“Italian food baskets are the perfect gifts for any occasion, such as a housewarming present, a birthday gift, a baby shower gift for the hungry mother-to-be or for a sudden surprise. It is best to know if your recipient has any food allergies, so that you can avoid those foods that they can’t eat. But even if you aren’t sure, there are still a lot of choices in Italian cooking to make an attractive and delicious Italian food gift basket.
The centerpiece of any Italian food gift basket should be olive oil. It should be the best olive oil that you can afford. Splurge on olive oil like you would a fine wine. It’s much better for your lucky gift recipient than fine wine and so far, no one is allergic to it. It can be used for vegetarians, vegans, diabetics as well as the plain old omnivore. It is the basis for most Italian cooking.
There are many grades of olive oil. Don’t get what is labeled “”olive oil””. Italians use that for lighting lamps. You want to aim for extra-virgin olive oil. If you can’t afford that, then go for virgin olive oil. You can get flavored extra-virgin olive oil, but the safest bet for an Italian food gift basket is to keep it plain. Imported oils from Greece and Italy will cost more (and taste fabulous).
Spices And Sides
If you are not sure if your gift recipient can eat wheat, then skip pasta and use rice instead. Either that or skip a side dish altogether. You can put in a head of fresh garlic (also essential to Italian cooking) and other spices and dried herbs in the place of pasta. Pasta is relatively inexpensive and easy to get. However, people to tend to forget about how important spices are to cooking. With Italian food gift baskets, get basil, oregano and parsley.
You will be hailed as magnanimous if you can also include some authentic wedges of Italian cheeses such as Parmesan or Formaggio. Ideally, you don’t want anything for your Italian food gift basket that needs to be refrigerated, but if the travel distance is small and it’s the dead of winter, then you can get things that need to be refrigerated.
As an extra special touch, choose organic products. That way, you’ll not only give an Italian organic food gift basket, but you’ll be helping to promote eco-friendly farming practices. Although most eco-friendly experts say that you should only get local cheese and produce, that can be impossible with Italian foods.”