Channel's Santa's uncanny omniscience and consider which of your foodie friends would appreciate naughty (read: indulgent) gifts and which would rather have something nice (read: guilt-free). Here, a guide to five Chicago-made gifts sure to please both columns of your list this holiday season.
From Greektown to Pilsen, the food cultures in Chicago's many ethnic neighborhoods are as diverse as the good people who populate them, which is why this treasured Old Town shop has crafted a unique gift box packed with spice blends inspired by the city’s neighborhoods. The adventurous cook in your life will love crafting recipes with these. $27 for a four-jar box, $63 for a ten-jar box
Nothing says "happy holidays" like a jar of fruit preserves branded with an unintentionally festive name like Pear Tree Preserves. The Chicago-made jams can frequently be found at farmers’ markets across the city, including Logan Square Indoor Market, and is currently available in flavors like cherry citrus, honey blueberry, and raspberry and cherry. $8 per jar
This Ravenswood-based pottery studio is known for its small-batch, vintage-inspired dinnerware, and while anything and everything crafted here would make for the perfect foodie-friendly gift, we can't stop staring at the ceramic spoon rest with a sprinkle-encrusted doughnut painted on it. The playful piece comes in colors like "creamsicle," "lemon butter," and "bubblegum," and will brighten up the counter space in any kitchen—calories not included.
For the first time ever, local fast-food favorite Portillo's is shipping its famous, ultra-rich chocolate cake nationwide. The chocolate addict in your life will be forever indebted to you for leaving the cake kit, which includes two standard-sized cake layers, frosting, and a spatula for a do-it-yourself icing job, under his or her tree this year; if you're lucky, they'll share with you (or, even better: make you a Portillo's-style chocolate cake milkshake). $50, price includes cost of standard 2-day shipping
The handmade caramels from this Logan Square confectioner are made from local Illinois wildflower honey, organic sugar and agave nectar, real vanilla, Illinois extra-rich cream, and a touch of sea salt. Each caramel is wrapped in old-fashioned taffy wrap; flavors range from chai cranberry and mulled wine and ginger to chocolate candy cane and rosemary sea salt. $10 for a 4-ounce box, $17 for a 7-ounce box, and $30 for a 14-ounce box