagination is the place to go for everything you need. From cheeses and companions, to slate and wood boards, Fromagination is your one stop shop! They even sell how-to books for those new to the cheese board game or anyone looking to spruce up their boards. Already have a board? Pick up some local goodies to fill in the gaps:

    Small batch caramelized pecans (be sure to try their brand new Firekracker flavor for a spicy kick)!

    NutKrack caramelized pecans

    Gail Ambrosius
    Specializes in single origin dark chocolate truffles, stop in to indulge in their seasonal flavors! 

    Madison Chocolate Company
    Also specializes in single origin chocolate and while you’re shopping sip on some delectable hot chocolate (it’s really the only way you should be shopping in this weather). 

    Chef K. Clarke Pickles and Preserves
    Locally sourced and small batch producer of pickles and preserves. There are so many amazing flavors to choose from! 

    Origin Breads
    Small bakery with beautiful handmade bread that will be the perfect addition to your cheeseboard.

    Christine’s Kitchens
    Shared commercial kitchen space that houses Chef K. Clarke among others. Pick up some of Christine’s potato chips while you’re there (Curry Garlic is our fav)! 

    Willy Street Co-op and Metcalf’s for local produce
    Need some veggies or fruit to go with your cheese board, swing by your local grocer for some great produce! 

    Dane County Farmers’ Market Winter Market
    That’s right – the Dane County Farmers’ Market runs year round! Every Saturday from now until Dec. 21st you’ll find the bustling market indoors at the Monona Terrace. After the new year they’ll be moving to Garver Feed Mill for the late winter market!

    Wine from Square Wine and Table Wine
    What is cheese without wine? Square Wine and Table Wine will help you find the perfect wine to pair with your scrumptious cheeses. Pick up some bubbly while you’re at it to celebrate the new decade!

    Wine from Square Wine


    Artisan Kitchenware/Accessories

    Looking to gift kitchenware? Check out a few local artists that make handmade products that will surely add to any collection! 

    • Sylva Spoon makes beautifully handcrafted wooden utensils and vessels made out of locally sourced trees. 
    • Gorgeous handmade pottery made by JD Wolfe, a local potter. Perfect for that one of a kind coffee mug or bowl. 
    • Not only does Studio Paran make amazing blown glass vases, but they also make beautiful drinking glasses if you’re looking to upgrade your drinkware.
    • Hatch Art House, on Madison’s east side, features many local artists and their products from all around Wisconsin. You’ll find a wide variety of treasures made by their 75+ artists, ranging from candles and tea towels to handcrafted cutting boards and pottery. Get lost in this quaint store and find the perfect gift!

    TAsting experiences/meal kits/classes

    J. Henry Tasting experience and bourbon
    Just a short drive from Madison is the home of J. Henry Bourbon. This incredible product is made with heirloom grains from the farm that has been in the family for generations. Start with a cocktail, tour the rick houses and enjoy a guided tasting at the stunning family farm before heading home.

    Bourbon from J. Henry.

    Cooking classes/events/kits
    Cooking classes are a great way to learn new skills, techniques, and recipes from some of the top experts in our area. They are also a fun way to get out and meet new people and bond over the food you’ve just made. Here are a few places that offer fun and informative cooking classes and events:

    • delecTable is a part dining, part cooking school, part event space that is waiting for you to explore. 
    • Orange Tree Imports is a specialty kitchen shop and cooking school that has been teaching home cooks for over 35 years! 
    • Willy Street Co-op hosts many affordable cooking classes for all ages! 

    Like to cook at home, but don’t have time to shop? A meal subscription from Isthmus Eats is perfect! They take care of the shopping with easy-to-read menus delivered to your door. Features local produce and meats, and a reusable tote and ice pack. 

    Sitka Salmon shares delivers sustainably caught Alaskan seafood to your doorstep. Seasonal boxes are available.

    Food Tour with Madison Eats!

    Take a guided tour through Madison’s unique neighborhoods and scenic downtown while enjoying some of the best food and drink our city has to offer. You’ll experience our city’s thriving food scene and eat and drink from Madison’s most acclaimed chefs and local producers. Grab a gift certificate (they never expire!) or book a tour with Madison Eats today!

    Looking for something a little bit more than a tour and in a warmer climate than Wisconsin (yas please), then take a peek at Madison Eats’ culinary vacations to Mexico and Cuba! For the most up to date information visit this link.

    Guests at olive oil sampling on food tour

    Sampling oils at Vom Fass on a tour


    Give Back

    If you prefer the gift of giving, consider donating your time or food to a local food pantry. Here are just a few pantries in the Madison area:

    St. Vincent de Paul – https://svdpmadison.org/need-help/food-pantry/
    River Food Pantry – https://www.riverfoodpantry.org/
    Goodman Center – https://www.goodmancenter.org/services/fritz-food-pantry

    Gift Cards/Certificates

    If all else fails, no one will ever be disappointed with getting a gift card or certificate to their favorite restaurant! Unsure of which eatery to pick or want to give your loved ones the choice of where to dine? Perhaps a gift card from one of these organizations which feature numerous restaurants and shops all around the Madison area. 

    Madison Originals  – an association of independently owned restaurants and affiliated businesses in the Madison, Wisconsin area.
    Downtown Madison – find the area’s best destination for shopping, dining, entertainment and events.
    Food Fight – a locally owned and operated restaurant group with an ever-growing family of unique and diverse restaurants in the greater Madison area.

    Happy Shopping! 

    Amanda’s cat personally loves Potter’s Winter Wheat Crackers*.
    Written by Amanda Fry for Madison Eats Food Tours
    *Cat not included with purchase of Potter’s Crackers

    Otehlia Cassidy stands in front of the WI State Capitol.

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