My True Love Sent to Me: A Local Foodie Gift Guide
A dozen last-minute gifts for all your favorite foodies.
Every year, no matter how far out we plan, the holidays seem to find a way to sneak up on us. But fear not—this year, gift giving comes easy, thanks to Delmarva’s growing number of food purveyors. With these 12 locally made goods, ranging from coffee and beer to popcorn and pottery, there’s someone for everyone on your list, be they your coffee-crazed cousins, oyster-loving aunts, sweet-tooth pre-teens, or a beer aficionado boss. Trust us: in no time, the presents will all be wrapped and you’ll be sipping eggnog by the fire. And you won’t have to buy one single gift card or sorry pair of socks.
Rise Up Coffee (MD)
One of the coolest companies to crop up in the region is Rise Up. With multiple outposts throughout Maryland, these Easton baristas roast high-quality coffee in some eight varieties, available as killer cups of caffeine or addictive bags of beans. We recommend the seasonal Winter Warmer series for a new morning ritual in 2018.
Dogfish Head Beer (DE)
For more than 20 years, brew-master Sam Calagione has been the mad scientist master of the now-booming craft beer industry. Made in Milton, Delaware, his eccentric, small-batch brews should find their way into the stockings of your most adventurous sugarplums (aged 21 and older, of course). Namely the 60 Minute IPA, the SeaQuench Ale, and the Festina Pêche.
Sewansecott Oysters (VA)
In the Delmarva region, we welcome the wintertime, as cold weather officially means it’s Rmonth season for oysters. Stock up on these farm-raised bivalves that are grown by the fourth-generation H.M. Terry Company on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Their all-natural, salty-sweet flavor might be the greatest gift of all.
Dolle’s Saltwater Taffy (MD)
For more than a century, Dolle’s saltwater taffy has been a summertime staple for the shore birds of Route 1. Even in the icy days of January, these sweet beach treats can offer a little warmth for the long, cold days ahead. Win over your colleagues by bringing a box to the office, or transport to the ocean in the cozy comforts of your very own home.
George’s Bloody Mary Mix (MD)
Voted the best Bloody Mary in Maryland, this Berlin-based mix should be your home bar’s best friend, with enough heat to kick offChristmas brunch and cure a New Year’s hangover without having to call the fire department. We definitely won’t judge if anyone decides to drink more than one.
Crisp & Co. Pickles (DE)
The name says it all: these Delaware pantry pickles pack the perfect crunch and will quickly become your go-to garnish, be they the pickled beans, beets, mushrooms, or classic cucumbers. We personally love the chip-size medley made in collaboration with Victory Brewing Company.
Doug Sassi Pottery (MD)
From rustic coffee mugs to conversation-piece water pitchers and eye-catching platters, Maryland artist Doug Sassi handcrafts the prettiest pottery this side of the Chesapeake Bay. Swing by his Still Pond studio or through Kent County’s downtown shopping district to get your hands on a set of this earthy stoneware.
Fisher’s Popcorn (MD)
We all love those round tins of tri-colored popcorn around the holidays and none more than that of Ocean City’s Fisher’s. This beloved boardwalk establishment boasts buckets as big as 6.5 gallons and a bevy of classic flavors, like butter, caramel, cheddar, and even Old Bay. Grab one, or two, to keep under your tree.
Chatham Vineyards Wine (VA)
The Eastern Shore of Virginia might not be Napa Valley, but wine abounds in the small town of Machipongo, thanks to Chatham Vineyards on Church Creek and their exceptional selection of European-style vines. Whether your special someone is a chardonnay, rosé, or cabernet drinker, this family-run vintner produces lovely libations with a terroir based around their rich maritime soil.
Tall Oak Trading Company Cutting Boards (DE)
During the holidays, one can never indulge in too many hors d’oeuvres, and these elegant cutting boards are an ideal vessel for charcuterie and cheese. Hand-carved in Millsboro, Delaware, by artisan woodworker Gary Stewart, these dinner-party prerequisites (and fitting hostess gift) come in all shapes and sizes, with brilliant pops of oak, cherry, maple, and walnut woods throughout.
Carvel Hall Crab Knives (MD)
No summertime crab feast is complete without a couple of wooden mallets and a handful of Carvel Hall knives. Admittedly, these iconic crab-pickers are no longer made on the tiny island of Crisfield, but they’re still as much a part of Maryland as Natty Boh (now made in North Carolina and Georgia) and Utz potato chips (now made in Pennsylvania). Snag a set for your loved ones and consider them official residents of the Chesapeake.
Tatanka Hot Sauce (DE)
This award-winning Delaware hot sauce has taken home a world championship and a hoard of devoted followers for its fiery blend of peppers, herbs, and spices. These Camden-based condiments are foolproof presents for the heat-lovers in your life, with four varieties ranging from mild to skull-and-crossbones hot. Add it to omelets, oyster shooters, and, of course, chicken wings.