There’s a constant sound this time of year, and we’re not talking about the ever-garbled TTC announcements that you should expect longer than normal travel time due to signal issues/snow/a pigeon that has somehow made its way into the tunnels and activated an emergency alarm. No, we’re talking about the low-pitched panic that you hear at the mall as most of us realise that it’s already mid-December, and our gift pile is still woefully empty for the gift extravaganza that is the modern Christmas.
To help you jumpstart your holiday gift search this weekend, we have curated a collection of Canadian-made, and locally-available* items for your food-loving family and friends.
*Locally being within the Greater Toronto Area.
Some scrumptious chocolate
Smooth, creamy, rich – these are just a few adjectives we can use to describe these chocolates from the Newfoundland Chocolate Company. The pretty packaging makes gifting these a cinch, and we would highly recommend their Best Kind Bars for anyone who likes their chocolate to mingle with a lil peanut butter.
- Made by Newfoundland Chocolate Company
- Ontario locations can be found here (scroll down the page)
- Price: bars start at $4.25 while boxes ring in at $22
Piquant jellies & jams
If there’s only room for one more item in that gift basket you’re putting together, go with the Apricot and Jalapeño Pepper jelly from Henderson Farms. But maybe grab a few other flavours for yourself just to, you know, figure out which ones you may want to gift next year 😉 Perfect for spreading on toast with a little butter, or elevating your everyday cheese and crackers, this jelly can also be combined with brie as a filling for your next puff pastry masterpiece.
- Made by Henderson Farms
- GTA locations can be found here
- Price: small jars (pictured) are $5; large jars are $10
Truly bring the farm to someone’s table by gifting them a set of heirloom seeds from Cubit’s Seeds Co. You don’t need a large tract of land to grow your own fresh veggies – far be it, Cubit’s sells a balcony garden gift set for spaces more suited to urban farming. With a wide variety of rare vegetable seeds – peep the lemon cucumber – this is the perfect gift for anyone looking to step up their culinary game.
- Grown by Cubit’s Seeds Co.
- GTA retailers can be found under “Events & Retail” on their website
- Price: $4 per packet; $35 for a gift set; $95 for an annual seed subscription
The quintessential tea towel with charm
When it comes to celebrated kitchen tools, you often hear bakers touting their 10-speed KitchenAid mixers or food bloggers swearing by their set of professional chef knives. But where would we be without the humble tea towel keeping our digits dry and ready to tackle the next big recipe? Claire Manning Illustrations offers a line of tea towels that are not only darn tootin’ cute, but food-themed to boot.
There’s always room for a good charcuterie board during the holidays. Perfect for an afternoon nibble, this smooth terrine from Les Canardises is the perfect portion to share with your loved ones.
Sweet pastry art
Presumably a large majority of you, our dear readers, are familiar with our ice cream desserts, so it should come as no surprise that we have picked this dessert-centric poster for our gift guide. These darling illustrations will not only brighten up the drabbest of walls, but also offer guidance for those who are a tad indecisive about their pastries.
A chic lunch & grocery tote
This tote’s design enables you to tie up the top for keeping smaller contents, like a homemade lunch, in place or can be left untied to maximise space for grocery runs. Printed and made in Bookhou‘s Toronto studio, this stylish tote is sure to please the more fashion conscious home chef.
- Made by Bookhou
- Can be purchased at their namesake shop on 798 Dundas Street W. in Toronto
- Price: approx. $73 (converted from $55 USD)
No nonsense beef jerky
Beef jerky is not always popular, but if you know someone of the more carnivorous persuasion, these smoky slices of Canadian beef may prove to be a hit. Bay Meats offers four different flavours (mild, hot, maple & teriyaki) that taste distinctly better than your gas station variety of jerky and pepperettes. Our pastry chef couldn’t stop munching her way through a bag of the maple stuff, so consider this selection tested and approved.