Sweet enough

One of the great failsafes of gift-giving is, as everyone knows, something sweet – a box of chocolates, candy or the like. And nothing wrong with that at all.

But I’d like to make a case for the other team: savoury treats. Or at least the non-sugary kind. For not everyone has a sweet tooth.  And a box of candy, especially if of a leading brand, can be both an ‘easy-out’ (“Gee, how much thought went into choosing that gift?”) and a cliche (“How original, a box of chocolate creams”).

A good friend of mine, for example, regularly hankers after salty, savoury snacks – which is why (note to self) I must buy her something yummy in this line for her next birthday.

Some other examples: a friend of mine once mentioned in passing that he is so crazy about the taste of passionfruit, he reckons he could eat dozens in a single sitting, given the opportunity. I sent him a kilo of the fruit for his next birthday.

And another friend, who had a penchant for grinding startling amounts of black pepper onto her meals (I’m serious – the woman was like a crop duster with the stuff) received an ‘in joke’ gift from me of a half kilo of black peppercorns, giftwrapped.

Other suggestions: caviar, pate, cheeses, olives, chutneys, pickles, pesto, beef jerky, fresh steaks from one of those gourmet meat delivery services, or fresh in-their-shell oysters from a similar service, edible snails for lovers of French food, tropical fruit baskets. Mmm – I’m getting hungry just writing this stuff! 

Take a stroll along the shelves of your local delicatessen and shop for some inspiration – and pay attention to the kind of food (rare treats especially) that your loved ones adore.

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