As the days peel away and the holidays grow near, you and I are—not to alarm you!—running out of time to shop thoughtfully for gifts for our loved ones. But fear not expired ship-by dates and sold-out Etsy stores! For, procrastinating shoppers, there are good gifts to be found as close by as the local Whole Foods outlet, particularly if the recipient is food-inclined.
That's right: you can buy perfectly decent holiday gifts at Whole Foods. Here are seven items we thought might make especially coveted presents. Note that price and product availability may vary from store to store. Where they're consistent, though? You can tie a ribbon on 'em and call it a day.
Whole Foods Panettone
What's a European-flavored Christmas without panettone, the less maligned cousin of fruitcake? The sweet, buttery, uniquely shaped yeast bread is studded with candied orange peel and sultanas and imported by Whole Foods from Italy, where bakers spend 36 hours on each loaf start to finish.
Teapigs spiced winter red tea
Ignore the unappetizing name and focus on what's important: the tea. If you're shopping for a matcha fan, they've got that; Teapigs also produces standard flavors like Earl Grey and English breakfast, plus interesting infusions like licorice-mint, apple-cinnamon, and rhubarb-ginger. The most seasonally appropriate? Probably spiced winter red: rooibos tea with orange, cinnamon, and cloves.
Aleia's Gluten-Free Bakery chocolate macaroons
Aleia's simple brown packaging conceals a wealth of delicious cookies that also happen to be gluten-free: friends with sweet teeth may appreciate GF chocolate macaroons, or on the other hand they may prefer almond horns, chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodles—the list goes on. (For the more practical-minded, there are also things like gluten-free stuffing mix and breadcrumbs.)
Whole Foods single-origin Greek olive oil
A new addition to the Whole Foods collection of store-brand foods: a series of single-origin olive oils, each developed for different uses in the kitchen. The store recommends the Seville for sautéing, the Chile for dipping, and the Greece—with a "notably fruity taste and a perfectly peppery finish"—for finishing. The finishing oil is probably the most gift-appropriate.
More from Epicurious
O Yuzu Rice Vinegar
O Olive Oils & Vinegars is a California company that sources from the local terroir for its extraordinary line of products: namely, olive oils extracted from California Mission olives and vinegars made with California produce—including the company's yuzu rice vinegar, which highlights the complexly flavored citrus fruit brought to the state by Japanese immigrants. It's suitable for vinaigrettes, recipes like cucumbers with wasabi and rice vinegar, and as a surprising substitute for plain rice vinegar in sushi rice.
Bittercube Orange Bitters
For the cocktail lover in your life, Bittercube offers a line of creatively flavored bitters ranging from cherry-bark vanilla to blackstrap to orange bitters, the perfect complement to a Manhattan or an old-fashioned or (for a drier option) sweet potatoes, below. The indecisive may chance across a variety pack, which comprises six different flavors of bitters—and would be a welcome addition to a home bar anywhere.
The easy option
No person who loves food was ever disappointed in a gift card to a decent grocery store. Just sayin'.