Buy local: Ten food gifts with Central New York flavor

Are you looking ahead to the holidays? One of the best ways to enhance your gift-giving is to think local and shop small for memorable, one-of-a-kind gifts. Besides, when you buy local, you keep dollars in the community and support someone’s business and dream.

Following is a list of 10 local “foodie” things that make great gifts for family, friends and party hosts. Enjoy the holiday season!

P.S.: My monthly local food newsletter, coming out soon, will focus on local places to shop for items like this. To subscribe, leave a comment below. Your email address is required to leave a comment, but it will be visible only to me.

Sweet on Chocolate bars
Sweet on Chocolate specialty bars:
Artisan chocolate shop Sweet on Chocolate is known for its truffles, turtles, creams, clusters and barks (specifically salted caramel pretzel bark, OH MY!), but have you tried their chocolate bars? They’re a treat, available in flavor combinations like 72% dark chocolate with dried cherries and almonds, 52% dark chocolate with candied orange, pistachios and cardamom and 32% milk chocolate with caramel and toasted sesame seeds. $7. CLICK HERE for more information.

Photo courtesy of Sweet on Chocolate 

Angry Garlic dressings
Angry Garlic salad dressings:
Everything at the Angry Garlic restaurant in Baldwinsville contains an element of garlic. Salad dressings are no exception. Slip a taste of the restaurant into someone’s stocking in the form of sweet roasted garlic dressing and/or garlic balsamic dressing. We all could use a nice green salad this time of year. About $9. Available at the restaurant and at stores like Abbott Farms in Baldwinsville and Chuck Hafner’s Farmers Market and Garden Center in North Syracuse. CLICK HERE for more information.

Weekday Whiskey gift guide
Weekday Whiskey:
KROCK (WKRL 100.9) morning radio host Josh Grosvent has a side hustle: making and selling whiskey. He calls it Weekday Whiskey. His motto: Why should weekends have all the fun? Weekday Whiskey is an 80-proof, “easy drinking” wheat blend packaged in slim 200 ml bottles and more substantial 375 ml bottles. The small size fits in purses, pockets, fanny packs and Christmas stockings. Prices start around $16. CLICK HERE for more information, retail locations.

Photo courtesy of Weekday Whiskey

Syracuse salt gift guide
Syracuse Salt Co. vanilla cinnamon flake salt:
Syracuse Salt Co. owners David Iannicello and Libby Croom have created a flake salt that's both sweet and savory. I've tried it on chocolate chip cookies (a hit!) and there's a place for it on top of brownies, in or on top of holiday cookies like Snickerdoodles and in hot cocoa. Use your imagination. Fun fact: Flake salt is harvested from a brine well 280 feet below the ground in Syracuse’s Inner Harbor area. About $7. CLICK HERE for more information, retail locations.


Tea for gift guide
210 Teas:
You might have encountered 210 Teas at pop-events around Syracuse, like the annual Westcott Street Cultural Fair. It’s a loose-leaf tea company offering black tea, white tea, green tea, tea blends, herbal teas and tea accessories, like mugs, tea infusers and reusable tea bags. 210 Teas owner Kahs Hills is in the process of opening a tearoom at 108 Washington St. in downtown Syracuse, in the space that once housed Roji Tea Lounge. CLICK HERE for more information, online ordering.

Stock photo, Pixabay

Hot stuff hot sauces
Hot Stuff hot sauces:
 Turn up the heat on the holidays with a quartet of hot sauces produced by Syracuse restaurant XO Taco. In order of hotness, the sauces are: Chihuahua (made with fresno peppers), Holla-peno (made with jalapeno peppers), Jab-anero (made with habanero peppers) and Guava Ghost (made with guava and ghost peppers). The sauces are available at stores like Metro Home Style in Franklin Square, BeeKind Syracuse on Tipperary Hill, at several Byrne Dairy stores and at Kinney Drugs. $5 and up. CLICK HERE for more information, online ordering.

Goodway Gourmet rum cakes
Goodway Gourmet rum cakes:
Troy-based Goodway Gourmet Bakery is known for its Caribbean rum cakes, available in flavors like ripe banana, pineapple, coconut and chocolate. Goodway is a regular vendor at the Central New York Regional Market on Saturdays, setting up in the F Shed. Market shoppers rave about the rich and flavorful cakes. Once open, they say, the cakes disappear in a flash. About $14. Gluten-free options available. CLICK HERE for more information, online ordering.

Photo courtesy of Goodway Gourmet, on Facebook

Unite spices gift guide
Unite Spice Company spices:
Ithaca-based United Spice Company connects customers with ethically sourced spices from around the world. Offerings from the woman-owned start-up include curry powder, 7 Sisters Chile Salt, turmeric, whole nutmeg, cardamom, cloves and more. In the Syracuse area, find a selection of Unite spices at Chuck Hafner’s Garden Center in North Syracuse. CLICK HERE for more information, online ordering.

Photo courtesy of Chuck Hafner’s, on Facebook

Ayvaco evoo gift guide
Ayvaco extra virgin olive oil:
Ayvaco is a single-source, cold-pressed, unrefined olive oil from Turkey. Umut Birklik, a native of Turkey now living in Central New York (with his wife, Erin), produces and sells extra-virgin olive oil from his hometown of Ayvalik, on Turkey's northwestern Aegean coast. Ayvaco tastes smooth, mild, fresh and bright. Use it any way olive oil shines: in salad dressings, as a bread dipping oil, as a finishing oil on vegetables, meat and fish, etc. Look for Ayvaco at the CNY Regional Market on Saturdays (F Shed). $15 and up. CLICK HERE for more information, online ordering.

Photo courtesy of Ayvaco, on Facebook

Market money front
Market Money, Salt City Market:
Market Money is Salt City Market's own form of currency: gift certificates that can be used at any of the market’s vendors. Market Money was designed for the market by local artist Cayetano Valenzuela. It comes in $5 denominations. For example, 10 bills equal $50. Salt City Market opened in January in downtown Syracuse. It’s a food hall and incubator for eight small food businesses offering a variety of cuisines. CLICK HERE to order online. Market Money is also available at The Life, a retail space within the market.

Photo courtesy of Salt City Market











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