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How to Make a Gorgeous Food Gift Basket

Mrunal Belvalkar
A gift basket is one of the awesome-est gift ideas! What could be more pleasant than to receive an assortment of all your favorite things? Keep reading, to learn to make a food gift basket...
Gift baskets are indeed a wonderful way to show the recipient that you really care. How? Simple - it is quite difficult to fill an entire basket with gifts unless you really know someone well.
A gift basket conveys the message that you have actually spend more than a thought while picking a gift for the recipient. That is why it is always a good idea to make a gift basket on your own rather than buying the ready-made gift baskets available in different stores or online.
There can be many different types of gift baskets - holiday gift basket, baby gift basket, Christmas gift basket, wine gift basket, etc. But the perfect gift basket for a foodie would be a food gift basket.

Food Gift Basket Shopping List

When we think of a gift 'basket', we can immediately picture something on the lines of what Little Red Riding Hood carried for her grandmother. So we will going to work with that imagery! First of all, you will need to buy a few things to make a good food gift basket. Here is the list -

Wicker Basket

Though it is not mandatory to get a 'wicker' basket (even plastic ones works), a wicker basket has the unmistakable 'basket' feel; a strong recommendation. Get one that is large as well as deep enough, preferably oval/rounded rectangle-shaped and with a handle.

Red Ribbon

Again not mandatory, but a big bow made from red-colored ribbon attached to the handle of the basket looks really neat and pretty!

Cloth Napkin

This will serve as a lid for the basket. You do get wicker baskets with a lid, but a napkin looks prettier. Try to get a white and red checks napkin (looks best on the brown background of the wicker basket).
Apart from these, you may add a small bunch of flowers from your garden (adds to the visual appeal of the basket), or a stuffed toy (especially if the food gift basket is for your girlfriend!), or even a custom-made music CD of the recipient's favorite tracks (food and music go so well together!) and other decorative items.
Make sure that you try to make the gift basket look good - for as much as the goodies inside, a gift basket is also about the imagery.

Cooked Food vs. Food Ingredients

While making a food gift basket, there can be two lines on which you may work. If the basket is meant for a foodie, you may include ready-to-eat/cooked food items. If, however, you intend to give the basket to a person who is fond of eating as well as cooking food, then you may fill the basket with an assortment of special (possibly rare) food ingredients.
The advantage of this is that the recipient can continue to use your gift basket goodies for a long time, and will think of you every time he/she uses it! For someone who is not very fond of cooking, a consumable food gift basket would be a better option.

Food Gift Basket Ideas

Irrespective of the type - cooked food gift basket or food ingredient gift basket - the following themes will work just fine. Here are a few good ideas...

BBQ World!

If the recipient of your food gift basket is one of those people who can live on barbecued food for the rest of their lives, then this would be the best kind of food gift basket for you to make!
If the recipient has a barbecue grill, you may include raw meat in the basket. If the recipient does not have a barbecue grill, well then, you are going to have to pack barbecued meat!
Be sure to include different kinds of meat - pork, ham, sausage, chops, chicken, beef, etc. - but include more of the particular meat the recipient really likes.
Special Tip: How about including some special kind of seasoning? Italian herbs or something? Or some extra nice barbecue sauce? A crate of beer would also go well with a BBQ gift basket.

By The Sea...

For those who like sea food, receiving a seafood gift basket would be paradise!
However, for obvious reasons related to the olfactory stimulation induced by raw seafood (!), it would be best to make a seafood gift basket of cooked food rather than raw seafood. Again, be sure to include more of what the recipient likes - lobsters, crab, shrimp, prawns, whatever it may be.
You may even prepare an exotic dish from some fancy cookbook and put it in the basket - your friend is sure to be licking his/her fingers for days to come! If you are not sure of your culinary skills however, you may get a parcel of your friend's favorite seafood dish from your friend's favorite restaurant and add it to the basket.
Special Tip: A creamy homemade tartar sauce dip, or a yummy coleslaw preparation would be the perfect thing to add to a seafood gift basket. You can even add your friend's favorite fries - fries and fish make an awesome combination!

Baker's Delight!

Bakery items are a weak point for many people! You simply cannot say no to some things in life - bakery items are one of those things for a foodie. To make a food gift basket for such a person is quite easy! Include donuts, puffs, fruit bread, muffins, waffles, cookies, biscuits, crackers... and most importantly cakes!
Buy these from the best bakers in your city - or you may make these at home, if you think you are the best baker in town! If your friend is a baker himself/herself, you may include special flours in the basket for your friend to try out.
Special Tip: How about including canned fruits with the basket? Fresh fruits would also be a good idea. You may even add homemade jam, honey, or maple syrup - tastes yum with bakery products!

Sweet Tooth

Everybody has a sweet tooth; some have a small one, some have a big one, while some have more than one! But everybody has at least one. If your friend is the one who likes his/her toothpaste to be also flavored, then a dessert gift basket would be the best one to make!
A good idea would be to have a theme for the different desserts you include in the basket - like Italian desserts, or Spanish desserts, etc. Take a tour of the different shops in your city, or pick an assortment of different desserts from your friend's favorite restaurant.
Special Tip: How about bringing a smile to a diabetic person's face? A sugar-free desserts gift basket could be a delight for a diabetic person... something he/she will really cherish and love you for!

Choco Indulgence

Chocolates. Having a chocolate when you are really craving one can be orgasmic. Seriously! It has been actually proved in the study that chocolates get a woman's heart beating faster than a picture of Brad Pitt!
If your friend is fond of chocolates, a chocolate gift basket would have your friend on the floor and kissing the hem of your robe (or jeans)! Include dark chocolates, liquor chocolates, milk chocolates, white chocolates, molten chocolates, chocolate syrup - you get the drift, right?
Special Tip: You can include plain bread sticks or crackers in a chocolate gift basket, especially if you are going to include chocolate syrup and molten chocolate in it. Bread sticks, chocolate syrup, a nice book and a warm rug... WOW!

Nature's Bounty

For the health and nutrition fanatic, a fruit gift basket would be a wonderful idea.
A great idea would be to incorporate fruits based on a particular theme. You can have a berry gift basket, a citrus gift basket, etc. You can even have a color theme for a fruit gift basket!
For example, you can include all red-colored fruits in the basket - like apples, cherries, strawberries, apricots, dragon fruit... the list is endless! If you have a fruit tree in your house, you may even include them in the basket.
Special Tip: Fresh fruit tastes real good with yogurt fruit dip - maybe you can make a lip-smacking dip at home and add it to the basket. Another option would be to include a small handy fruit juice maker.

Food Gift Basket Add-ons

Here are some food gift basket add-ons that you can incorporate into your own custom-made gift basket -
  • Recipe book (for an 'ingredients' food gift basket)
  • Restaurant vouchers (a good idea if you picked up a special preparation from some restaurant, or if your friend particularly loves a restaurant)
  • Serving guide (for world cuisine dishes/preparations)
  • Serving utensils or cutlery (for example, barbecue sticks in a BBQ gift basket, wine goblets in a cheese and wine gift basket, etc.)
Hope you craft a lovely food gift basket using the mentioned ideas.