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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Specialty Gift Baskets

I can always tell when the Christmas season is upon us by the thickness of the pile of catalogs in the mail. Several zillion of those catalogs sell food of all types and varieties, and at prices that are high, ridiculous, and absurd. Yet, the contents are sometimes wonderful and the cost, well, it's a gift, after all.

But how many of those gourmet foods are edible by those of us with special diets?

Julie Wiener of the Associated Press did some investigating. Some of what she found should be of interest.

- Allison's Gourmet (

Allison Rivers Samson specializes in vegan sweets (no animal products, including dairy and eggs) such as cookies, brownies, fudge, chocolates, caramels and coffee. Everything also is organic. She also offers cookie- and brownie-of-the-month clubs. From $27.95 to $115.80.

- Carriage House Gifts (

Twenty years of catering to her husband's gluten-free diet has armed Kay Crow with plenty of experience for assembling specialty baskets for those with wheat and gluten allergies. Among the eight baskets she offers (as well as a build-your-own option) are Pasta Lover's Basket, Kids' Zone (featuring gluten-free mac and cheese) and The Sweeter Side (with muffins, cookies and candy). From $15.95 to $39.95. [Note that while gluten-free, not all the baskets are dairy-free.]

- Divvie's (

Frustrated that her severely allergic son, Benjamin, always had to bring his own nut-free, dairy-free and egg-free goodies to birthday parties, Lori Sandler, of South Salem, New York, developed a line of food allergy-friendly baked goods and treats. Gift baskets featuring cookies, brownies and a variety of flavored popcorns range from $28 to $72.

- (

Whether it's Hanukkah or a bar mitzvah, this company has a gift basket for the occasion. Basket choices include smoked salmon, bagels and baked goods, as well as numerous healthy and organic packages. From $16.95 to $259.95.

- Well Baskets (

In addition to low-fat, sugar-free, gluten-free and other healthy food gifts, the site sells packages designed for folks with Alzheimer's, cancer, insomnia, even depression, anxiety and fertility issues. The fertility basket includes plenty of folate-rich foods such as broccoli soup, lentil soup and spinach pasta, as well as chamomile tea for relaxing.

Founder Tamara Doherty assembles her baskets based on research and consultations with dietitians. From $19.99 to $125.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just want to say that we send Divvies to friends and family all the time. They are the most thoughtful gift -- not only taste delicious and are packaged beautifully...everyone loves Divvies whether they have food allergies or not!