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10 Food Gifts Your Hosts Actually Want

Products on a marble table. Wine, chocolate, maple syrup, orange blossom honey, herbs.

Guesting: The art of being a good guest. Fifty percent of that is not hogging all the apps. The rest is giving a gift your host actually wants. Skip kitschy holiday coffee mugs or dusty ceramic animals that grow chia sprout coats. No more sneaking in a gift that you secretly hope goes unnoticed. And no more regifting. We’ve handpicked thoughtful gifts from our stores with your favorite food-nerd hosts in mind so that you can pick them up on the next grocery run for more eggnog.

They’re Holiday Sweater Wearers
Bring: 365 Everyday Value Dark Chocolate Quinoa & Peppermint Bark Thins

Feed their holiday shtick with limited-edition chocolate bark filled with little crispy nuggets of minty quinoa. They’re in stores just for the holidays, and like the holidays, each bag is sweet and fleeting.

They Just Came Back From Italy and Can’t Stop Talking About It
Bring: Whole Foods Market Panettone Trio

If there’s anything better than panettone, it’s three panettone: Traditional, Limoncello and Double Chocolate — all made in Italy with creamery butter and cage-free eggs. Come in from the cold, kiss-kiss on both cheeks (because that’s what they do now) and prepare to scroll through their photos. Again. Because you’re a good friend.

They’re Just Extra Enough
Bring: Truffle Salt & Truffle Honey

Gilding the lily is their comfort zone. Let them know they’re seen and loved for all their peacock-y glory … with truffles. Prepare to have a little truffle flavor sprinkled or drizzled on every party hors d’oeuvre from now on, not that anybody’s complaining.

The Wannabe Cheesemonger
Bring: Orange Blossom Honey & Organic Sour Cherry Spread

They wish they went to cheese school, and you’re grateful every time they unveil their latest art form of a cheese board. Adding to their stock of sweet cheese accoutrements means more parties, more cheese plates and more life-changing cheese pairings. Only good can come of this.

The Bourbon Lover
Bring: Whole Foods Market Organic Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup

Everyone else at the party is probably going to bring them a bottle of something they already have, but not you. This standout bottle of deep, rich, maple sweetness is going to change their Old Fashioned game for good. It’s made with 100% Vermont maple syrup and it’s aged in small-batch barrels. Better get them a couple bottles, one for their bar and one for their pantry. (Pancakes deserve the barrel-aged maple treatment too.)

For Your CFF (Chocolate Fiend Friend)
Bring: Madécasse, Raaka and Vosges Haut-Chocolat Chocolate Bars

This is for your serious chocolate worshiper. Bring them a trio of chocolate bars: a Madécasse’s heirloom cocoa bar, an unroasted Raaka bean-to-bar chocolate bar and a bar with an unexpectedly genius flavor combo from Vosges Haut-Chocolat, and they’ll think you’re a kindred chocolate spirit. Slip them to your host in discreet brown paper packaging so that they don’t have to share.

The Gourmand
Bring: Organic extra-virgin olive oil, Frontier Spice blends and Seggiano Organic Balsamic Vinegar

They forage for wild mushrooms, infuse their own vinegars and have the biggest kitchen utensil collection you’ve ever seen. A true kitchen pro probably already has their fill of gifted single-use kitchen gadgets collecting dust in their junk drawer, so bring them something they’ll actually use in the kitchen, and maybe they’ll make you something special next time you come over.

The Aspiring Sommelier
Bring: Criterion Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon
It turns out you can have too many wine charms and bejeweled wine goblets. Opt for something a little less … glittery, like what we consider the special occasion wine for the holidays; a Napa cabernet worthy of our Criterion label. Here’s what you tell them to make it sound like you know what you’re doing: “Dense fruit, dark chocolate, espresso, cigar box and the famous ‘Rutherford dust’ minerality.”

The Cookie Exchanger
Bring: Lake Champlain Organic Hot Chocolate

Okay, maybe this doescall for that kitschy holiday mug. We’re not above it, and we have a feeling that the host of this year’s holiday cookie exchange won’t mind it either. A mug of piping-hot cocoa is the perfect partner to the small mountain of cookies they’ll have after the exchange.

For Someone You REALLY Like
Bring: Whole Vanilla Beans and Saffron Threads

With these, you’re not only bringing them the gift of flavor, you’re basically saying, “You mean the world to me, so I brought you some of the most special ingredients in the world.” Giving a host gift this good might make you consider hosting next year … that is, if you think your friends have guesting down.

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