Gifts that can be savored and remembered with love become even sweeter as so many of our friends and family ask us to throw away “stuff” and those gifts are made in the Garden State. It gets even sweeter.
So, if you’re going through your list over and over again, be sure to consider these holiday gift ideas worthy of life’s most discerning food lover.
Barbecue Buddha Sauce and Rub
It’s been almost five years since Ray Sheehan turned his lifelong culinary experience into a business. His own BBQ is his line of sauces and spices his love. Today, BBQ Buddha products can be found in dozens of specialty markets and butcher shops between Bergen and Atlantic counties.
Sheehan’s sauces Memphis Mop and Kansas City have won top honors at major competitions, including second place at this year’s American Royal World Series of Barbecue Sauce Contest.
He is also the author of a cookbook. “Award-Winning Barbecue Sauce and How to Use It: The Secret Ingredients of Next-Generation Smoking,” is published in his April.
go: Visit bbqbuddha.com for a list of vendors. Online ordering will be available soon. Prices for sauces and rubs range from $5.99 to $7.99. It’s available for pre-order at Amazon and Barnes & Noble for $21.99.
more:‘The Rachael Ray Show’ transforms Tom’s River restaurant owner
Cheese and more, Haddon Township
If you like cheese, if you give it as a gift to your close friends and family, they will definitely be able to eat it someday, right?
Cheese Etc. is a husband-and-wife team operating out of the SOHA Arts Building, a maker space in Haddon Townshp. Here, we work with other local vendors such as wineries, breweries and farms to create gourmet cheese blends. Think Apple Goddess made in collaboration with Wagonhouse Winery or Smoke Porter with Forgotten Boardwalk Beer. And nothing is more Jersey than the flavors of Jersey Devil Port wine made with Valenzano Winery wines.
They offer $6.50 gourmet cheese spreads (three are vegan, too!), plus specialty cheese balls ($12), jams and jams, and gourmet mac and cheese. Ken and Gina Horlacher from Cheese Etc. will also be happy to design his gift baskets to suit your needs.
go: Order online or make a reservation by phone. 856-858-1144; Cheese etc.com
Enjo Chocolat Morristown
Any proud New Jerseyans on your holiday gift list? Anjou Chocolat in Morristown offers New Jersey-style chocolate.
“There’s a lot of Jersey love,” said owner Wendy Taffet, who makes chocolates with their own blend of beans. A set of 8 small (2 inch long) pieces is $9.9. Available in all dark chocolates, all milk chocolates, or as a mix. One large (7 inches long by 3 inches wide) piece costs $14.95. You can engrave your favorite characters such as town name and zip code. Pick up your gift in-store or order online to have it shipped.
go: 8 DeHart St, Morristown. 973-993-9090;
Evelyn Taylor Designs, Collingswood
Ceramic artist Evelyn Taylor Bonner is a household name in South Jersey’s art pop-ups and galleries. She spent four years as a tile and mosaic maker at the Moravian Pottery & Tileworks Museum in Bucks County. Her work is jewelry, tiles, vases, pitchers, and other items that often celebrate her home state.
Looking for a hostess gift for the gardener or home cook? How about a tree ornament from Jersey Fresh in the shape of the Garden State?
Evelyn Taylor Designs is featured at The Station, 10 E. Chestnut Ave., Merchantville. Haddon’s Home, 9. Kings Highway E., Haddonfield. Grooveground, 647 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood. Hildegard & Blaise, 162 Haddon Avenue, Haddon Township. Magnolia Garden Village, 405 S. White Horse Pike, Magnolia; Golden Feather 1 Sindhoni Lane, Hammonton. Jersey stores, Morristown and Montclair. The Farmhouse Store, 221 E. Broad St., Westfield; West Elm stores in Princeton, Red Bank, Hoboken, Summit and Paramus.
The Open Studio Sale is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, December 7th and 8th, from 10am to 4pm at 10 W Coulter Ave in Collingswood.
Frank’s Pickled Peppers and more, Dayton
Frank’s Pickled Peppers are more than just their name. Foodies can also find jams, chutneys, salsas and preserves at this Dayton business. These are all handcrafted from jersey products.
Founded by a former engineer who began experimenting with canning to preserve garden crops, Frank’s Pickled Peppers has grown into an award-winning food business that sells its products online and at local farmers markets.
go: squareup.com/store/franks-pickled-peppers/; product prices range from $6 to $10.
Gingerbread Tree at Artist Baker in Morristown
Working with some of the best pastry chefs in the country each year at Morristown’s Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen, pastry chef and owner Andrea Reckberg creates unique and whimsical gingerbread trees. They are not just exhibits. The tree is completely edible. Trees are 12 to 14 inches tall and cost $50. You can pick it up at the bakery or have it delivered, but Lekberg warns: I’m not Amazon ”
go: 14-16 Cattano Ave., Morristown. 973-267-5540; theartistbaker.com
Holly Jolly Jams, Asbury Park
It all started with an avid blackberry-picking trip to a farm in Freehold Township.
Holly Hindin returned from a visit with lots of fresh berries. When it was peach season, she made peach jam. A few years later, Holly Jolly Jams went into business.
On holidays, I make Christmas jam with cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, cinnamon, oranges and cloves. Sugar Plum Fairy with plums, ginger and rosemary. Very Merry Chocolate Cherry with cherry, chocolate, cinnamon and cayenne pepper.
She also has cowboy candy, or candied jalapenos.
go: Find Holly Jolly Jams at the Asbury Park Bazaar on December 14th and 15th or email [email protected] to order. Jams cost $8 each, $15 for two, $85 per case, and gift him sets cost between $8 and $25.
more:Savor delicious food at 5 happy hours on the Jersey Shore
Homemade Marshmallows, Hot Chocolate Mix, Coffee Mug Gift Set Vanillamore, Montclair
A funky, bright dessert (and savory) café known for its inventive homemade sweets (chocolate salami, anyone?), Vanilla More offers the highly popular handcrafted vanilla bean marshmallows, signature hot chocolate mix (dark chocolate and vanilla ). A spicy hot chocolate mix (chocolate espresso with cinnamon and cayenne) and a purple Vanilla More brand mug for $31.95 plus shipping can be sent to you or your foodie friend’s house.
The small batches of marshmallows that are roasted daily “with a lot of love,” according to general manager Sarahai Van Houten, are amazingly fluffy, fragrant and fresh, a far cry from the stale stuff you get at the supermarket. There are 8 of him in one package. Our homemade hot chocolate mix comes in a 4 oz silver container. Simply froth with hot milk and top with artisanal marshmallows.
go: 349 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair. 973-707-5373; Vanillamore.com/
more:Beer Supplies Here: Check out our New Jersey Brewery Gift Guide
mecha chocolate, haddonfield
Mecha Chocolate recently moved from its original home of SOHA Maker Space in Haddon Township to the heart of the Kings Highway shopping district in Haddonfield.
This chocolatier’s winter holiday box fits easily into your coal-free stocking. A six-piece box retails for $12 and includes seasonal flavors of ganache and caramel.
Whether you peruse in-store sweet treats or order online, you can also choose from pumpkin spice toffee, peppermint and other bark platters and more. We have a larger collection of sea salt, regular caramel, ganache and more that are lovely to find wrapped under the tree or as a hostess gift. Or consider purchasing a class for any avid chocolate lover on your list.
Meche also appears at Cecil Creek Farms in Mickelton. MADE Mobile Artisan Marketplace (Woodbury), Cherry Grove Farm (Lawrenceville). Check the website for hours.
go: 7 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield. (856) 281-9565; mechachocolate.com/seasonal
more:Farmer’s Market Sweets Mecha Chocolate Opens Haddonfield Shop
Pasta sauces from The Table at Latona’s, Ridgewood and Latona’s Specialties, Garfield
Not sure what to give your friend or aunt for the holidays? Unless your friend is an Italian grandmother, Joe Latona, co-owner of The Table at Latona’s, recommends his mother’s homemade pasta his sauce, made from a family recipe.
“It’s the perfect gift to give someone who doesn’t know what to get,” he said.
The box contains 3 jars of vodka, meat and sweet basil sauce. If you like bolognese or tomatoes in the shop, you can replace it. $63. In-store pickup or shipping is also possible.
go: 279 Harrison Ave, Garfield. 888-528-6627; latonasspecialties.com.
Flemington’s Popcorn Nation’s Popcorn
Forget salt and butter when buying popcorn at Popcorn Nation. Flavors include Bacon His Cheddar, Buffalo Ranch, and Cajun.
read:Popcorn Nation of Flemington comes from one of New Jersey’s only popcorn farms.
The three-year-old brand makes local popcorn made from corn from Edgewood Farms in Flemington, one of New Jersey’s only popcorn farms. The popcorn is only available through the website, which also includes specialty tins featuring Clinton’s Red Mill Museum and other designs.
order: popcorn-nation.com; cans range from $14.99 to $39.99.
more:An ugly sweater with a cheddar biscuit holder? A giant packet of hot sauce?holiday gifts covered
Rosetta’s Farm Spice Blend, Plainfield
Shop for those who can always beat the heat? You will enjoy the Chili Pepper Spice Blend.
Try blends such as Sweetie Pie, Ghost Pepper, Carolina Reaper, and Chipotle Habanero, or purchase sampler packs. All of these can be purchased online. Plus, they do gift wrapping and a $5 shipping fee.
go: rosettafarms.com; prices from $6.99 to $12 for 1/2 oz to 1 oz spices.
more holiday coverage
more:Looking for the perfect holiday gift?I asked some experts for help
more:What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen on the Christmas dinner table?
more:Get in the holiday spirit with a festive bus tour to several spots in North Jersey
more:Take a tour of G Boys 2019 Animation Wonderland (Cherry Hill)
more:‘Cinderella’ returns to the paper mill for the holidays
more:2019 South Jersey Holiday Events: Tree Lights, Parades, House Tours & More
more:Christmas 2019: Celebrate the Holidays with 20 Shows in NJ, NYC and Philadelphia