Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Affordable & Memorable Gourmet Gift Ideas

Popular holiday food gifts include a bottle of wine, a popcorn tin and a goodie basket filled with edible treats which, once opened, have a limited shelf life. For a more memorable, longer lasting option, holiday shoppers may want to impress the foodie on their gift-lists with artisan gourmet olive oils and vinegars from The Olive Tap®.

With oils and vinegars that range from Sicilian Lemon Balsamic Vinegar to Garlic Olive Oil that are Italian and Californian in origin, these artisan olive oils and vinegars vary in taste and flavor for even the most discerning home chef. There are nearly 60 unique olive oils and vinegars available in 375 ml to 750 ml bottles that range from $9.45 to $33.90 and can be mixed and matched. Select specialty oils and vinegars are also available in 250 ml bottles. The Olive Tap® also offers elegant yet affordable gift baskets.

“Our exclusive olive oils and vinegars are sourced from around the world,” said Rick Petrocelly chief executive officer of The Olive Tap®. “We pride ourselves on the uniqueness of our products and the distinct flavor profiles that each individual olive oil and vinegar brings. Holiday guests are sure to be impressed by the taste of dishes infused with products such as the Tuscan Herb Olive Oil and Aceto Balsamico di Modena.”

The olive oils and vinegars can be tailored to everyone on holiday gift list including hostesses, businesses, teachers and foodies. Because each 375 ml bottle includes an average of 35 servings, the gift recipient will remember the thought behind the oil or vinegar each time they use it. The Olive Tap® offers a variety of affordable gift options including:

- For the holiday party host/hostess: The Mini Dipper ($19.95) is a “bring along” appetizer for hosts/hostesses. It includes Arbequina 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil, dipping seasonings and a decorative dipping bowl.

- For teachers: A bottle of the Apple Balsamic Vinegar ($15.75) is the perfect holiday thank you for children’s teachers. It has a delicious flavor of red apples and a thick, rich blend of 3 and 4 Leaf Quality Aceto Balsamico di Modena.

- For foodies: The Gourmet Sampler ($89.95) is the complete assortment of Olive Tap products. It’s sure to please any chef and includes Italiano 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil, the finest Aceto Balsamico di Modena, Sun-Dried Tomato Bruschetta Topping, Black and Green Olive Tapenade, Mad Mango Salsa, Sorrento Lemon Olive Oil, Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar and Roasted Garlic Champagne Mustard.

- For yourself: Holiday shoppers can treat themselves with a single bottle of olive oil or vinegar. One of the most popular flavors is the Tuscan Herb Olive Oil ($15.95) which has a proprietary blend of several herbs including Oregano, Basil, Garlic, and Rosemary.

- For the whole gift list: Any bottle can be personalized to fit a family, company or special holiday occasion. Dates, names, photos, logos or even a special quote or saying can be printed on either standard or custom labels (minimum required).

- For corporate gifts: The You Pick Three Gift Box ($59.95) has a professional look great for those in the business world. These bottles can even be etched with the company name and logo (minimum required). It includes three 375 ml bottles of any olive oil, balsamic vinegar or specialty oil/vinegar.

Whether they are included in the feast or wrapped as a gift, olive oils and vinegars with their unique tastes are sure to become a memorable part of every holiday celebration. Gift givers can even pair the olive oil infused Chocolate Chipotle Cake recipe below with the gourmet gifts above.

Chocolate Chipotle Cake

1 cup plus ½ tsp unsweetened cocoa
2 ¾ cups flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon The Olive Tap® Cinnamon
2 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon The Olive Tap® Cayenne Pepper
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups lowfat milk
½ cup mild olive oil such as The Olive Tap®’s Arbequina or Mission
½ cup The Olive Tap® Chipotle Olive Oil
2 large eggs
3 tablespoon The Olive Tap® Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar
Powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350◦. Butter two 8-in cake pans and dust with ¼ tbsp. cocoa in each. Discard excess cocoa.
2. Whisk remaining 1 cup cocoa, flour, sugars, cinnamon, soda, cayenne and salt in bowl to blend. Add milk, oils, eggs and vinegar. Whisk until smooth. Pour into pans, dividing batter evenly.
3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in each cake comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes.
4. Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes. Loosen the cakes from pans with a metal spatula. Turn each cake out onto a plate and cool completely. Sift powdered sugar onto cakes.

Additional Options: Mix 2 tbsp Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar with cocoa and spread glaze over cakes. Or mix Balsamic Vinegar with 2 tbsp raspberry preserves and spread over cakes.

About The Olive Tap®
The Olive Tap® is both a tasting emporium and gourmet market that offers a variety of olive oils, specialty oils, vinegars, spices, herbs, seasonings and more. Unlike mass-produced oils and vinegars, The Olive Tap® offers pure and fresh artisan products from around the world. The Olive Tap®’s proprietary procurement storage and packaging processes ensure its customers are offered the freshest, highest quality olive oils and authentic balsamic vinegars.

The Olive Tap® is headquartered in Long Grove, Illinois. It also has locations in Medina, Ohio, Downers Grove, Illinois, Manitou Springs, Colorado and West Palm Beach, Florida.

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