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Take a trip around the world without ever leaving Costco.


Main points:

  • If your foodie friend likes things gently aged, look for balsamic vinegar or ham.
  • Those looking for the exotic might like black ginseng from Korea or saffron from Greece.
  • Don’t know what to get? A gift basket of chocolates and delicious snacks is a safe choice for everyone.

You can definitely cook great meals on almost any budget. But foodies know that too many good ingredients are the worst for your finances. That’s why one of the best holiday gifts for foodies is something gourmet or exotic that they wouldn’t normally buy for themselves.

And, believe it or not, you can find lots of great food gifts at your local Costco. From aged vinegars to the world’s most expensive spices, you can get it all with your Costco membership. Check out some of our favorite finds.

1. Aged balsamic vinegar

Like most fine wine or spirits, the qualities of balsamic vinegar vary depending on how and how long it is aged. Costco carries several types of balsamic vinegar, but the two we’re interested in are from Mazzetti. Imported from Italy, these balsamics are barrel-aged for 12 or 25 years, priced at $60 and $90, respectively.

2. Korean black ginseng

This black ginseng is believed to be a Korean delicacy, made from four to five year old ginseng roots that have been steamed and dried nine times before being preserved in honey. You’ll get 20 sticks in a $110 package.

3. Sturgeon caviar

Caviar is synonymous with a hearty meal, but you don’t need to be rich with a monocle and a hat to lavish it on your friends and loved ones. No, you just need a Costco membership. They have a huge variety of caviar options, from four-figure plates to more budget-friendly gift sets ranging from $100 to $130.

4. Spanish ham

When regular meat goes stale, you throw it out. When luxury meat goes stale, you charge double. And as backwards as it sounds, it’s worth the price. Take the aged Serrano hams you can pick up at Costco. Handcrafted in Spain, these hams are aged for at least a year, achieving a depth of flavor that your grocery store pig can’t beat. Be prepared to part with some serious ham, though, as prices range from $120 to $250.

5. Manuka honey

The only honey with its own unique grading system, Manuka honey is made from wild Manuka flowers in New Zealand, which bloom for only a few weeks a year. Costco offers several size and brand options in different categories; the higher the UMF number, the better the purity, and the higher the price, with the most expensive version exceeding $100 when not on sale.

6. Greek saffron

Dubbed the world’s most expensive spice, a pound of saffron can fetch a four-figure price tag. You don’t need to wipe out your bank account to pick up some for a friend, though, because you can pick up 14 grams of hand-picked saffron from Greece at Costco for just $80.

7. Gourmet Gift Basket

Grab a holiday basket and fill it full of chocolate, cheese or wine? Who wouldn’t like that? No one, the answer is no one. Because almost everyone on the planet is happy to receive a gift basket full of gourmet goodies. Costco has over 100 different gift baskets, holiday towers and charcuterie boards to choose from, so you can find the perfect fit for your favorite foodie and your holiday budget.

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