2021 Holiday Gift Guide: Food Baskets Focused on U.S. Destinations

A great way to find out more about a place is through its food. For those who want to cross more US states off their travel list, but cannot access them yet, here is the best thing to do. Order a basket full of food items made in the state. Made by companies based coast to coast, these food gift baskets contain products related to the states they came from.

A North Carolina treat is the paper-thin Moravian biscuit, which is related to Winston-Salem and dates back to the 18th century when the Moravians settled in the royal colony of North Carolina. There, the iconic treats were concocted in the 1920s and made “as thin as possible” by engineer-turned-baker Dewey Guy Wilkerson. Now a fifth generation family business, Wilkerson Moravian Bakery has continued to produce these Moravian cookies. This package contains two Moravian Sugar Cakes, a jar of spice cookies and a jar of sugar cookies.

The Chelsea Market is one of New York City’s top attractions, once the site of the National Biscuit (NABISCO) Company and a major dining and retail location. This gift basket represents the crème de la crème of commercial tenants in the marketplace, with treats freshly made on site. Their gift basket contains hand-rolled New York Rugelach, brownies from Fat Witch Bakery, lemon poppy seed cake from Sarabeth’s Kitchen, their house-brand lemon creme, and the cookie from Salt of the Earth Bakery.

For those who love Old Bay seasoning and chocolate frosted cookies, consider purchasing this Maryland Savory and Sweet Foods Gift Box from Black Eyed Susan. Available in two colors including red, yellow and black, the Maryland Box contains Wockenfuss Candies chocolates, Goetze caramel creams, Wye River crabs, Utz crab chips and a box of Maryland Fortune Cookies.

This non-profit California cooking incubator, which works to address equity issues in business ownership by cultivating low-income food entrepreneurs and women of color, offers food-focused gift baskets of different sizes and selections. They include a mix of sweet and savory packaged foods in small batches, all from immigrant / women owned businesses in the Bay Area. Think alfajores from Sabores del Sur, moringa chips from Crisps & Crackles and chocolates from NeoCocoa, among other delicacies. The proceeds from sales not only support these various businesses, but also La Cocina as an organization.

As the first place in the United States to be recognized as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, Tucson has become a little-known culinary destination. This gift basket idea also comes from this Arizona city. The Tamal of the month club was created by Carlotta Flores, the family matriarch behind the oldest Mexican restaurant in the United States in continuous operation by the same family, El Charro Café. The idea evolved during the pandemic as a way to bring the family’s traditional tamale recipes and Tucson cuisine to customers across the country. Order 12 or 24 packs of tamales at a time, monthly or quarterly.

Made in Nevada brings together gift baskets with samples from some of the best Silver State companies in a reusable basket. In this large woven basket, find food or drink products from Nevada Brining Company, Davidson’s Organic Teas, Urban Market Coffee, Italian Hearts Pasta Sauce, Killer Salsa, Amato’s Family Kitchen, Lattin Farms Jam, Al Bees Organic Honey, Kimmie Candy and Tahoe Toffee.

New Mexico has an official state question referring to red chili or green chili – “Red or green?” This Santa Fe School of Cooking gift set lets the recipient decide for themselves. It includes a jar of Shed red chili sauce, roasted tomato and tomatillo salsas from Santa Fe School of Cooking, authentic New Mexico red chili powder, a jar of roasted New Mexico green chili, and a can of green chili dip mix.

Based outside of Jackson Hole, Wy., This company selected and handcrafted a gift basket filled with goodies depicting the Teton Valley. This collection includes the Mix Naughty Fruit bag, Dusty Hound Farm wildflower raw honey from Tetonia, unique “Pineapple Serrano” jam from Idaho and “Cowboy Candy”. Cheese from the Ferme des vents d’hiver accompanied by handcrafted Seven Confections French macaroons right here in the Teton Valley. There is also a blend of mixed nuts, dried berries, and mixed chocolate coated espresso beans.

Key West Food Tours and Effortless Creations have collaborated on this box that brings artisan gourmet food prepared and sold in Key West right to your doorstep. The box includes lime juice, Cuban Coffee Queen ground coffee, local Cudjoe Bee honey, El Siboney hot sauce and Key West-style criollo mojo from Kermit’s Key Lime Shoppe.

Created by A Taste of Kentucky, this gift set is dedicated to the famous Bluegrass State byproduct. This gift contains a Kentucky Wild Bourbon Barrel Cake; Black tea Elmwood Inn Bourbon; a four-piece package of Rebecca Ruth Bourbon Balls; Najla’s Kentucky Bourbon Frozen Shortbread; Evan Williams Bourbon Fragile Pecan Nut; a package of Ted’s bourbon roasted coffee; and Kentucky Sugar Stick Candy.

Set up by CrateFull of Maine, this crate offers a boxed culinary tour of Maine’s best food brands. Fourteen products are packaged in a hand-screened, artisanal mailbox. They come from Coastal Maine Popcorn, Grandy Oats, Lost Woods, Ragged Coast Chocolate, REDD, Ragged Coast, Bixby, Maine Maple Products, Swans, Raye’s Mustard, Zen Bear, Wilbur’s of Maine, Needhams and Stonewall Kitchen.

Chi-Town fans might consider a Here Here Market gift box, which shows their love for Chicago by creating culinary products that showcase different food items. This food box contains products from Chicago’s best restaurants. Among them, this Little Goat Allied Yucatan sauce, from owner and chef Stéphanie Izard, has crisp flavors of citrus and garlic and chili. Verde Salsa Macha from Chef Rishi Kumar, Chef de Cuisine of Bar Sotano, is a versatile condiment that can be served with tacos, tortilla chips or used as a spread or dressing. The box also includes the Sweet and Salty Everything Sauce inspired by Mott St’s Everything Wings; gnocchetti pasta from Monteverde; El Che Steakhouse Chef John Manion Firewatcher Seasoning Salt; and a mix of snacks by All Together Now.

Made by you Betcha! Box, which promotes Minnesota small businesses by hosting specialty gift sets, “Women of the North: Creative Women of Minnesota” honors some of the state’s women business owners and entrepreneurs. This box contains Pejrina Fruit Jam organic blackcurrant jam, Sailor Mercy elderberry elixir, Flavor in a Jar “Peach Bourbon” jam, Chef Flo’s Afric sauce, Sweet and savory Somali sauce ” Tamarind and Date “from HOYO Foods, Patti’s Deluxe Mixed Nuts, Hacienda San Jose MINI chocolate bar, Chai” Chai Masala “tea from Ancient Indian Spices and baking spice blend; Csilla “Butter Pecan” cookies and Sweethaven Tonic “Ginger Lime & Peppercorn” artisanal cocktail concentrate.

Available in small, big and grandiose sizes, this Lancaster Local Provisions gift set series collectively showcases foods produced in Lancaster County, central Pennsylvania. Farm vendors and artisans represented can include a Whoopie pie from Tico’s Whoopies, wild honey from Welsh Mountain Apiaries, Lancaster Sharp Cheddar from PA Noble Cheese, and sourdough pretzels from Rocky Road Bakery.

Created by Hayden Flour Mills in Mesa, Arizona, this gift set highlights this destination’s connection to grain farming, in that it is a major producer of wheat. It includes everything you need for baking bread. Its two boxes of artisan bread flour contain Rouge de Bordeaux bread wheat, which is grown, harvested, cleaned and ground in Arizona. There is also a nine inch bowl, Arizona Rose tea towel, and Arizona Rose drawstring bread bag. Plus, find a stainless steel dough scraper, engraved by LetterCraft, a carpenter from Arizona.

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