Local foodie gifts: part one

If you are scratching your head, trying to figure out something unique and fun to give this season, go no further. I’ve got lots of foodie gift ideas for you to peruse.

Food and wine tours. Bucks County Food Tours shows off the best that Bucks and nearby counties have to offer. Visit bakeries (where you can see sticky buns being made!), local farms and orchards producing dairy, cheese, meats, vegetables, fruits and more, artisanal ice cream, coffee roasters, wineries, and a local grain mill. All this and lunch at a restaurant that sources their product locally is included. You can even customize your tour. See sample itineraries here and visit their website for more information. Gift certificates are available. Cost is $100 per person.

We are fortunate to have Tastings and Tours here in Bucks County too. They do the driving while you enjoy partaking of local wine. The tours make stops at several wineries and include lunch too. They also have winery tours available in the Lehigh Valley and Cape May, NJ and brewery tours too. Check out their website for details about winery and brewery tours. Tour packages start at $109 per person.

Cooking and wine appreciation classes. These are fun. For cooking classes, look into The Cooking Cottage in Sellersville or Carlow Cookery in Doylestown. Both have extensive class offerings, and Carlow Cookery offers wine appreciation classes too. Casa Casale in Lahaska and the Kitchen Garden Cooking School in Upper Black Eddy also offer classes year-round. Delaware Valley College is now offering non-credit continuing education classes in wine appreciation too. Explore the wines of France, or Italy, or just get the fundamentals.  Call Continuing Education at 215-489-4848 for more information. Class prices vary but start at about $35.

Cheese anyone? Several local farms offer classes in cheese making. Cherry Grove Farm in Lawrenceville, NJ has classes in making ricotta and mozzarella (there is one happening on December 22) for $25 per person. Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse near Frenchtown, NJ also offers cheese making classes as well as classes in baking, charcuterie and how to “braise, boil and roast” grass-fed beef. Prices vary. You’ll also get the cheese that you made after it has been aged at least 60 days.

Cook for me, please! Ever considered buying a gift certificate to a personal chef service? Would your loved one love you even more if s/he didn’t have to do the cooking for a change? Most personal chef services cover specialized menu planning, grocery shopping, meal preparation, packaging and labeling of your meals and delivery to your home or office. Bucks County is home to several services, like Dinner’s Done (Rich Baringer), A la Maison (Melissa Wieczorek and Theo Petron), Taste (Erica Zimmelman) and Heaven on a Plate (Karen McGinn). Many will also do dinner parties, holiday dinners and cooking classes in your home.

I’ll buy you dinner. For the person who has everything, buy them dinner at their favorite restaurant. I just did this online as a present for my brother who lives in California. Treatful is an online service (part of Open Table, the restaurant reservation system) that makes it very simple to buy a restaurant gift certificate in over a dozen US cities. You pay online and they email the gift certificate to the person. It’s that easy. Many local restaurants offer gift certificates too.

Look for our next Local foodie gifts: part two for more ideas for the foodie in your life.

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