Searching for a gift fit for a food lover? Look no further. We’ve rounded up a local option for every taste and budget, from artisanal teas to a brand new cookbook.
Chiporro Sauce Company‘s Hot-Sauce Gift Box
$25, pictured above
Founded by Peruvian-born professional chef Carlos A. Ruiz, Chiporro hot sauces aren’t your average condiments. Unlike the run-of-the-mill Tabasco or Sriracha, Ruiz’s hot sauce creations offer a staggering complexity of flavor that runs the gamut from smoky to fruity. Ruiz perfectly balances rare peppers (like the rocoto) with other unique ingredients to bring the fire along with the flavor. We’re obsessed with the green cilantro jalapeño, which has a mild burn and an almost-creamy texture. For heat seekers, the habanero hot, laced with tropical flavors like mango, banana, and guava paste, should light their fire. The gift box isn’t sold on their website, but you can find their local retailers here.
—Image courtesy of iStock
If someone you know could use a mini-vacation from the hustle and bustle of the holidays, give them the gift of Senkada Tea. Sri Lanka native Sujeeva Ranasinghe founded this new Highlands Ranch-based company to bring some of the freshest and most ethically produced teas to Colorado. Sri Lankan teas have long been regarded as some of the world’s finest, and Senkada’s fair-trade varieties like Ceylon pearl oolong and delicately flavored options like green tea mango and chai are special enough to encourage a moment of calm reflection.
—Image courtesy of Primo
Primo‘s Gift Pack of Locally Sourced Preserves
Primo’s unique spreads make an especially nice gift for someone who loves to entertain. With this sleek gift box they’ll receive four quirky spreads—raspberry habanero, berry pasilla, spiced cherry, and holiday pumpkin—all hand-made right here in the Mile High City. Even better? Each jar comes marked with expert-approved ideas for cheese pairings, taking the guesswork out of composing a successful holiday party cheese plate. Bonus: Visit Primo’s website for recipes that employ the versatile spreads in creative applications (think pumpkin mousse and strawberry jicama salad). Primo products are sold at select Whole Foods Market locations, Tony’s Market, Cheese Importers, and EVOO Marketplace.
Save your culinarily inclined friends and family members from dud Internet recipes and give them local author Lee Clayton Roper’s second cookbook, Fresh Tastes from a Well Seasoned Kitchen. Not only will they get over 170 perfect-for-entertaining recipes like tomato shortbread with olive tapenade, rolled turkey breast with roasted red pepper stuffing, and individual plum tarts, but they’ll also enjoy Roper’s touching stories and priceless cooking tips. As additional quality assurance, 5280 food editor Amanda Faison even helped recipe test, so you know that these recipes are winners. You can buy the book online, or at the Bookies, the Lark, Compleat Lifestyles, Eccentricity, and Mariel Boutique.
—Image courtesy of Winter-Session
Chef Jeff Osaka’s Winter Session Knife Roll
Shopping for a professional chef or outdoor cooking enthusiast? This stunning knife roll will fit the blade, er, bill, nicely. A collaboration between local chef Jeff Osaka (of Osaka Ramen, the upcoming Sushi-Rama, and the late Twelve) and Winter Session (a maker of high-quality bags, wallets, and accessories), this gorgeous roll is made from heavy-duty waxed canvas and real leather to stand up to everyday use. The limited edition roll took years to design—and it shows with chef-approved features like a slot for business cards and a zip pocket for small tools. Find the roll at Berkeley Supply, but don’t sleep on it—there were only 50 of them made in the first production run.
—Image courtesy of Lazy Bee Ranch
Lazy Bee Ranch Honeys
Lazy Bee Ranch’s local honeys are guaranteed to make anyone’s holiday that much sweeter. Always raw and unfiltered, the Ranch’s wildflower honey is produced by happy bees (Lazy Bee Ranch never uses insecticides, miticides, or antibiotics) just outside Brighton, and it boasts delicious floral notes and a delicate balance. But Lazy Bee’s whipped honeys, available for a limited time in seasonal flavors like pumpkin spice and chocolate peppermint, make for a truly decadent gift. With their light, fluffy texture, they’re ideal for spreading on toast or muffins—or simply sneaking spoonfuls straight from the jar.
—Image courtesy of Nova Chocolate
Nova’s Craft Chocolates
Though giving chocolate in a season where most of us are drowning in a deluge of cookies, cakes, and bon bons seems like an ill-advised gesture, no chocoholic would turn down the single-origin creations from Nova Chocolate. This Lafayette-based company sources sustainable cacao from Nicaragua and Ecuador for treats like vegan chocolate ganache and sea salt-roasted almond truffles. For the true connoisseur, opt for the three-pack sampler of beautifully packaged chocolate bars, featuring a flight of two different origins and varying (70, 75, and 80 percent) cacao contents. Also available at Nova’s Lafayette location and various Front Range Natural Grocers locations, Boxcar Coffee Roasters at the Source, and Corvus Coffee.
—Photo by Sarah Boyum
Though Palisade’s fruit harvest is a distant summer memory, you can still celebrate Colorado’s best fruits with Peach Street Distillers’ peach and pear brandies. Since the distillery is located just minutes from the orchard, each bottle is made with peaches or pears at their absolute peak of ripeness (the peach brandy takes 26 pounds of fresh Palisade peaches per bottle). Though they’ve been making fruit spirits for 10 years, these barrel-aged brandies have only been available in supremely limited qualities for the last few, and they’re a coveted addition to any liquor collection.
—Image courtesy of EatDenver
Save a foodie money for an entire calendar year of dining out by giving them the EatDenver Dining Deck. The 2016 deck (available November 20) is a compilation of 55 coupons to top restaurants both new and old, featuring highlights like Rebel Restaurant, Mizuna, Linger, and Biju’s Little Curry Shop. Not only will the deck save them oodles of dough (each card takes $10 off a purchase of $25 or more), it also serves as a guide for adventurous diners to explore more of the city’s hotspots. Bonus: Your purchase helps encourage a dynamic Denver dining scene by supporting EatDenver, a nonprofit organization of independent restaurants who advocate for the value of restaurants in the community. Also available at Denver metro Whole Foods and the Tattered Cover.