2021 Holiday Gift Guide: U.S. Destination-Focused Food Baskets

A great way to learn more about a location is through its food. For those who want to cross more U.S. states off their travel list, but can’t get to them just yet, here’s the next best thing. Order a basket packed with in-state produced food products. Made by companies based from coast to coast, these food gift baskets feature goods connected to the states they come from.

A North Carolina treat is the paper-thin Moravian cookie, which is connected to Winston-Salem and date back to the 18th century when the Moravians settled in The Royal Colony of North Carolina. There, the iconic treats were concocted in the 1920s and made “as thin as possible” by engineer-turned-baker Dewey Guy Wilkerson. Now a fifth-generation, family-owned business, the Wilkerson Moravian Bakery continued to produce these Moravian cookies. This package contains two Moravian Sugar Cakes, one jar of spice cookies and one jar of sugar cookies.

Chelsea Market is one of New York City’s top attractions, once being the site of the National Biscuit (NABISCO) Company and a major food and retail location. This gift basket represents the crème de la crème of the business tenants within the market, with reflects the freshly-baked treats prepared onsite. Their gift basket contains hand-rolled New York Rugelach, brownies from Fat Witch Bakery, Lemon Poppyseed Cake from Sarabeth’s Kitchen, their house brand lemon curd and The Cookie from Salt of the Earth Bakery.

This Californian non-profit kitchen incubator, working to solve problems of equity in business ownership by cultivating low-income and women of color food entrepreneurs, has some food-focused gift baskets of various sizes and selections. They include a mix of small-batch sweet and savory packaged foods all from immigrant/women of color-owned Bay Area businesses. Think alfajores from Sabores del Sur, Crisps & Crackles’ Moringa Chips and chocolates from NeoCocoa, among with other tasty treats. Sales proceeds not only support these diverse businesses but also La Cocina as an organization.

As the first place in the U.S. to be recognized as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, Tucson has become an under-the-radar culinary destination. This gift basket idea is also from this Arizona city. The Tamale of the Month club​ was created by Carlotta Flores, the matriarch of the family behind the oldest Mexican restaurant in the U.S. in continuous operation by the same family, El Charro Café. ​The idea evolved during the pandemic ​as a way to bring the family’s traditional tamale recipes and Tucson cuisine to customers nationwide. Order 12 or 24 packs of tamales at a time, monthly or quarterly.

Made in Nevada puts together gift baskets with samples from some of the Silver State’s top businesses within a reusable basket. Within this large woven basket, find food or drink products from Nevada Brining Company, Davidson’s Organic Teas, Urban Market Coffee, Italian Hearts Pasta Sauce, Killer Salsa,  Amato’s Family Kitchen, Lattin Farms Jam, Al Bees Organic Honey, Kimmie Candy and Tahoe Toffee.

Based outside of Jackson Hole, Wy., this company has handpicked and handcrafted a gift basket that is packed with treats representing the Teton Valley. This collection incorporates Mix Naughty Fruit bag, Tetonia’s Dusty Hound Farm wildflower Raw Honey, Jam Sessions of Idaho unique “Pineapple Serrano”Jam and “Cowboy Candy.” Winter Winds Farm cheese accompanied by Seven Confections French Macarons handcrafted right here in Teton Valley. There’s also a blend of mixed nuts, dried berries, and mixed chocolate covered espresso beans.

Key West Food Tours and Effortless Creations co-collaborated on this box that brings artisan gourmet provisions made and sold in Key West right to your doorstep. The box includes Key Lime juice, Cuban Coffee Queen ground coffee, Cudjoe Bee Local Honey, El Siboney Hot Sauce and Key West Style Mojo Criollo from Kermit’s Key Lime Shoppe.

Created by A Taste of Kentucky, this gift set is all about the Bluegrass State’s famous byproduct. This gift holds a Kentucky Woods Bourbon Barrel Cake; Elmwood Inn Bourbon Black Tea; a four-piece pack of Rebecca Ruth Bourbon Balls; Najla’s Kentucky Bourbon Glazed Shortbread; Evan Williams Bourbon Pecan Brittle; a packet of Ted’s Bourbon Roasted Coffee; and Kentucky Sugar Stick Candy.

Put together by CrateFull of Maine, this crate provides a boxed culinary tour of Maine’s best food brands. Fourteen products are packed in a hand screen printed, craft mailer box. They are from Coastal Maine Popcorn, Grandy Oats, Lost Woods, Ragged Coast Chocolate, R.E.D.D., Ragged Coast, Bixby, Maine Maple Products, Swans, Raye’s Mustard, Zen Bear, Wilbur’s of Maine, Needhams and Stonewall Kitchen.

Fans of Chi-Town might want to consider a gift box from Here Here Market, which shows their love for Chicago through creating culinary products highlighting different food products. This food box holds goods from top Chicago restaurants. Among them, This Little Goat went to Yucatan everything sauce, by owner and chef Stephanie Izard, has bright citrus and savory garlic and chili flavors. Verde Salsa Macha by chef Rishi Kumar, chef de cuisine at Bar Sotano, is a versatile condiment that can be paired with tacos, tortilla chips or used as a spread or dressing. The box also includes the sweet and savory Everything Sauce inspired from Mott St’s Everything Wings; gnocchetti pasta from Monteverde; El Che Steakhouse’s chef John Manion’s Firewatcher Seasoning Salt; and a snack mix by All Together Now.

Made by You Betcha! Box, which promotes small Minnesota businesses through curating specialty gift boxes, “Femmes du  Nord: Women Makers of Minnesota” honors some of the state’s female business owners and entrepreneurs. This box features Pejrina Fruit Jam’s Organic Blackcurrant Jam, Sailor Mercy “Elderberry Elixir,” Flavour in a Jar’s “Peach Bourbon” Jam, Chef Flo’s Afric Sauce, HOYO Foods’ “Tamarind and Date” Sweet & Savory Somali Sauce, Patti’s Deluxe Mixed Nuts, Hacienda San Jose MINI Chocolate Bar, Ancient Indian Spices’ “Chai Masala” Chai Tea and baking spice blend; Csilla’s “Butter Pecan” Cookies and Sweethaven Tonic’s “Ginger Lime & Peppercorn” Craft Cocktail Concentrate.

Available in small, large and grand sizes, this gift box series by Lancaster Local Provisions collectively highlights the foods produced within Central Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County. Represented farm and artisan vendors can include a Whoopie pie from Tico’s Whoopies, wild honey from Welsh Mountain Apiaries, Lancaster Sharp Cheddar from PA Noble Cheese and sourdough pretzels from Rocky Road Bakery.

Created by Hayden Flour Mills in Mesa, Ariz., this gift set highlights this destination’s connection to grain growing, in that it’s a major producer of wheat. It includes everything you need for bread baking. Its two boxes of Artisan Bread Flour feature Rouge de Bordeaux heritage bread wheat, which is grown, harvested, cleaned and milled in Arizona. There’s also a nine-inch proofing bowl, an Arizona Rose Tea Towel and an Arizona Rose Drawstring Bread Bag. Additionally, find a stainless steel dough scraper, engraved by Arizona woodworker, LetterCraft.

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