The holidays are just around the corner and you know what that means: it’s time for my annual list of consumable gifts — wonderful edibles and drinkables that disappear after the holiday season. My favorite kind!
A lifelong fan of all things Rochester, I naturally turned to our creative community for memorable gift ideas.
Stever’s Candies: Even though lines may snake out the door at Stever’s — a family-run confectionery that’s been making fresh, small-batch candies since 1946 — it’s always worth the wait during the holiday season. Always. Often sidetracked by all the dreamy aromas, I make sure to bring a list: chocolate coins for the kiddies, nut bark for me, almond butter crunch for my sister, sponge candy for me, hostess mints for my friends, butter creams for me, assorted truffles for my aunt, dark chocolate melt-a-ways for me. Listen, ever since I learned that chocolate was good for brains, I now see it as an essential nutrient! (steverscandy.com)
Union Place Coffee Roasters: Because I am obsessed with coffee, one of my favorite gifts to give is coffee. This year, I’m especially excited to surprise my coffee-loving friends with freshly roasted coffee from Union Place Coffee Roasters, an artisan coffee-roasting house that apparently shares my obsession. How so? They only use 100% Arabica beans; they roast in small batches by sight, sound and smell (not a computer); and they test out new beans and flavors regularly. I’ve already earmarked the Coffee Lovers Gift Box, which includes three coffees for fellow coffee connoisseurs. (unionplacecoffeeroasters.com)
Cheesy Eddie’s: Conveniently located right around the corner from Union Place in the Genesee Regional Market is my all-time favorite bakery for cheesecake, carrot cake and many other baked goods: Cheesy Eddie’s. Some people never forget their first kiss, I’ll never forget my first bite of Cheesy Eddie’s cheesecake — dense yet creamy, sweet yet not too much, rich yet worth every calorie. And their carrot cake? Yummy beyond words. While I typically send friends a Classic Sampler of their most popular cheesecakes, this year I’ve decided to go for gold with their Over the Top Sampler of flavors you have to see to believe. Flagship location is in the South Wedge. (cheesyeddies.com)
Kettle Ridge Farm: Ever since I said sayonara to mass-produced maple syrup and started using pure maple syrup on pancakes, I’ve become a maple-syrup-sampling fool. It’s such sweet fun! Victor’s Kettle Ridge Farm is my latest find, and their coffee-infused maple syrup — a syrup that marries two of my favorite flavors — is but one of the gifts I’ll be giving from this small, family-run farm. The other is a unique outdoor experience for my niece and her family: the gift of adopting a maple tree for a year, tapping it, enjoying a pancake breakfast and much more. For out-of-towners, there’s also an Adopt-a-Maple gift experience just for them. (kettleridgefarm.com)
Flour City Pasta: In my book, what makes this company’s artisanal pasta gift-worthy is their flavors. They’re absolutely delicious. Owner Jon Stadt credits their low and slow drying process for developing such flavors. Plus, the actual flavors are one-of-a-kind, from chipotle cilantro pappardelle to hot habanero fettuccine to basil garlic linguine (to name just a few). There are several gift box options to choose from, including a Pasta of the Month Club. Wow, a monthly delivery of handcrafted pasta! Sounds too good to be true! Anybody I know reading this? Hint, hint. I’ve been very good by the way. (flourcitypasta.com)
Anne Palumbo writes this column for Messenger Post newspapers. Her email is avpalumbo@aol.com.