On the first day of Christmas my food-loving buddy gave to me...really, with all the amazing Colorado-made gifts out there, you could have weeks and weeks of holiday goodies. Whether you want stocking stuffers, hostess gifts or something for the gourmet in your life, we have plenty of ideas. Choose from spirit-warming tea to bath stuff with aromatic ingredients to so much awesome hot sauce. These twelve items promise to delight someone in your life, whether they like things spicy, enjoy wearing their food or prefer the surprise of a monthly package.
Trailhead Chai From Teakoe
Hot tea has gotten really cool, especially when you get it from this local blender. The Trailhead Chai line proves exceptional, with fun flavors like Happy Camper Cocoa, a black chai, or Outpost Orange Spice, a rooibos chai. For loved ones who adore spicy things, the Horizon Hot Ginger proves pleasing, with a mixture of lemon, popped rice, chili pepper flakes, green peppercorn and ginger. Buy a can ($10 each) for a stocking stuffer or mix and match different blends for the ultimate tea-lover's goodie basket. As a bonus, when you buy tea from Teakoe, the company will donate funds to help save the bees — so it's like giving two gifts at once.
Spice Set From Savory Spice
While most spices can't be sourced locally, all the clever blends from this Denver-based company are mixed right here in town. Get the cook in your life a three-jar box set of spice blends, which range from kits for the pizza lover (which includes the company's own Italian blend, an onion-garlic sprinkle and crushed red peppers) to the Tres Amigos (Peruvian chili lime, Cuban island spices and an adobo spice blend). If there's a sweets seeker in your life, consider the Chocoholic Trio, with black onyx chocolate sugar, dutch cocoa powder and baker's brew coffee spice (a medley of coffee, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, mace and ginger). While you're at it, grab a container of Savory's latest mix, Chicharron Salt, for a stocking stuffer. The sets start at $12 and the Chicharron Salt runs $10.
When it comes to condiments, Kelly Schexnaildre knows how to shake it up. You can purchase her expertise in the form of Merfs yellow mustard, srirachas and hot sauces. The Hand Grenade sriracha adds a hot, pineapple-enhanced sweetness to anything from that Italian hero to your morning eggs. For more of a tart berry accent, try the Jamberry sriracha. The Electric Lime hot sauce bursts with green-chile fire and bright citrus; and the Fool's Paradise features smoky and sizzling ghost peppers tamed with a hint of tropical mango. You can't go wrong stuffing someone's stocking with one of these items ($9), or get the whole set (a four-pack of sauces for $32) for that condiment-loving cousin who longs for local products.
Whiskey-Peach Preserves by Red Camper
The Centennial State is known for having great peaches, and thanks to a bunch of new distilleries opening up, the whiskey scene is starting to get notice, too. Fifteen years ago, Maura Gramzinski started making her Colorado whiskey peach preserves, a tasty spread that won a blue ribbon at the Denver County Fair in 2012. It's the Red Camper's most popular flavor for a reason, and you should definitely get it for anyone you love who also loves toast, sweet things, Colorado goods and quality jams.
Kimchi From Farmhand Organics
Although not all of the produce for Farmhand Organic's fermented products come from Colorado, you can see where the vegetables were picked and processed right on the top of the jar. The cabbage for the kimchi hails from Longmont's Red Wagon Farm and Full Circle Farm, and it's good enough to make a Korean grandma jealous — and the sauerkraut proves just as tasty. Keep in mind, because the jars must be refrigerated, they're not the kind of gift you can easily wrap and leave under the tree. But you can pack up a few jars and give them as a hostess gift or present your honey with a card directing him or her to the fridge for a tangy, spicy surprise.
Fuego Box Hot Sauce Subscription
For that last minute oops-I-didn't-plan or oops-I-forgot-to-go-shopping present, consider the gift that keeps on giving: a food subscription. The Fuego Box proves perfect for this, as each month the lucky recipient will get a trio of delectable hot sauces from all over the country ($86.85 for a three month subscription). That could include a bottle of Hotmaple Smokey Habanero from Oregon, Zana Sauce from California, or Fat Cat's Cat in Heat from Florida, to name a few. From spicing up Bloody Marys to making egg sandwiches sizzle, this gift is hot, hot, hot.
Cardamom and Coffee Body Scrub From Fig + Yarrow
This scrumptious body scrub ($48) smells so good, you'll want to eat it. And technically, you could, since Fig + Yarrow uses only wholesome and natural ingredients that are 100 percent edible: coffee, cane sugar, cardamom and a mixture of coconut, shea and cocoa butters. But this product is for your skin and not your tummy. Send it to your coffee-loving sister or best friend, and after one go with this exfoliant, they will not only glow, but will happily smell like their favorite cafe, in the best possible way.
Honey Comb Jewelry by Amy Hager
Imagine if you could showcase your love of honey by wearing a piece of honeycomb. Each item artist Amy Hager makes uses a real chunk of honeycomb that she casts into unique charms on necklaces, bracelets and rings. They're truly a gift for your honey, and each sale helps out the Pollinator Partnership, a nonprofit charity that the artist donates to each month.
Holiday Collection From Robin Chocolates
This year, Longmont-based confectioner Robin Chocolates has released six seasonal flavors in a holiday box of chocolates. The lineup includes candy cane, cranberry vodka lime, eggnog, figgy pudding, gingerbread molasses and chocolate whiskey pecan pie. That last one is made with spirits from Black Canyon Distillery, also in Longmont. Get a box of six ($14.75) or really treat someone by ordering a twelve-piece set ($27.50), which includes these holiday flavors as well as caramel fleur de sel, Grand Marnier caramel, and raspberry.
Steuben's Holiday Cinnamon Roll Wreath
Who needs a wreath made out of tree boughs when you can have one constructed from delectable, homemade cinnamon rolls ($34)? You might not be able to ship this to your great aunt in Texas, but you can pick one up on Christmas Eve or the day before to give to those close by. Each ten-piece circle is lovingly created by pastry chef Nadine Donovan and includes the tasty rolls as well as three ounces of sweet glaze. A few dollars more will get you cream cheese frosting ($8) and/or a pint of Steuben's housemade ice cream ($6). Pick up at Steuben's Uptown (523 East 17th Avenue) or Steuben's Arvada (7355 Ralston Road) — just be sure to call in your order by December 20.
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Bacon From Tender Belly
Given that bacon is one of life's perfect foods, it's not surprising that it would also be one of the season's perfect gifts. This local company makes some of the best in town, and this month, two new flavors have come on the market: sugar-free and java. Get a one-pound package for a stocking stuffer or savory Secret Santa gift, and keep a pack for yourself to indulge on Christmas morning. Heck, if you're feeling really generous, consider the monthly bacon subscription, which consists of four pounds of dry-cured, cherrywood-smoked bacon with the company's signature maple or habanero rub ($59 per month).
Homemade sriracha proves a winner in most people's stockings, and Jolene Collins, otherwise known as JoJo, whips up some amazing sauces sure to make any hot-sauce-loving friend happy. Pick out a jar ($13 each) of the original stuff, the green-chile version or the extra-hot red, or go for the holiday gold and get the Xmas style, a blend of green and red sriracha. Each delicious batch is wild-fermented and contains just five ingredients. Purchase a single jar or really make your darlings happy with a four-jar gift pack ($50).