Tis the season for holiday gift giving!
Everyone has at least one person on their list who is really hard to buy for. Why not give them the gift of local food? Be the thoughtful person this holiday season that gives a unique local gift people will want to get. Need some ideas? Check out our best local food and drink suggestions to round out your holiday shopping this season. Links are embedded within to order online or find out where to buy from area retailers!
Local Candy and Goodies
Prepare your sweet tooth! Dubuque has some of the finest sweet treats anywhere in the Midwest. Betty Jane Candies are an icon in Dubuque, but their popularity isn’t just limited to this county. One taste of a Betty Jane gremlin and you will see why they have been named a top culinary gift by People magazine. Monastery Caramels are another delightful treat. Handcrafted by the nuns at Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey the quality and craftsmanship of these tasty treats support the nuns year-round. They too have been featured nationally as one of the Reader’s Digests’ “America’s 100 Best.”
If candy isn’t your style, it’s hard to resist a “Sin”-a-Mound cinnamon roll from the Sinsinawa Bakery. People on your list are sure to enjoy Sinsinawa’s delightful sweet breads, but they also offer homemade bread loaves and dinner rolls to use as a part of your holiday dinner spread! -Delish!
Raise a glass to celebrate the season with some local spirits! Dubuque has an awesome collection of craft brews and local alcohol. Here, there’s a local drink to suit all tastes! So, don’t settle for a generic bottle of alcohol, give a local bottle that will surprise and delight.
For the wine lover on your list, Stone Cliff Winery and Park Farm Winery have you covered with some award-winning wines. Try Stone Cliff’s delightful sweet wines or take a trip to Park Farm a get a bottle and it pair with some pizza for a cozy night at home.
If beer is more up your alley, the Dubuque area offers several craft brews that make great gifts. 7 Hills Brewery and Backpocket Brewing in the Millwork District offer beer growlers, a 64 oz. beer jug, that patrons can fill to take home their favorite craft drink. Jubeck’s New World Brewing offer a unique Community Supported Brewery membership so you can enjoy the gift of beer all year long. Their membership also gives access to special events at the brewhouse. If all else fails, each of these local brews offer a gift card option so that picky drinker can try their own new flavor this holiday.
Local Table Tour
Experience the flavors of Dubuque with a gift card to a Dubuque county restaurant. Country Junction pies, L. May pizzas, tasty Midwest cuisine at the Pepper Sprout are all great gift choices. You could also have your recipient watch their meal being prepared at Brazen Open Kitchen + Bar, or have a panini on homemade bread from East Mill Bakeshop & Catering. You could give them the option to have an all-out country dining experience at Breitbach’s Country Dining in Balltown, or enjoy an elegant night out at One Eleven Main in Galena. Several area restaurants support local farmers, so get multiple gift cards and do a tour of local tables. It could be a great way to unwind after the holidays and let someone else do the cooking!
This is truly the gift that keeps on giving. A Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscription will allow the recipient to delight in farm fresh produce for the length of their subscription. CSAs give members a variety of produce, dairy, and meats and other goodies in a box every week for pick up or delivery. Some offer recipes and cooking suggestions to go with your local box. All the money from CSA shares directly benefits the local farmer. What better way to show you care than with farm fresh groceries every week! Check out this link to choose a CSA near you!
Local Gift Basket
If all else fails, there are plenty of local products at the grocery store and conventional retailers to satisfy the need for a local food gift. There are Wisconsin cheeses, local honey, maple syrup, local jams & jellies, Platteville sunflower oil, or Freddie’s popcorn just to name a few! Collect a few local treats and pile them in a gift basket for giving. Check for the ‘buy local’ label on foods at HyVee stores for help in picking out locally produced items, or check out our “Eat Like a Local: Local at the Grocery Store” blog post for other ideas on locally produced foods.
The Dubuque Eats Well coalition wishes you happy and healthy holiday season! We hope you take a chance to give the gift of local. Everyone on your gift list will certainly appreciate it!
Happy holidays and happy eating!