Take a trip around the world without ever leaving Costco.
- If your foodie friend likes things finely aged, look for balsamic vinegar or gourmet ham.
- Those seeking the exotic might like black ginseng from Korea or saffron from Greece.
- Not sure what to get? A gift basket of chocolates and gourmet snacks is a safe choice for just about anyone.
You can definitely make excellent meals on just about any budget. But foodies know that a lot of the best ingredients are the worst for your finances. That’s why one of the best holiday gifts for food lovers is something gourmet or exotic they wouldn’t normally buy for themselves.
And, believe it or not, you can find a lot of great foodie gifts at your local Costco. From aged vinegars to the most expensive spice in the world, you can get it all with your Costco membership. Check out some of our favorite finds.
1. Aged balsamic vinegar
Much like a fine wine or spirit, the qualities of balsamic vinegar vary depending on how — and how long — it’s aged. Costco carries several types of balsamic vinegar, but the two that pique our interest are from Mazzetti. Imported from Italy, these balsamics have been barrel-aged for 12 years or 25 years, with price tags of $60 and $90, respectively.
2. Korean black ginseng
Purported to be a delicacy in Korea, this black ginseng is made from four- to five-year-old ginseng roots that have been steamed and dried nine times before being preserved in honey. You’ll get 20 sticks in a $110 package.
3. Sturgeon caviar
Caviar is all but synonymous with hoity-toity food, but you don’t need to be monocle-and-top-hat rich to lavish it on your friends and loved ones. No, you just need a Costco membership. They have a huge variety of caviar options, from four-figure tins to more budget-friendly gift sets in the $100 to $130 range.
4. Spanish ham
When regular meat gets old, you throw it out. When fancy meat gets old — you charge double. And as backwards as it seems, it’s worth the price. Take the aged Serrano hams you can pick up from Costco. Handcrafted in Spain, these hams have aged for at least a year, gaining a depth of flavor your grocery store pig can’t beat. Be prepared to part with some serious bacon, though, as the price tags are between $120 and $250.
5. Manuka honey
The only honey with its own unique grading system, Manuka honey is derived from Manuka flowers found in the wilds of New Zealand that bloom just a few weeks a year. Costco carries several size and brand options, across a variety of grades; the higher the UMF number, the better the purity — and the higher the price tag, with the most expensive option topping $100 when not on sale.
6. Greek saffron
Dubbed the most expensive spice in the world, a pound of saffron can come with a four-figure price tag. You don’t need to drain your bank account to pick some up for a friend, however, as you can grab a 14-gram jar of hand-selected saffron from Greece for just $80 at Costco.
7. A gourmet gift basket
Take a festive basket and stuff it full of chocolates, cheese, or wine? Who wouldn’t love that?! No one, the answer is no one. Because pretty much everyone on the planet is happy to receive a gift basket full of gourmet goodies. Costco has more than 100 different gift baskets, holiday towers, and charcuterie boards to choose from, so you can find the perfect fit for your favorite foodie — and your holiday budget.
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