6 Festive Finds for the Foodie on Your Holiday Shopping List

Make the culinary-minded recipients on your holiday list happy.

1. Cheese Boards


Milwaukee ceramic artist Geryn Roche makes functional and fun cheese boards that deserve centerpiece status on any table. Roche’s works get their distinctive vintage look from the decorative monotype print with glaze. They’re also dishwasher- and microwave-safe.

Photo courtesy of Geryn Roche

2. Infused Maple Syrup


The small-batch infused maple syrups from Stevens Point’s Tapped are like nothing you’ve ever slathered on a stack of pancakes. Espresso, hops, ginseng and red pepper are some of the unexpected ingredients. Wondering what on earth to do with maple syrup flavored with spicy black umami garlic? Add it to a savory sauce or vinaigrette for a sweet-pungent kick.

Photo courtesy of Tapped Maple Syrup


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3. Tea Towels


These deliciously soft Gingiber flour-sack tea towels, screen- printed by Orchard Street Press in St. Francis, are almost too pretty to use. But their texture gets more supple after washing, while the whimsical patterns still retain their vibrant colors, so resist the urge to keep them just for show.

Photo courtesy of The Waxwing

4. Hot Honey

Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Farmers United


Dana Spandet, the Flour Girl of Flour Girl & Flame pizza fame, makes a hot honey you’ll want to drizzle over your next slice of cheese and pepperoni. Heck, you’ll want to pour this sweet/subtly spicy condiment, infused with local fermented pepper mash, over roasted vegetables and include it as the star addition to a cheese and charcuterie board.

5. Herbal Infusions


Milwaukee’s Urbal Tea specializes in functional herbal infusions, such as the soothing Winter Wellness, a caffeine-free beverage that combines lemon verbena, peppermint and anise seed to help keep you warm and well during these cold-weather months.

Photo courtesy of Urbal Health

6. Pufferfish Bitters Blend

Photo courtesy of Bittercube


Bitters, which incorporate aromatic herbs, alcohol and water, are added to cocktails to essentially balance the flavors in the drink. MKE-based Bittercube created the Pufferfish Bitters Blend (for Bay View’s Pufferfish patio cocktail lounge) to enhance the exotically fruity, spicy flavor profile of tiki drinks. It’s a requisite addition to any home cocktail bar. 



This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s December issue.

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Ann Christenson has covered dining for Milwaukee Magazine since 1997. She was raised on a diet of casseroles that started with a pound of ground beef and a can of Campbell's soup. Feel free to share any casserole recipes with her.