From sea to shining sea, the U.S. has so much great stuff. There’s a lot to see and do and though we maybe can’t see and do it all, we can taste it all. Here are some cool food ideas that make wonderful gifts. 

Wine is having a great year this year. If you have someone in your life on your gift list this year who’s a big fan of wine and has always wanted to take a trip out to wine country but can’t seem to find the time or the money to do it, bring wine country to them. The California Wine of the Month Club brings the best of Napa Valley right to their door step. There’a also the Summit Reserve Wine Club out of Washington state. The recipient gets two bottles of wine every three months so they can savor the best of every season. Get the wine lover in your life a year’s subscription and who knows? Maybe they’ll invite you over to reap the benefits of your creativity!

Does someone you love have a sweet tooth? Anyone who knows me even just a little bit knows I’m a big fan of chocolate, caramels and lollipops, but – little known fact about Jen – sometimes a piece of salt water taffy can do the trick. I was at a wedding recently and a candy buffet was brought out after the dance and the cake and I passed up M&M’s, Three Musketeers and Snicker bars and made a bee line for the taffy. Dolle’s Candy Land in Maryland has been making and selling salt water taffy since the 1920’s and thanks to the magic of the Internet, you can buy some right from their website. There are also a number of other sweet treats available like caramels, truffles, and fudge that are all made from scratch, by hand, every day. They’d love to send some to the sugar fanatic on your gift list.

I’m not going to lie. I love pizza. I could eat it all day, every day. Of course I’d weigh a metric ton, but that’s beside the point. Chicago knows pizza and there’s pretty much no other place to go when you’re in The Windy City to grab some pizza than Lou Malnati’s. Just saying the name gives me chills and fills me with glee. Lou’s buttery, flaky deep dish crust and the fresh tomatoes, meat and cheese have made the place a pizza fan’s favorite among aficianados the world over. The best part is that you can order Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza via phone or their website and they’ll ship it to you or the pizza lover in your life. The prices also include shipping.

Chicago is famous for their deep dish pizza, but New York is probably equally as famous for their cheesecake. Smooth and creamy with a wonderfully crumbly crust, you haven’t really lived until you’ve tasted New York chessecake. I’m not talking about a skinny little slice from a chain restaurant boasting “New York style cheesecake”. I’m talking about a thick slice of real authentic New York cheesecake. The first time I was in New York, a native took me to Junior’s Cheesecake and oh. My. Gosh. Fortunately, you can bring the best cheesecake in New York the world to you. They offer plain, fruit, fancy and seasonal flavors. If you can’t decide, they also offer samplers. The cheesecake is sent express delivery in a stay fresh shipping container so you know it’s going to be just as buttery and delicious as it would be if you had sat down at their restaurant on Flatbush and ordered it yourself. By the way, if you have a movie buff on your list who just happens to love cheesecake, Junior’s Cheesecake was featured in Sex and the City the Movie. It’s where Carrie, Big, Samantha, Charlotte, Miranda and the whole gang went after Carrie and Big said “I do.”

Want to send a taste of Minnesota to someone? Check out Ingebretsen’s. Ingebretsen’s opened back when we good Scandihoovians were flooding the area and were desperate for the foods of home. Ingebretsen’s has sampler packages and other treasures that include sardines, lefse, Glogg, and Julekake. Or you can send them a warm and fuzzy. Ingebretsen’s has scarves, hats, and mittens to keep your loved ones cozy when the temperature drops.

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