It’s summer party season, and if you are headed away for the weekend, or just next door, treat your host to something more imaginative than a standard bottle of wine. HOBNOB gives you the foodie gifts to impress and delight even the most snobby host.
Make sure to include the background story with your gift—they are SO inspirational, admirable and plaise-worthy. We found stellar examples in the foodie realm that really stand out from the crowd to include in this roundup.
 Bumbleberry Farms Honey Creams
Tell your host to put down the Nutella because a new sweet spreadable obsession has arrived. Bumbleberry Farms’ honey creams are as deliciously decadent as they sound. Spread, stir, and drizzle into a honey frenzy with flavors like Lovers’ Leap Sea Salt Caramel, Squirrel Crazy Maple, Molten Lava Spiced Chocolate, and Sticky Buns Cinnamon.
It’s almost impossible to decide—so we recommend the Honey Cream Gift Set which includes all 4. Each is made from small batch honey carefully collected from hand-spun honeycomb. Though their bees may travel up to 55,000 miles, visiting more than two million flowers, Bumbleberry keeps things local with the addition of high-quality, all-natural ingredients in their honey creams, hand-selecting and sourcing the dairy and maple sugar from operations just down the road. Bumbleberry Farms, based in the foothills of Pennsylvania’s Laurel Mountains, is led by owner and “Queen Beekeeper” Karen Mosholder, who has gone from making 18 jars of her golden delicious spread at a time on her honey-house stove to now cooking up to 100 gallons a batch. $40. bumbleberryfarms.com
 Savannah Bee Company
Tupelo is a supreme honey, collected for two weeks every spring, while tupelo trees in the Southeastern swamps bloom globe-shaped clusters that glisten with nectar. Savannah Bee Tupelo Honey is very unique and only produced in the threatened tupelo ecosystem of the Altamaha and Apalachicola River Basins of Georgia and Florida. Gold Reserve Tupelo Honey comes in a limited edition, and gorgeous package—and the contents are just as special. $112 for an 80 oz bottle. savannahbee.com
 Tonewood Maple Syrup Cubes
Tonewood’s products are made with pure, premium maple syrup that is single-sourced, unblended, and free of additives. The Maple Cube, housed in a sleek black gift box, can be shaved over oatmeal, fruit, ice cream, and more—anything that could use a touch of golden sweetness. What a revolutionary concept.
Get your Maple Cube in two varieties: try Golden Delicate, which features a lighter, buttery maple flavor, or the more intense Dark Robust. Like wine, Tonewood’s artisan sugarmakers pay deep attention to their maple syrup’s terroir. Their trees grow in Mad River Valley, VT where the combination of rich soil, southern facing slopes, and high elevation allows them to produce a syrup with incredible flavor, clarity, and color. Raising the bar for maple products, Tonewood is also dedicated to preserving small-scale maple production and involved in funding climate research, local farming efforts, and sustainable, forest stewardship. $17. tonewoodmaple.com
 Hella Bitters
After years of obsessing over the perfect bitters, the team at Hella Bitters decided to hand craft its products in New York in small batches, using classic age-old techniques and only the best ingredients. With upwards of 130 botanical ingredients (yes, that’s 130) used in highly secretive formulas, their bitters are vibrant and complex.
For the DIY-ers, the Craft Your Own Bitters Kit includes essentials tools such as glass infusion jars, apothecary style dropper bottles, and a custom steel fine mesh strainer and funnel, plus their proprietary mix of herbs, spices, bittering agents, and dried fruit peel. Bring this to your budding mixologist hosts. $65. hellabitters.com
 La Tourangelle Artisan Coconut Oil
You might ask, why coconut oil? How does thus qualify as an artisanal pleasure? With its numerous health benefits, coconut oil is all-the-rage in certain crowds, but La Tourangelle takes their product to the next level with their 100% Fair Trade practices, extruding organic, extra virgin oil made from fresh coconuts—never dried.
La Tourangelle uses organic coconuts picked right off the tree to produce the freshest oil possible. The oil is processed by their revolutionary centrifuge technology, producing an oil with a unique light texture, while retaining all of its natural antioxidants and nutrients. With its super high quality, you can even use your coconut oil outside of the kitchen as a soothing moisturizer for dry hands and lips, deep hair conditioning treatments, and face masks. Perhaps a spa weekend is in order. $14. latourangelle.com
 Caravel Gourmet’s Infused Sea Salt
Salt is indispensable. These samplers with different flavor profiles are a thoughtful gift for that person who loves to dabble. The themed samplers offer six different salt varieties in each set. Choose from Spicy, French, Infused, Natural, and Smoked. From rosemary to Hawaiian bamboo jade, every dish can taste like something new, with just a flick of the wrist. $22. seasaltsuperstore.com
 Back to the Roots Herb Kits
Maybe your host has imagined dreamily snipping fresh herbs from a garden, but the closest thing to Eden is a rusty fire escape. Well, we’ve got their green-thumb fancies covered. Not much beats the satisfaction of nurturing a plant from seed, and Back to the Roots makes it incredibly easy with their line of ready-to-grow cans for small-space windowsill gardening. Just pop open the can, plant the seeds, water, wait patiently for nature to do its thing, and harvest. The Garden-in-a-Can Gift Set includes four organic herbs (basil, cilantro, oregano, and sage). Also nice to bring to those with kids, so they can have a fun summer project. backtotheroots.com
 Bittermilk Old Fashioned Mixer Gift Set
Channeling your inner master mixologist and crafting speakeasy-level cocktails has never been simpler. Based in Charleston, South Carolina, Bittermilk produces small batch, hand bottled, all-natural, non-alcoholic mixers inspired by classic cocktails.
The Old Fashioned Set, perfect for lovers of strong, serious cocktails, includes the Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Fashioned, the New Orleans Style Old Fashioned Rouge, and the Oaxacan Old Fashioned. Enormous amounts of attention is paid to the techniques used to prepare the unique ingredients in each mixer, creating complex, incredible layers of flavor.
Aged in Willett bourbon barrels, the Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Fashioned mixer is made with burnt sugar, a touch of orange peel, and classic old fashioned bitters spices like gentian root and cinchona bark.
Inspired by the traditional and beloved Sazerac cocktail, the New Orleans Style Old Fashioned Rouge has strong Absinthe-like notes from spices like wormwood, gentian root, and cochineal, a Peruvian red beetle that imparts the original red coloring of Peychaud’s bitters.
The Oaxacan Old Fashioned, packed with complex chile, chocolate, and dried fruit notes, is made from a base of dried Mexican chiles and raisins and a syrup aged in drums with cocoa husks. All you have to do is add your favorite booze and enjoy. $45. shop.bittermilk.com
 Red Rocker Candy Chocolate Bark
Simple but deliciously satisfying, Red Rocker Candy’s rich chocolate treats bring back the nostalgic flavors and sentiments of times-gone-by. Handmade using only the highest quality ingredients, owner Sue Charney is committed to old-fashioned values.
Keep it classic with her amazing chocolate bark, available in four flavors: Crispy (using crispy rice cereal), Marshmallow Coconut (a fun take with fluffy marshmallows and toasted coconut), Nonpareils (a grown-up version of the mini snow-capped chocolates of yesteryear), and Roasted Almond—all available in both milk and dark chocolate varieties. $12. redrockercandy.com
 Brooklyn Slate Co.
From a family-owned quarry in upstate New York, Brooklyn Slate Co. offers a natural platform for displaying cheese, hors d’oeuvres, and more. Use the accompanying soapstone pencil to inscribe a personal message to your host—and also to label what’s being offered. Also nice to send as a thank-you gift after the weekend—with pickles, cheese, or the makings for gourmet s’mores. $28 for the cheese board. $65-$80 for food/slate packages. brooklynslate.com
These ingredients are part of our weekend BBQ party plan. Whether you are showing up at a party, or preparing to host a fun BBQ, see my other details that will get the party flowin’.
See the formula for throwing a fresh and fabulous summer bbq in 16 Summer Fare