We can't resist beginning our holiday shopping already. We know, we know. What's wrong with us holiday-over-commercialization pushers — can't we wait until at least after Thanksgiving? Nope. Shopping for food people is so fun, we see no need for delay. It's like shopping for ourselves. And when we browse online, there's no hassle. Etsy is one of our favorite go-to online shops because when we buy there, we're supporting independent artists and creative entrepreneurs, often working from home. And the gifts are either vintage items or hand-crafted — pretty unique all around.
No matter what kind of food aficionado you're shopping for, there's an edible idea that will charm. And we mean all kinds of people.
1. Sci-Fi Fan: Star Wars Chocolates Gift Pack | Buy Now
Let the force be with you (couldn't help it) as you shop for the perfect gift to suit that hard-to-shop-for guy/gal in your life. If someone you love is a Millennium Falcon-DarthVader-R2D2-Han Solo fan (and into chocolate), they'll love this idea. In your order come one truffle Millennium Falcon, one Han Solo in Carbonite truffle bar, one solid-chocolate Darth Vader, one solid-chocolate Stormtrooper, one solid-chocolate Boba Fett, one solid-chocolate Mandalorian symbol, and and solid-chocolate R2D2. Each chocolate comes individually wrapped and professionally heat sealed. $15. Buy it here.
2. Grill Master (in her/his mind, at least): Gusto Rubs of the States | Buy Now
For the meat lover in your life, try some rubs inspired by the best of Southern barbecue. Get grilling and barbecue spices from five U.S. States: Lexington, North Carolina; Memphis, Tennessee; East Texas; Georgia; and Louisiana. In this set you will receive five rubs in 2-ounce tins showcasing the best of the South, wrapped in wine-colored tissue paper and housed in a kraft tin tie bag. $19.05. Buy it here.
3. Holistic Health Human: Tea Stirring Spoons with Essential Oils | Buy Now
Why bother with a boring metal spoon when these flavorful and healthy stirring spoons can mix it up in your tea, coffee, or even hot chocolate? They'll slowly dissolve and give your drink a great blend of beneficial 100-percent pure therapeutic-grade (and dietary approved) essential oils while slightly sweetening it at the same time.They will be made fresh upon ordering. This order comes comes with all six flavored spoons: Protective Blend, Metabolic Blend, Cinnamon, Lemon, Peppermint, and Wild Orange. $12.25. Buy it here.
4. Fancy Francophile: Lavender-Blueberry French Macarons | Buy Now
These are quite the delicacy, a great gift for anyone who appreciates the finer things in life. Once you bite into the delicate crispy macaron shell, you reach a chewy and airy almond meringue, tasting a delicate milk chocolate ganache flavored with organic lavender and a gel of blueberries in the middle of the filling. The result is a lovely combination of milk chocolate, lavender, and the refreshing fruity taste of the blueberries. There is no buttercream in these macarons. It's a chocolate filling, made of imported French chocolate for a more luxurious and lighter taste. Gluten free. The order comes with a dozen macarons, each is between 1.5 to 1.7 inches in diameter. $21. Buy it here.
5. Liquor/Brunch Lover: Bourbon-Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup | Buy Now
For the friend who loves her pancakes (or using maple syrup instead of sugar in baking), give her something much more special than the regular Aunt Jemima. This grade A medium Pennsylvania maple syrup is aged for three months in a 54-gallon bourbon barrel from A. Smith Bowman Distillery in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Taste the distinctive essence of Bourbon along with notes of vanilla and oak. But use and enjoy it as you would with any maple syrup. It's just got a little bit of an adult twist on a culinary staple. Comes in an 8-ounce, clear flip-top bottle. Get 2 bottles for $32. Buy it here.
6. Tea-Totaller: Tea of the Month Subscription | Buy Now
A new fragrant hot cup of tea for the brrr months and a fresh-fruity iced tea when you're sweaty-hot can be yours (or your gift recipient) without leaving the house. Choose between the caffeine-free herbal/rooibus package (such as Cranberry-Apple, Hibiscus, Almond-Amaretto Biscotti, or Brazil Green Yerba Mate) or the caffeine-full black/green tea package (with flavors like Lapsang Souchong, Blueberry, Sencha Kyoto Cherry Rose, and German Gingerbread) to have delicious teas delivered to the doorstep automatically every month. Your first month in the subscription will include your 2 ounces of tea, a stainless steal "perfect cup of tea" teaspoon, and an infuser for steeping. Each tea delivery provides about 20 to 25 cups of tea. You can choose the subscription length: three, six, or 12 months. Starts at $45.50. Buy it here. ShastaLooseLeafTeas
7. Parents: Gingerbread House Kit | Buy Now
Looking for a gingerbread house that you and your kids will actually want to eat before and after decorating? It's this one, made by a licensed and insured Miami bakery using the best ingredients like cream butter, vanilla extract, and paste. They bake and decorate one to two days before shipping your order so the cookie components taste fresh and great. The includes: eight delicious gingerbread pieces (4 walls, 2 roof, 1 door, and two ginger people); a sturdy white base to place the gingerbread house on 6-8 different types of candies; white and colored icing packages; a small bag of eyes for the ginger people, colorful dragees, and "snow." $49.50. Buy it here.
8. Movie Buff: Popcorn Seasoning Sampler | Buy Now
Feed your friend's crunchy snack cravings and up your popcorn game with a collection of eight hand-mixed salt-spice blends, including: Strawberry Vanilla Milkshake, Dill Pickle, Sweet Maui Onion, Salted Caramel, Pizza, Key Lime Pie, Spicy Cajun, and Dark Chocolate. We could go on. The tins come with complete ingredient lists, and are packaged in a gift box with instructions of how to pop popcorn the old-fashioned way. Each tin is food-safe, labeled, and sealed for freshness, and holds up to 2.5 ounces of topping. (That's enough for several bowls per flavor.) Some ingredients are organic, some conventional. They source as many ingredients as they can from small farmers, as well as some of the best suppliers overseas, from Hawaiian sea salts to European dark cocoa powder. $32.95. Buy it here.
9. Sugar Addict: Marshmallow Sampler Pack | Buy Now
A homemade fluffy mound of marshmallow whispering of vanilla and rose essences — You've never had a marshmallow like this. But there's more. Pick three current marshmallow flavors (chocolate, cardamom, caramel, maple, espresso, passionfruit or rose vanilla) and you'll get three packages of six 1.25-inch marshmallows each. That's a total of 18 cubes of yummy marshmallow goodness. You can also buy two kinds of hot chocolate from the Brooklyn-based founders of Whimsy and Spice. $9.50. Buy it here.
10. Heat Thrill Seeker: JC Hot Sauce, 3-Pack | Buy Now
For the spicy-hot fan in your family, choose three flavors among the four options of this Brooklyn-made and bottled hot sauce. JC Original Hot Sauce has a blend of three Mexican chilis; JC Jalapeño Onion is a mild and smooth sauce to enhance your poultry or seafood dish without overpowering the delicate flavors; JC Spicy Chipotle has a blend of Japanese chiles and chipotle peppers for a deep smoky flavor with just a bit of spice, great for burger-topping and fry-dipping; and limited-time-only JC Pumpkin Habanero has an extra spicy taste of fresh, local, oven-roasted habaneros and pumpkin with a slight hint of cinnamon. $18. Buy it here.
— Head Photo: Whimsy and Spice
Amy Sowder is a NYC-based food and fitness writer as well as the assistant editor for Chowhound. She loves cheesy things, especially toasties and puns. She's trying to like mushrooms. Her running habit is the excuse for her never-ending ice cream pursuits. Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and her blog, What Do I Eat Now. Learn more at AmySowder.com.