OtherYour 2014 Holiday Guide to the Best Oregon-Made Foodie Gifts

Everyone knows that people who don’t live in Oregon are missing out. They’re missing out on lots of things, of course, but perhaps most importantly, they’re missing out on some really, really good food.

So this holiday season, do your out-of-state friends and relatives a favor and give them a taste of Oregon. If they’re not foodies already, by golly, we’ll convert ’em!

Following the resounding popularity of our inaugural Startup Gift Guide for Foodies last year, we decided to once again guide you through the best local food and beverage products that our great state has to offer. But this time, we wanted you to choose what to include.

Well, we asked, and you answered! From 124 contenders and a whopping total of 7,574 votes, we are proud to present our 2014 crowdsourced startup foodie gift guide. Whether you’re hunting for a discerning dessert fiend, beerocrat, snackhound, or home chef, we have just the right gift for you. Made in Oregon (and Southwest Washington), with love.

Need more gift ideas? Don’t miss our 2014 Startup Apparel Gift Guide, featuring 20 staff picks for local apparel, accessories, and gear. 

For the Discerning Dessert Fiend

Blackbird Farms Shortbread Red Wagon Creamery Ice Cream

Blackbird Farm Shortbread

Woodland, WA: Butter makes just about anything delicious, and shortbread is no exception. But what is exceptional about Blackbird Farm Shortbread is that it features freshly-harvested organic ingredients grown on small farms in the Pacific Northwest. Dessert just doesn’t get much better than this.

Choices: Classic, Delicata Spice, and Oregon Hazelnut.

Red Wagon Creamery Ice Cream

Eugene, OR: OK, you can’t exactly put ice cream in a gift basket, but you can order pints of handcrafted, artisan Red Wagon Creamery ice cream online and deliver them directly to the good boys and girls of your choosing. Have you been naughty or nice this year? Either way, go ahead and get yourself a pint while you’re at it.

Choices: Smoked Salt Caramel #6, Not-So-Plain Jane Vanilla, Oregon Mint Chip, Wandering Goat Coffee, Heart of Chocolate, and Hail to the Bee!

Red Plate Foods Muffins & Cookies Honey Mamas Nectar Fudge

Red Plate Foods Muffins & Cookies

Bend, OR: Hey, just because you might not eat nuts, gluten, soy, or dairy doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a tasty muffin or cookie now and then. Luckily for you, Red Plate Foods has your back – and your stomach.

Choices: Banana, Blueberry Lemon, Cran Orange, Dark Chocolate, and Pumpkin Muffins; Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate, Lemon Sugar, Oatmeal Raisin, and Ginger Cookies.

Honey Mama’s Nectar Fudge

Portland, OR: Are muffins and cookies not quite satisfying that sweet tooth? Well, thanks to Honey Mama’s, you can now enjoy vegan, gluten-free fudge made from raw local honey. Yup, you heard us right. Healthy fudge. Only in Oregon.

Choices: Raw Nectar, CocoNoNut, Dutch, Mayan Spice, and Oregon Mint.

See all 24 contenders in our Sweet Treats category.

For the Selective Snackhound

Pacific Northwest Kale Chips Masala Pop Chai Masala Popcorn

Pacific Northwest Kale Chips

Portland, OR: What happens when the satisfying crunch of potato chips meets the nutritional profile of raw greens? Pacific Northwest Kale Chips, or, as co-founder Sarah Pool puts it, the “holy grail” of snack foods.

Choices: Stumptown Original, Cheezy Crunch, Glacier Peak Greens, Cascade Ranch, Lava Rock Sriracha, Snoqualmie Macaroon.

Masala Pop

Portland, OR: Movie night just got a lot more interesting. Masala Pop offers us a way to enjoy the rich, complex flavors of Indian food on our America’s favorite corn-based snack. Plus, it’s all-natural, fiber-rich, and gluten-free.

Choices: Savory Masala, Tamarind Sesame, Chai Masala, Saffron Rose, Tikka Masala, Coconut Curry, and Saag Paneer.

Picky Bars Blackbird Food Co Granola

Picky Bars

Bend, OR: Do you need an on-the-go breakfast or snack that fills you up, fuels you, and is made of real food? Picky you! Luckily, the great minds at Picky Bars have converged to give you just that.

Choices: Cookie Doughpness, Need for Seed, Blueberry Boomdizzle, Lauren’s Mega Nuts, All-in Almond, Smooth Caffeinator.

Blackbird Food Co. Granola

Portland, OR: Granola has long enjoyed a reputation as a “hippie” food, but can it be elevated to the status of “foodie?” Blackbird Food Co. would emphatically answer, yes! Its power-packed granolas are full of super foods and unexpected flavor combinations for the discerning palate.

Choices: Aromatic Rosemary, Bitter Chocolate, Salty Sweet.

See all 18 contenders in our Breakfast & Snack Food category.

For the Cultivated Condiment Nut

Red Duck Ketchup Eliots Adult Nut Butters

Red Duck Ketchup

Eugene, OR: Ketchup has a secret: it’s sick of French fries. It wants to branch out to stir fries, fish, green beans, and pizza. Luckily, Red Duck understands ketchup’s woes. Of course, you can still enjoy Red Duck on all your standard ketchup fare, but now you can branch out too—and without all that icky corn syrup.

Choices: Classic, Curry, Spicy, Pumpkin Spice.

Eliot’s Adult Nut Butters

Portland, OR: No, these nut butters are not X-rated. But they are a far cry from Jiffy. With sophisticated flavors that more mature generations can enjoy, Eliot’s Adult Nut Butters bring a whole new twist to the classic PB&J.

Choices: Honey Chipotle, Garam Masala, Spicy Thai.

Marshalls Haute Sauce Rogue River Blue Cheese

Marshall’s Haute Sauce

Portland, OR: Like hot sauce, but craving a more complex flavor than “hot?” Marshall’s Haute Sauce will make your food more spicy and flavorful, without any “binders, additives, or other strange stuff.”

Choices: Cranberry Red Jalapeno, Ghost Chili Apple, Habenero Carrot Curry, Red Chili Lime, Serrano Ginger Lemongrass, Smoked Habanero Barbeque.

Rogue River Blue Cheese

Central Point, OR: As Rogue Creamery points out, “giving the gift of cheese makes people very happy.” And Rogue River Blue Cheese isn’t just your everyday cheese. Following centuries-old traditions, each round is hand-wrapped in brandy-soaked Syrah leaves. Now there’s a good cocktail party fun fact.

See all 29 contenders in our Sauces, Dips & Spreads category.

For the Sophisticated Sipper

Wild Roots Vodka Wildcraft Cider

Wild Roots Vodka

Portland, OR: Want the essence of the Pacific Northwest captured in a bottle? What about a bottle that’s 60 proof? Wild Roots Vodka creates all-natural berry-infused vodka, with over a pound of berries per bottle. So get your drink on and get your daily dose of antioxidants while you’re at it.

Choices: Raspberry, Marionberry.

WildCraft Cider Works

Eugene, OR: Think you know your hard ciders? Made with whole fruit, WildCraft Cider claims to be a “unique dry Cider unlike anything you have experienced before.” Go ahead, put their claim to the test!

Choices: Hard Cider, Farmhouse Dry, Tart Cherry.

2Towns Cider Ninkasi Brewery

Two Towns Cider

Corvallis, OR: Did you know that hard cider was once the most popular drink in America? That’s according to the three friends who created 2 Towns Ciderhouse, and who believe that “true craft cider deserves to be made with purpose and respect.” This cider honors the tradition and its recipes honor the fresh-pressed Northwest fruit that go into it. Respect.

Choices: BrightCider, Bad Apple, Outcider, Serious Scrump, Cherried Away, Made Marion, Rhubarbarian, Nice & Naughty, Ginja Ninja, Bourbon Honey, Hop & Stalk.

Ninkasi Brewing Company

Eugene, OR: For most Oregonians Ninkasi needs no introduction. And it’s not just its “Total Domination” brew that dominates the local craft beer market. For Ninkasi founders Nikos and Jaime, beer is far more than an alcoholic beverage – it is a source of community and the root of human existence. Think about that the next time you imbibe.

Choices: Total Domination, Believer, Tricerahops, Vanilla Oatis, Oatis, Quantum.

See all 33 contenders in our Craft Beverages category.

For the Spunky Sour Foods Fanatic

Unbound Pickling Sage and Sea Farms Shrubs

Unbound Pickling Pickled Fruits & Vegetables

Portland, OR:Jesse and Katie Hancock, gourmet pickle enthusiasts and founders of Unbound Pickling, are committed to capturing and preserving the Pacific Northwest in a jar. From bacon pickles to pickled cherries, this pickling operation knows no bounds.

Choices: Bacon Pickle, Pickled Beets, Bread & Butter Pickles, Dill Pickle, Pickled Beans, Pickled Cherries, Pickled Okra, Peas & Carrots, Pickled Walla Walla Sweets.

Sage & Sea Farms Shrubs

Portland, OR: Wondering what a shrub is? Yes, it’s a small tree-like plant commonly found in front yards, but it’s also a sipping vinegar. If you’ve never considered sipping vinegar, perhaps now is a good time to start. Not only do Sage & Sea Farm fruit-infused vinegars come with myriad health benefits, but they are also tasty in cocktails. Cheers!

Choices: Apple Cinnamon, Apricot, Beet & Fennel, Black Raspberry, Blackberry, Blueberry Basil, Cantaloupe, Chai Peach, Cran-Strawberry, and more!

Mama Lils Pickled Peppers Choi's Kimchi

Mama Lil’s Pickled Peppers

Portland, OR: When Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, it’s too bad Mama Lil wasn’t around. Her recipe is one-of-a-kind, which is what inspired her son to share it with the world. Visit Mama Lil’s and pick a peck, whatever that means.

Choices: Mildly Spicy, Kick Butt, Sweet Hot, Peppa Lilli Mustard Pickle Relish, Honkin Hot Peppa Lilli Mustard Pickle Relish, Bread and Butter Pickle Peppers, Pickled Asparagus, Pickled Green Beans.

Choi’s Kimchi

Portland, OR: Want to get your hands on one of the world’s healthiest foods? Choi’s Kimchi is rich in vitamins, low in calories, and packed with lactic acid, making it a rising star in probiotic foods. This traditional Korean fermented dish can be a snack, side dish, or even breakfast, if you need an extra kick in the morning.

Choices: Napa Cabbage, White Napa Cabbage, Radish, White Radish.

See all 10 contenders in our Vinegars & Pickled Things category.

For the Intrepid Home Chef

Blue Lotus Chai Jacobsen Salt

Blue Lotus Chai

Eugene, OR: If you’re a chai fanatic, those grande Starbucks indulgences can add up pretty fast. Blue Lotus not only offers “the best cup of chai” that their customers have ever tasted, but it’s less than 50 cents a pop. Plus, you have full control over how you sweeten and dress it up.

Choices: Traditional, Mint, Rooibos, Star Anise, Mandarin.

Jacobsen Salt Co Artisan Salt

Tillamook, OR: Sure, salt tastes… well, salty. But it can also taste like lemon, vanilla, and coffee. Hand-harvested from Oregon’s Neharts Bay, Jacobsen Salt Co Artisan Salt will make it difficult to ever reach for that plain ol’ table salt ever again.

Choices: Smoked Cherrywood, Italian White Truffle, Smoked Ghost Chili, Vanilla Bean Flake, Lemon Zest, Oregon Pinor Noir, Oregon Pinot Blanc, Chuck Williams Turkey.

Salt Fire & Time Turkey Bone Broth Red Ape Cinnamon

Salt, Fire and Time Bone Broths

Portland, OR: What does love taste like? Salt Fire & Time claims that its broth are infused with a distinctive love flavor. It takes advantage of lesser used animal parts to create deeply nourishing, mineral rich broths that can be used as a base for soups, sauces, grains, and beans.

Choices: Great Lakes Gelatin – Beef, Lamb, Chicken Bone, Turkey Bone, Pork Lard, Beef, Baby Broth.

Red Ape Cinnamon

Eugene, OR: Few things taste more like the holidays than cinnamon, but if you thought all cinnamon was created equal, think again. Red Ape Cinnamon is not only more red than its inferior counterparts, but is sustainably harvested, organic, and used in some of the top restaurants and bakeries in the country.

Choices: Ground Cinnamon, Rasta Shake, Mardi Gras Shake, Buddha Shake Curry Mix, Cinnamon Sugar Shake, Vanilla Cinnamon Shake.

See all 10 contenders in our Kitchen Essentials category.

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