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South Carolina Food Gifts Deliver Regional Flavors

Libby Wiersema Libby Wiersema
Libby Wiersema lived in California and Alabama before settling in South Carolina 30 years ago, where she's covered the state's best culinary offerings and tells the stories behind the food.
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The Palmetto State is a gourmand's paradise. But if your favorite foodie can't get to South Carolina, how about delivering a taste of South Carolina to your favorite foodie? The rich flavors of the region are expressed in a wide array of locally produced items, from savory snacks to specialty dishes to artisan cheeses to baked goods. The online presence of some of the state's finest food purveyors makes sharing these products a piece of cake - and you can take that literally.

Bittermilk - Custom cocktail gift set

Refinement and class, South Carolina style - that's what you'll give when you send this trio of mix and match cocktail mixers. Included in your set are two letterpressed coasters tucked away in a linen pouch and a notecard with your personal message. Cheers!

Bradford Watermelon Company - Bradford Watermelon Products

Brandy! Pickles! Molasses! What could this trio of gift ideas possibly have in common? Watermelons! Specifically, each is being made from Sumter County's legendary Bradford watermelons -- considered the sweetest and juiciest of all watermelons (hence all the exciting punctuation.) Foodies will fawn over the molasses, in particular, with its fruit-forward flavors representing 170 years of South Carolina agricultural tradition. The fact that all proceeds support the Bradford family's global project to supply fresh water to areas in need makes this one of the sweetest gifts of the season.

Bulls Bay Saltworks - Gift box

Gifts from the sea don't always have fins or shells. Sourced from the mineral-rich, pristine waters of Bulls Bay, these salts are something special and deliver a taste of South Carolina that will make them a prized component of any cook's spice cabinet. Smoked sea salt, Charleston sea salt and Red Mash sea salt are beautifully packaged and ready for gift-giving.

Charleston Artisan Cheesehouse - Large gift basket

What's in the mother lode of South Carolina gift baskets? Oh, just a few savory eats like wheels of artisan-crafted cheeses, hand-whipped cream cheese, Charleston Spice Company Mediterranean blend and a bottle of Olinda olive oil. Add a good loaf of French bread, fruit and wine for a light supper.

Charleston Specialty Foods - Carolina Plantation rice package

Considered by food historians to be South Carolina's most important heirloom crop, Charleston Gold Rice makes a royal gift. This particular package contains two bags of rice from Carolina Plantation: Carolina Gold and aromatic Charleston Gold, both grown in Darlington County. For a crowning touch, included is a silver-plated Charleston rice serving spoon that will be treasured for years to come.

Charleston Tea Garden - Tea chest

Give a gift that lingers and soothes with a selection of teas from Charleston Tea Garden, the only tea plantation in the country. While that's impressive as is, this gift of liquid gold is even more treasured when presented in a handsome chest. And if that's still not high-flown enough, ask about custom engraving to really wow the recipient of this elegant South Carolina gift.

Daisy Cakes - Moonshine Cakes

From a simple home kitchen to a nationally renowned bakery operation, Daisy Cakes has turned fresh eggs, butter and hand-sifted flour into a baked-goods dynasty. Sweets lovers will swoon over a pair of Moonshine Cakes - one carrot and one chocolate. They arrive whimsically packaged in jars, each infused with a splash of South Carolina's own Palmetto Moonshine. A complimentary jar of moonshine-soaked cherries is sometimes offered during the holidays with an order of these boozy cakes. But do heed the bakery's caution: Please eat responsibly.

Food for the Southern Soul - Sullivan's Island Supper gift box

Celebrant of South Carolina culinary culture and barbecue master, Jimmy Hagood, shares his food passions online through his aptly named enterprise, Food for the Southern Soul. Pay the website a visit for a thoughtful mix of gift baskets and products featuring good things from the Palmetto State. The Sullivan's Island Supper Gift Box contains a rare addition, Charleston Favorites Okra Soup, along with the much-prized Charleston Gold Rice from Lavington Farms, where Hagood, himself, grows the heirloom grain. A jar of hot pepper jelly - great for slathering on biscuits - completes this Lowcountry package.

Marsh Hen Mill - Breakfast sampler box

This sampler by Edisto Island's Marsh Hen Mill offers tantalizing instruction on how to properly break a fast, South Carolina-style. It's packed with the best of locally produced breakfast goodies and corn products milled on-site: grits, cornmeal and coffee from a Charleston roaster. Applewood-smoked bacon and a 6-inch Lodge skillet complete this breakfast bundle.

Grey Ghost Bakery - Coffee Lovers gift box

Grey Ghost Bakery turns out some of the most delectable cookies in Charleston. When paired with locally roasted java from King Bean, it's a match made in coffee-break heaven. The Coffee Lovers Gift Box features Chocolate Espresso and spicy Chocolate Cayenne cookies - a dozen each - with a 12-oz. bag of King Bean Roasters La Dolce Vita blend. Your personalized message makes this an extra special delivery.

Island Fudge Shop - South Carolina Chocolate box

This Hilton Head institution of sweet toothery offers several South Carolina-themed gifts. The South Carolina Chocolate Box represents with a generous state-shaped, Palmetto tree-stamped chocolate surrounded by other chocolate natural wonders like candy butterflies and sea shells. For fun, order a chocolate gator on the side, or for a refined Southern touch, choose handmade pralines, packaged prettily in a South Carolina decorative tin.

McLeod Farms - Carolina Creation gift basket

This beloved McBee peach farm does more than grow good things to eat - they are also gift central, especially at the holidays. For a gift bursting with South Carolina flavors, choose the Carolina Creation basket filled with local products like peanut brittle, sweet potato butter, chow chow, peach barbecue sauce, honey and Blizzard Branch grits.

Olde Colony - Fruitcake

Leave it to the folks who bring us buttery benne wafers to concoct a fruitcake that's found favor among the masses. This loaf rises above fruitcake's questionable reputation to outshine the bad rap garnered by its predecessors. Green and red maraschino cherries, pineapple and plenty of sweet pecans go into every batch. Before baking, the loaf gets a seven-day rum bath before hitting the oven in keeping with Southern holiday tradition. Each fruitcake comes wrapped and boxed for the holidays. Go ahead and throw in a few bags of benne wafers for stocking stuffers.

Soby's - Garlic and cheddar Biscuits; Chef experience

The savory biscuits from Soby's in Greenville have been in high demand since they were first whipped up on a whim in the restaurant's early days. Though never intended to be an actual menu item, these drop biscuits continue to be a strong favorite among customers.

For those who can't get enough, there's now a mix available for purchase so the richly delicious nuggets can be enjoyed whenever the urge strikes. If you'd like to really impress your foodie, kick your gift up several notches by throwing in a "Chef for a Day" package, which gets you and three guests into the kitchen with the restaurant's chef. You'll actually prepare a meal and get your very own personalized chef coat. It's a bit pricey, but if you're looking for the ultimate in South Carolina culinary thrills, this might be it.

Split Creek Farm - Custom gift basket

Three words: Goat milk fudge. If you've never had it, this is the place to get it. Of course, once you indulge, you'll want to share this ambrosial find with someone special. Create a gift basket with selections of this amazing award-winning fudge and cheeses lovingly crafted from the milk of goats raised on Split Creek Farm in Anderson.

Young Plantations - South Carolina box

This Pee Dee pecan outlet and gift shop has just the thing for the snacker on your list. The South Carolina Box is brimming with candied pecans, benne wafers, cheese straws and more. It all comes attractively packaged in a container imprinted with the state logo, just to make sure recipients don't forget where all that good taste came from.

Libby Wiersema
Libby Wiersema lived in California and Alabama before settling in South Carolina 30 years ago, where she's covered the state's best culinary offerings and tells the stories behind the food.