Friday’s Featured Artisan – Sonoma Harvest

Friday’s Featured Artisan – Sonoma Harvest

Have you ever tried a pomegranate white balsamic vinegar, or a Tahitian lime olive oil?  Staples such as extra virgin olive oil and barrel-aged balsamic vinegar can be found in almost every kitchen and pantry in the US, of course, but what makes cooking with oils and vinegars exciting is the endless possibilities of flavor profiles. Creating different blends of oils and vinegars can take a simple dish and elevate it to decadent heights, and Friday’s Featured Artisan, Sonoma Harvest, produces some of the most innovative flavors around. For the domestic diva who is busily putting together a home-cooked meal for a family of four and the head chef who is preparing a masterpiece at a gourmet restaurant, the epicurean experts at Sonoma Harvest see the potential of cooking with different flavors of oils and vinegars as totally limitless. Based in beautiful Sonoma County, California wine country, home to some of the finest winemakers, cheesemongers, artisan farmers and food producers in the world, Mike Brossier and his wife Francine established Sonoma Harvest in 2009. At that time, they started out with one employee and a daring vision: to bring the love of good food to the tables, kitchens and pantries across the United States. Seven years later, Sonoma Harvest has over 50 employees and is proud to be a part of the wine country lifestyle and heritage, producing some of the finest gourmet oils, vinegars, mustards and honeys in the world. GiftTree is excited to offer Sonoma Harvest’s D’Anjou Pear Balsamic Vinegar in a few of our exclusive gift baskets! How to use it, you ask? Try it as a vinaigrette in a salad! Combine the Pear Balsamic Vinegar with a light to medium extra virgin olive oil to bring...
Friday’s Featured Artisan: Volpi Foods

Friday’s Featured Artisan: Volpi Foods

The cornerstone of Friday’s Featured Artisan Volpi Foods’ success is its unparalleled dry cured meat. In 1898, John Volpi set sail for America from his hometown of Milan, Italy, bringing with him little more than a vision to utilize his craft and artisan skill. Having learned from his elders the ancient European art of dry curing, John had a plan to bring this centuries-old tradition across the ocean, supplying customers in America with his exquisite dry cured meats. In 1902, he opened the doors of Volpi Foods, a small store at the intersection of two dirt roads in a neighborhood in St. Louis known as The Hill. There, he created cacciatore— a seasoned, dried salami that was small enough to fit inside the pockets of the local clay miners. Cacciatore is a rich, bold, Hunter’s style salame, perfect for thick cut slices. He used only local ingredients and sought out only local suppliers, and dried the meats using the same method he’d learned in Italy: opening and shutting windows to control the temperature and humidity of the air that circulated throughout the room. The customer’s response to John’s exquisite craftsmanship was overwhelming. He soon added delicacies such as prosciutto, guanciale, pancetta, and coppa. Today, the Volpi storefront remains on the very same spot in St. Louis where John founded it and run by the very same family. For more than 110 years, Volpi Foods has been continually offering unique twists on the classic specialty foods—satisfying meat lovers’ discerning palates in ways that promise to change the landscape of the category. We at GiftTree absolutely love the sweet, spicy, luscious texture of Volpi’s dry cured Italian meats,...
Friday’s Featured Artisan: Sartori Cheese

Friday’s Featured Artisan: Sartori Cheese

Friday’s Featured Artisan Sartori Cheese is a fourth generation, family owned and operated artisan cheesemaker with a passion for specialty cheeses and unique recipes that have been handed down for many generations. In the early 1900s, Paolo Sartori set off for America as an Italian immigrant aboard the Finlandia. While on board the steamship, he worked his way to the upper decks and struck up an unlikely friendship an Italian Count who started a cheese company in Minnesota, and invited Paolo to come and work for him. It was there that Paolo Sartori learned the business and art of cheesemaking, and in 1939, he moved to Wisconsin and started his own cheese company that is now simply known as Sartori Cheese. Today the company is in the hands of Paolo’s grandson Jim Sartori, and celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2014. Sartori is most known for their BellaVitano, a cow’s milk Italian farmstead cheese with a nutty, fruity taste that’s also available in a number of different flavors including merlot, balsamic, raspberry and our personal favorite here at GiftTree, black pepper. Starting out like Parmesan, it has a creamy, rich texture with light fruity notes and a sweet and tangy finish. When you bite into a slice of BellaVitano, there’s a slight crunch that comes from calcium crystals that form as the cheese ages. GiftTree is proud to carry Sartori Black Pepper BellaVitano cheese in a number of our Artisan Cheese and Charcuterie gifts, and we hope you get a chance to indulge in this delicious cheese!...
Friday’s Featured Artisan – Plum Island Soap Company

Friday’s Featured Artisan – Plum Island Soap Company

Friday’s Featured Artisan Plum Island Soap Company was born out of its founder Michele Diodati’s passion for creating all-natural soaps and lotions for her own friends and family that were free of any chemicals or harmful ingredients. She mixed up recipes in her kitchen to cure her baby’s diaper rash and experimented with natural ingredients to relieve her own growing anxiety when reading labels on products in her cabinets. When Michele first started out, she sold her soaps at Farmers Markets in and around Boston as well as craft fairs throughout New England. She was sure to collect email addresses and contact info of the customers she met along the way, and kept in touch with them as the business grew. As it turned out, there were a lot of people out there who shared her concerns, and were also looking for natural spa and bath products. It’s these customers’ continued loyalty that have helped Plum Island Soap Company stay true to their path of purity. What started in the kitchen took over the living room, and shortly thereafter demanded the whole house and now, Plum Island Soap Company operates out of a little cottage on Plum Island, Massachusetts. This is the magical place where all the soapy, buttery goodness takes place. They make their products daily out of a little tiny shop, mixing and packaging their all-natural line. In some ways, they operate like a bakery, using similar equipment and making everything in small batches to ensure freshness and quality. From the very beginning, the mission was to create bath products using the purest, simplest ingredients, without using dyes, perfumes...
Friday’s Featured Artisan – The Magnolia Company

Friday’s Featured Artisan – The Magnolia Company

In Central Florida, warm sun and gentle rain showers cover over 250-acres of thriving Southern Magnolia trees, whose lush leaves are used to create gorgeous wreaths and home decor by Friday’s Featured Artisan, The Magnolia Company. In the 1800’s, Jeremiah Underhill arrived in America as a farmer with a passion for growing and gardening premium foliage. His son Joseph was awarded a land grant for military service, and that land became the homestead for The Magnolia Company farm and estate, which to this day, is still owned and operated by the Underhill family. “We at The Magnolia Company desire to continually expand upon our rich heritage of producing very high quality products through creativity, ingenuity and old-fashioned hard work. Being firmly rooted in these principles, we look forward to serving you in this tradition.”  Here at GiftTree, we’re honored to partner with The Magnolia Company in three of their outstanding designs that are truly living works of art. We especially love the All Natural Lavender and Magnolia Wreath! Fragrant and naturally beautiful, this spectacular wreath combines fresh-cut magnolia leaves with dried lavender and floral accents. The handmade wreath features a thick base of green magnolia leaves embellished with dried lavender sprigs, hydrangea, globe thistle, and pepperberries. The finishing touch of a lavender ribbon completes this stunning creation that will be appreciated for many seasons. This large wreath can last up to five years and is a simply gorgeous addition to any home.     Comment Below:  Indoor plants, wreaths, garland… what kinds of leaves and foliage do you gravitate...
Friday’s Featured Artisan – Sasanian Caviar

Friday’s Featured Artisan – Sasanian Caviar

Friday’s Featured Artisan, Sasanian Caviar, is the undisputed recognized source for the finest caviar in the world. Hailed as “the Ambassador to Luxury”, Sasanian offers a collection of the highest quality Imported and American caviar, always sustainably sourced. If you’re not familiar with caviar but you’re just not sure where to start, there’s a lot to be learned! Caviar has been a part of culinary culture for centuries, with roots tracing back to Persia, Greece and the Roman Empire, exploding in popularity when it expanded to Russia and the European monarchies. Caviar can come from many types of fish including several species of sturgeon, paddlefish, salmon, trout or whitefish. The eggs, referred to as “roe” or “pearls”, can range from teeny-tiny granules, like Flying Fish (Tobiko) roe, to very large pearls like Salmon roe, that burst with the flavor of a fresh fish in the ocean with a subtle hint of sea salt. It’s usually spooned on to a blini or white bread with crème fraîche or sour cream. It’s highly recommended to use a spoon made from Mother-of-Pearl or one that is not metallic, as the metal can interfere with the delicate flavor of the roe. GiftTree is proud to partner with Sasanian to offer three beautiful gift sets of caviar, and we’re sure you’re going to absolutely adore the fresh flavor and luxury experience.     Exclusive to GiftTree, Sasanian offers up this selection of fine Siberian Baerii Sturgeon caviar, creamy medium-sized pearls from pristine fresh water, and wild Alaskan Salmon Roe, large pearls bursting with the flavor of fresh ocean breezes. These fine caviars are served on savory Russian blinis with Mother of Pearl serving spoons....