Friday, December 13, 2013

Central Florida Local Gifts

Melinda shared her favorite D.C. stores for edible gifts this morning, and I totally back up her claim that Artisan Confections is delicious. She bought quite a few for my mom, sister, and me to say thanks for all the wedding prep. Probably one of the best gifts I have ever received - yum!

I live in rural Florida, so we don't have access to fancy chocolatiers and olive oil experts. However, we do have our own charming foods that are perfect for holiday gift giving. First of all, it is currently citrus and strawberry season where I live. Also, I have been wearing shorts most days this past week or so. It's ok to be jealous.

Every few days I pick up freshly picked strawberries at my local farm for $2.50 a pound. And since these strawberries are not traveling very far, they are picked when they are fully ripe. This means full flavor and they are red all the way to the center. However, you also have to eat them within a few days of purchasing. The best way to turn these delicious strawberries into a gift is to dip them in chocolate and take them as a hostess gift to your next party. Make sure they were picked that morning so your hostess has a day or so to enjoy them!

Dundee Groves Florida basket
If you are looking for something that will travel better, I suggest citrus. Indian River grapefruit are by far the best, but any ruby reds are an amazing treat. I just bought some for 25 cents each! And you can throw them in the back of your car for any out of state road trips. You don't need to worry about them going bad any time soon as long as you keep them dry.

If you are looking for something sweeter, you should try Dundee Groves. They have really yummy citrus candies. The Florida basket is quite charming! You can also order the Citrus Delicacy if you only want the candies made from citrus juice. Dundee Groves will ship for those who are not as lucky to live near by.

Another great gift no matter where you live is local honey. The flavor of honey varies greatly depending on what plants the bees frequent. My favorite honey is Saw Palmetto. I buy mine in two pound bottles for $8 from my local farm. It has a deeper, not so sweet flavor. It is so different from the generic kind you get at the grocery store that it makes a wonderful gift that travels well. J and I brought a bottle up for his parents when we went to Ohio. As you can see in the picture below, we really enjoy our honey.

What kind of gifts do you find where you live? Are they fancy like Melinda's D.C. chocolate and olive oil? Or perhaps more agriculturally based like what my rural Florida provides?