I’m always looking for small bits and pieces to include in Christmas food parcels and here are a few of my favourites. These are all Irish – indeed, several are great alternatives to imported products – cost less than €10 and will be warmly welcomed by any food lover.
Looking for a new sweetener for breakfast pancakes and porridge? The toffee-like Highbank Orchard Syrup, produced from organic apples, can give Canadian maple syrup producers a real run for their money. (€7.90, highbankorchards.com)
The flaky crystals of Irish Atlantic Sea Salt are a kitchen essential, perfect for seasoning anything from the Christmas turkey to a chocolate caramel sauce (€4.99, www.irishatlanticsalt.ie).
Belfast’s Blackthorn Foods make a delectable Butter Fudge Fondue in an earthenware dish that can be heated and used as a dip or sauce. (£3.99, www.blackthornfoods.co.uk)
The freshly roasted crunch of the nuts in the Chocolate and Hazelnut Spread from the Chocolate Garden of Ireland make this a not-too-sweet spread for children and adults alike. (€5.95, www.chocolategarden.ie)
A spoonful of Llewellyn’s Balsamic Cider Vinegar lends a welcome tart piquancy to sauces and dressings – and a dash in a glass of hot water makes the ideal post-Christmas pick-me-up. (€9.50-€9.95, www.llewellynsorchard.ie)
And one extra small seasonal treat: Christmas in a crisp? The latest innovation from the Keogh’s crop-to-crisp family is a seasonal limited edition Roast Turkey and Secret Stuffing flavour. (99c, keoghs.ie)
More Christmas food gift ideas
2012 Irish food gifts from The Irish Times 2012 Christmas Supplement
2010 The Irish Times – Christmas supplement: Food glorious food
2009 The Irish Times Christmas Gift Supplement: Gift Grub
2009 The Irish Times Christmas Gift Supplement: Treats to Savour
2008 The Irish Times Christmas Supplement: Part One
2008 The Irish Times Christmas Supplement: Part Two
2008 The Irish Times Christmas Supplement: Part Three