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What is one of the best ways to experience a destination? Through the food, of course! Food tours all over the county have become a popular way to explore a place. The pandemic may have brought that to a screeching halt for now, but luckily you can order taste boxes delivered to your front door to explore new taste sensations without stepping foot outside. Plus, these boxes are a fantastic way to support small businesses. Here’s a collection of my favorites.
For a taste of the Pacific Northwest, try Knack’s Seattle boxes. Collections include “Carnivore’s Delight,” “Seattle Perks,” “Luxe Wine,” “Deluxe Breakfast,” and other mouthwatering options. You’ll find iconic sockeye salmon as well as surprises like Girl Meets Dirt preserves (specialty jams meant to pair with savory dishes with flavors like rhubarb lavender) and Steel Drum Plantains (a signature dish at Miss Marjorie’s restaurant). What’s so fantastic about this gift box is its flexibility: You can choose a box that’s already curated, build your own assortment, or even add items to an already curated box! You can also choose by ethos: Want to support sustainability, women-owned businesses, minority businesses? That’s possible, too! Each gift includes the option to include a personal message and prices start at $45.
Sink your teeth into iconic flavors of the Prairie State with Tastes of Chicago. From savory to sweet, the bases are covered. Among deep dish pizza connoisseurs, Lou Malnati’s stands among the best—Chicagoans who’ve moved away from home ship these pies to their new location as a special treat. The pizzas are partially baked and then flash-frozen and shipped within 48 hours. Portillo’s Italian beef, Devanco Foods gyros, Manny’s corned beef, Eli’s Cheesecakes, Lezza chocolate cake, and Capannari ice cream are also offered among the various packages and combos available with prices starting at $25.
Attention seafood lovers: Bring the taste of the ocean to your door, whether or not you live near enough to hear waves crashing on sand. Order a lobster roll kit from Luke’s Lobster and each bite of the rich, buttery meat is a decadent celebration. The bundle that serves four includes a pound of flash-frozen lobster meat plus Luke’s secret seasoning blend and four split rolls for $90 plus shipping. Luke’s also offers whole lobsters, lobster claws, a crab roll bundle that serves eight, Maine monkfish fillets, dayboat scallops, lobster bisque, clam chowder, lobster mac & cheese, and so much more with free shipping on orders of $125 or more.
This ‘meat locker’ in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana is renowned for its slow-cured and smoked meats, salumi, and sausages. Load your charcuterie plate with options like duck prosciutto and salami made with juniper berries and orange zest. Try “Hillbelly Sausage” with bacon, clove, cinnamon and ginger; “Kitchen Sink Sausage” with bacon, espelette pepper, mustard, and parsley, as well as chorizo, bratwurst, andouille, and other perennial favorites. Stock up on applewood smoked bacon, “City Ham” with clove, juniper, bay leaves, and “Jowl Bacon” with coriander. You can also find wagyu corned beef, bone-in crudo ham, pig and fig terrine, dry-cured lamb ham, and other treasures. Free shipping on sampler packs.
Crawfish is an iconic Cajun ingredient. If you happen to love it, great news: You can order live crawfish from Louisiana Crawfish. For over 35 years, the family-owned business has been shipping live crawfish from Natchitoches, Louisiana. It has other options, too, like five-pound bags of Gulf shrimp or a complete Cajun crawfish boil. Order straight from the company for regional shipping or order at Goldbelly.com for delivery wherever you are in the USA.
Any bagel or bread lover should make an effort to get to Zingerman’s Deli at some point. Until then, treat yourself or someone you love to one of the many gift boxes available to ship all over the country. The Deli knows what it is doing with nearly 80 options to choose among on its website. You’ll find packages with cheeses, meats, pastries, vegetarian only selections, or a combination of all. With names like “The Tapas,” “Adventurous Cheeses of the World,” “Dorm Move-In Box,” and “Dad’s Lost Weekend,” these are anything but your average gift box. Don’t miss out on what made Zingerman’s famous: Reuben Sandwich Kits! Prices start at $49.
Wisconsin takes cheese making to a whole new level. After a 10-year stint with a cheesemaker’s license, one can then apply for the three-year apprenticeship to become a Master Cheesemaker. You can find at least one cheesemaker at Renard’s Cheese shop in Door County, Wisconsin, which has been a family business for over 60 years. If you love cheese or are ordering a cheese box as a gift, you definitely want to get it from Rendard’s. Start small with the “Snack Pack” or go all in with “The Ultimate Treasure” which presents of the best cheeses, sausage, wine, mustards, spreads, and cherries. Prices start at $26.99.
Until we can all hop on a plane and feel totally comfortable dining elbow to elbow, explore some tasty options with just a few clicks!
Malika Bowling is the editor at Roamilicious.com and the author of Food Lovers’ Guide to Atlanta. She’s been featured on HGTV and Huffington Post and has contributed to Beer Connoisseur, PureWow, and USA Today. Malika has also served as a judge at various culinary competitions and food festivals including the World Food Championships. She loves hiking, exotic travels, and Negronis.