12 Ways of Giving, VAfoodie Style

Photo Credits : The Virginia Table:  Our Local Commons

Photo Credits : The Virginia Table: Our Local Commons

Call us old-fashioned, but we’d be quite happy to stay at home this Black Friday. This year we are serving up a dozen reasons to stay at home with friends and family this holiday weekend. With these great foodie gifts, you can feel good about finishing off your shopping list AND buying local.

All the companies listed here offer online ordering. Just remember to allow time for your shipments to arrive, so shop soon. Most vendors recommend placing orders by December 10 for delivery by December 24. With shopping just a click away, you can finish up quickly and get back to your turkey.

1. The Virginia Table

A new book celebrating Artisan Food in the Commonwealth

Illustrating the energy, innovation, and enthusiasm propelling Virginia to the top of the local food movement, The Virginia Table features intimate profiles of tastemakers from across the Commonwealth whose passion for Virginia food paved the way for the state’s rising profile. These tastemakers include Chef José Andrés of ThinkFoodGroup, restaurateur Michael Babin of Neighborhood Food Group, food writer Patrick Evans-Hylton, and other well-respected individuals. Each feature-length story also includes a sidebar sharing the perspective of veterans, as well as up-and-comers and champions in these industries, providing context for just how far Virginia’s artisan food movement has come in recent years.

The concept for The Virginia Table originated with Early Mountain Vineyards who are dedicated to elevating Virginia as a world-class wine and food region. Early Mountain not only produces and promotes its own wines, but also highlights a curated “Best of Virginia” selection in the vineyard’s tasting room, demonstrating the talent and skill of the Commonwealth’s winemakers. Early Mountain's all-local Marketplace celebrates the bounty of the land, featuring products from artisans in the area. 

“From day one, a passion for Virginia has guided everything we do at Early Mountain Vineyards. The Virginia Table is a natural extension of our mission to highlight the very best that Virginia has to offer. We take pride in the winemaking traditions in our state, and also in the many talented, local artisans, chefs and winemakers who are fueling innovation and pushing Virginia to the forefront of America’s “go local” movement." — Jean Case

Early Mountain Vineyards collaborated with Our Local Commons, a Charlottesville-based storytelling team that includes photographers Andrea Hubbell and Sarah Cramer Shields and writer Jenny Paurys. The team hit the road throughout the summer of 2015, interviewing and photographing all the individuals, products, and recipes featured in the book. Just as with its subject matter, The Virginia Table was created entirely in Virginia. Matt Thomas of Charlottesville-based Convoy designed the book and it was printed in Richmond by Worth-Higgins.  

Order online HERE.

2. La Vache Creamery

Using traditional small batch techniques, La Vache Creamery produces small batch artisan caramels using only grass fed cream, organic butter and sugar, and absolutely no corn syrup! Instead, they craft their sweets using organic brown rice syrup to add depth and nuttiness to the caramel flavor. 

My goal is to source ingredients locally and responsibly and it does make a huge difference in the quality of my caramels. I love being able to make someone happy with just one bite for one minute of their day. — Stephanie Williams

Choose from fleur de sel, lavender honey, or a number of seasonal flavors  Order in bulk to fill your holiday candy dishes, or choose from attractive, small packages sized just right for teacher gifts, hostess gifts, neighbor gifts, stocking stuffers… you name it. You’ll also want a little bit of sugar for yourself – you’ve been good this year!

Order by 12/10 to guarantee delivery by 12/24. Order online HERE.

3. Reginald's Homemade

Give some yummy, spread-y, nutty love this year with Reginald’s Homemade nut butters. With foodie flavors like Agave Habanero and Bourbon Pecan, Reginalds’s spreads aren’t just kid stuff anymore. 

Andrew Broocker created Reginald’s Homemade after discovering a passion for wellness which led to the inspiration for some all-natural, delicious peanut butter. Unsatisfied with the options he could find on the shelves at his grocery store, Andrew set out to create a better option. With a food processor in hand, he started testing recipes with local ingredients, from apples and cinnamon to bourbon. Reginald’s Homemade was born with one goal in mind: To create an all-natural, preservative-free, gourmet- tasting peanut butter. A peanut butter that actually tastes like peanuts. 

We craft Reginald’s Homemade using only the finest natural ingredients—and very few of them. We start with Virginia peanuts, roast them to perfection, and then add a touch of oil. That’s it. — Andrew Broocker

Order online by 12/11 for arrival by 12/24. Order one of their sample packs online HERE.
You can also find Reginald’s in many retail outlets, find out if there’s one near you HERE.

4. Crunch Dynasty

Add a little international flavor to your giving this year, with made-in-Virginia Crunch Dynasty seasoning. Crunch Dynasty is an exotic hot topping made with garlic, shallots, chili peppers, sesame seeds, ginger and spices. It’s most delicious when used on everything.

When founders John and Anya first met in 1998, Anya wooed her new beau with food—who, admittedly, didn’t know much about cooking. Lucky for John, Anya was raised in a household that prided itself on home cooking, and with a mother who excelled at preparing authentic Chinese dishes. Needless to say, once he experienced the spicy, crunchy morsels now known as Crunch Dynasty, he was hooked. Over a decade after their first meeting, John still couldn’t figure out how to make those flavorful flakes on his own, so he turned to his mother in law, who shared her top secret recipe with him, and now they’re sharing it with the rest of the world.

Make your online purchase by December 20th to assure delivery by the holidays. Order online HERE.

More VAfoodie Ways to Give...

5. Edwards Ham

Established in 1926, Edwards Ham has become a staple for the holidays for many Virginia families. Order whole hams or gift packs from their online store HERE.

6. Whitley's Peanuts

Whitley's 'Home-Cooked' Virginia Peanuts are still made the old-fashioned way-hand cooked, slowly roasted to perfection; perfect for holiday gifts! Order online HERE.

7. VirgInia Pound Cakes

A small online bakery located in southern Virginia, these gourmet southern pound cakes are are made the old fashioned way, from scratch, for a truly down home-taste. Cakes are gift boxed, ready to ship to friends and family across town or across the country. Order online HERE

8. Fresh Batch Jams

High quality fruit from Virginia's best farms, hand-stirred and poured in Chesapeake, VA. Order online HERE

9. Three Ships Coffee

A nordic-style coffee roaster providing coffees based on seasonal harvests. Find them in STORES HERE, or order online HERE.

10. Kombuchick

Kombuchick distributes artisanal bottled kombucha (fermented sweet tea) throughout the Mid- Atlantic and greater East Coast. Find them in STORES HERE, or order online HERE.

11. Fairweather Farms

Tasty teas, 100% home grown, hand harvested, carefully dried, and lovingly packaged. These herbs were never sprayed or treated with anything except for sunshine, rain, and good soil.  Order loose, or teas in unbleached, chemical free bags.  Even the boxes are recycled material. Order online HERE.

12. Pennacook Peppers

Porch Pepper Jelly, Porch Party Salsa, and Purely Pepper Powder seasoning. Just enough heat and the right amount of hang time. Order online ($24 Minimum) HERE.

Still can't find just the right gift? Check out our EAT and DRINK lists for even MORE foods made in Virginia.