‘Tis the season for giving, and if you’re still looking for the perfect gift for the food-loving family member or friend in your life, well, look no further. We’ve put together a short list of some of our local favorites items that would be great for gifting, whether as a stocking stuffer or bundled together in a gift basket.
AR’s Hot Southern Honey
Richmonder Ames Russell has always enjoyed spending time in the kitchen, so much so that each year when the holidays came around Russell would make homemade gifts of some kind for his family. First, there was a homemade remoulade recipe, and then a recipe for fried chicken that called for hot honey, which inspired Russell to try his hand at making the condiment at home. He made about 100 bottles for friends and family one year before deciding that this blend of Virginia honey with fresh red chilies deserved to be shared with the masses – and so AR’s Hot Southern Honey was born.
You can buy the honey online or at a local retailer for $9.99 including the price of sales tax. If you’re ordering online, shipping is free when you order four bottles or more. Four bottles might feel like a lot for something you’ve never tried before, but this stuff is so good, we have a feeling you’re going to want to stock up. – M
Birdie’s Pimento Cheese
Want to take a taste of the South home with you for the holidays? Well, Birdie’s Pimento Cheese has you covered. And with six different flavors, you’ll likely find an option or two to please everyone. Full disclosure: I can eat a whole tub of this pimento cheese in one sitting if you give me a sleeve of Ritz crackers.
What started as a small idea, tested at a small Virginia farmers market has turned into a labor of love for owners Robin and Glen Allen. Birdie’s can be found locally at various shops and markets around town or can be ordered online and shipped directly to your front door. For the holidays they even have gift packs, perfect for the cheese lover in your life. Oh and we taste tested all six flavors for you — our top picks were the cream cheese & black pepper and the garlic Parmesan. -K
Finding the perfect hostess gift can be a challenge especially if you’re visiting/staying for more than just a couple of days. Enter the Whisk take-and-bake chocolate croissants. These little pillows of chocolatey goodness taste EXACTLY like the ones you’ll find in the bakery, and all you have to do is pop them out of the freezer and into a preheated oven.
The smell of freshly baked croissants in the morning is sure to please just about anyone and it’s the holidays so calories don’t count right? I’ve had the good fortune of baking these up on a few occasions and with almost zero effort I am impressed every time. Six croissants come in a pack and they take about an hour total to cook. Honestly, the biggest challenge is having to share them! And if you want to bake these up and claim them as your own, we won’t tell — just toss a little flour on your clothes for good measure. Pick up a half dozen of these treats from the mini freezer at Whisk for $14. – K
Peanuts are a Virginia staple and the team at Whitley’s Peanut Factory are pretty much experts, after all, they’ve been making peanuts for over 31 years! We had the chance to try Whitley’s Peanuts for the first time this fall when the company opened its first Richmond retail location at 4101 Dominion Boulevard.
With one salty handful, we were sold. Whether you opt for the traditional salted peanuts, seasoned peanuts or sweet peanuts, you’re in for a treat. Whitley’s offers holiday gift boxes and the option to make your own gift box, which will really make your holiday shopping easy. – M
Gift Cards to a Local Spot
Sometimes the best gift of all is the gift of an experience, which is where gift cards come in handy. Whether you want to treat new parents to a date night out or a friend to a girl’s night, a gift card is an easy way to do it. Some of our favorite restaurants like Tarrant’s and Graffiato even offer gift cards online, so you can check an item off your list without ever stepping into a restaurant. – M