The Gift of Grits (or Grigio)

There are plenty of ways to be generous with food and drink this holiday season. Here are a few.


Here it is barely November, so what better time for holiday shopping than right now?

* The folks at Florida’s only rice farm/mill, Congaree & Penn, whom I praised in our October Food Adventures story (you can read it here!) are offering several gift boxes full of amazing goods. Ranging from $40 to $85, the bespoke wooden boxes contain rice and rice grits in white, brown and purple varieties, as well as vinegar-based shrubs, heritage jellies and C&P pecan oil.

* Marshmallow mavens Wondermade has brilliant fall and winter flavored sugar treat assortments like pumpkin pie, apple cinnamon, chai; and honey pear, bourbon, peanut butter and raspberry hot chocolate toppers packed in tin containers.

* Orlando winery Quantum Leap boxes their favorite white and red varietals in easy to gift packages. From $55 to $75. They also carry Snowbirds wines from local chef Jamie McFadden.

* With the world’s vintners in mind, Tim’s Wine Market continues its Reserve Clubs, where $149 a quarter gets two or three wines every three months. American or European versions are available for the selective oenophile.  

* Orlando coffee roaster 2nd Crack uses 100% Arabica beans from Central and South America to make full-bodied and exclusive packs of estate and organic beans.

* If you’d rather give something longer lasting than a marshmallow, Rifle Paper Co. has an assortment of meal planners, recipe boxes and lovely prints designed for the food lover.

* Of course, you can never go wrong with a gift card (unless you send a vegetarian a prezzie of steak), and Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine, The Ravenous Pig, Canvas in Lake Nona, Emeril’s, 4 Rivers Smokehouse and Ethos Vegan Kitchen are just a few offering the gift of choice.

* And if making a difference makes a difference, a holiday donation to Second Harvest Food Bank, or the Pearlman Emergency Pantry at Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando means that those in need can share your good fortune.


* The Second Annual Seafood and Jazz Festival happens on November 12 in Zellwood, with 20 food vendors like Cousins Maine Lobster, Willy Ts Crab Shack and Peru Power Food Truck, and performances by Caleb Joel, Dayve Stewart and Tracey Phipps.

* Taste of Sanford commences on November 14, with samples from the growing coterie of Sanfordian supper sanctuaries, including The Tennessee Truffle, The Smiling Bison, Jimotti’s and Otter’s on the River.

Stumbled upon a new fave restaurant? Comments? Questions? Disagreements? Stay in touch with Joseph at You can access a comprehensive list of his print and online reviews here!


Categories: Savor Orlando