Their cementlike texture has long made fruitcakes the last-minute long-distance holiday gift of choice. Sure, they weren’t too exciting, but they were easy to send, and unlikely to be damaged in the crush of other gifts heading through the postal system. Fortunately for our friends and loved ones, we now live in an age where everyone, even our pets, can actually look forward to receiving mail-delivered holiday foods. All kinds of treats are now available, either from catalogs or online, and they’re ready for shipping just about anywhere. Heck, you can even send an entire gourmet meal from www.holidayfoods.com (800-877-7434).
If you just can’t let go of tradition, try replacing the legendary fruitcake with a three-, six- or 12-month membership in the “Dessert of the Month Club,” available from delightfuldeliveries.com. (800-708-0024). Also available are individual cakes, gift baskets and samplers. Or indulge someone’s sweet tooth with a “Chocolates of the Month” club membership from www.edelights.com (877-99-DELIGHT). The De-Light Club, one of seven available, will send high-quality sugarless chocolates for $20 per month.
Still stuck on tradition? The 74-year-old Swiss Colony carries possibly the world’s largest selection of holiday tortes, cheese and beef log sets, and even the almighty fruitcake (608-324-4603 or www.swisscolony.com). Stray slightly from tradition at www.dairylandsbest.com (920-830-0980) by ordering the edible beer bottle replica, made from beef, for $13.95.
For a truly old-fashioned holiday treat, Heritage Food (www.heritagefood.com or 888-750-FOOD) creates its own steamed holiday puddings. Starting at $9.50, the plum, ginger-prune, and pear-walnut-currant puddings are made using a traditional process which takes months to complete.
Keeping with other holiday traditions, thoughtfully packaged kosher Hanukkah treats can be readily found at www.thekosherconnection.com (800-950-7227).
Kosher wine is available at www.andcheers.com (877-NYC-WINE), which also stocks backpacks, wine duffels and picnic baskets packed with outdoor dining supplies such as wine, wineglasses, cheese boards and linens (starting at $38).
For those who enjoy wine indoors or out, Liquor By Wire (800-872-6824 or www.liquor.com) will customize a bottle of wine or champagne with your picture, company logo or handwritten message. Prices start around $25.
Know someone who would rather eat a partridge than let it sit in a pear tree? 888-EAT-GAME’s claim they have everything from alligator to zebra is no joke. They specialize in exotic meat, including Cajun alligator fillets, zebra roast and partridge, plus sauces to match and sampler gift packs.
For the people in your life who choose not to eat zebra, or any animal products for that matter, order a vegan Christmas or Hanukkah treat (or a gift certificate) from www.pangeaveg.com (800-340-1200). You could also send a lovely package of egg- and dairy-free organic cookies from. www.allisonscookies.com (800-361-8292).
If a mouse will be stirring in your house when St. Nick visits, check out www.petsmart.com. There you can order edible holiday goodies for your pet mouse, or your other companion animals. If you’re a first-time shopper, you’ll receive $10 off a $25 purchase. Presents for farm animals are not available, but making a donation at www.heifer.org (800-422-0474), in someone else’s name or your own, will provide the farm animal of your choice to a Third World family, who will use it for food and a source of income.
Additional suggestions for mail-order holiday foods can be found at XmasGuide.com/Food.
Locally made gift baskets, including a complete gourmet Italian dinner, are available from Little Italy Restaurant in Northville. The baskets start at $69, and can be custom-ordered. Call 248-348-0575 for more info. … Karen Newman sings with your supper at the Andiamo Italia Celebrity Showroom (14 Mile between Mound and Van Dyke roads in Warren). The Red Wings national anthem singer will perform at 8 p.m. on Wed., Dec. 20, Thu., Dec. 21 and Fri., Dec. 22. Light dinner is available. Tickets are $30 per person, call 810-268-3200 for reservations.Got a food tip? Write to Eaters Digest c/o this paper, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org