Lifestyle

Holiday Gift Shopping Made Easy on the ‘Texas Foodie Trail’

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Scratching your head over what to get friends and relatives on your holiday gift list? Go for a drive! Jump into your “sleigh” and make a day of traveling along or near Highway 290 in the Texas Hill Country to shop at locally-owned businesses that offer delectable artisan foods at prices for every budget. Select pre-made, thoughtfully curated gift packs or create your own versions.

The companies below, listed east to west from Austin to Fredericksburg, sell products prepared on site, close by or elsewhere in the Lone Star state. While most people know this approximate 70-mile stretch of highway and vicinity as the heart of the Texas Wine Trail, it could also be dubbed the “Texas Foodie Trail.”

Navidad Farms

Holiday Gift Shopping Made Easy on the “Texas Foodie Trail”

Photo: Navidad Farms

If you only have time for one place, make it Navidad Farms, which calls itself “a treasure chest and a one-stop-gift shop.” This Austin store, nine miles east of Dripping Springs, is renowned for fresh, plump and meaty in-shell and shelled pecans. Owner Jeanne Roe sources the 10,000 pounds she sells annually from farms in Bastrop, Smithville, San Saba and Corsicana. Or opt for candied and savory-seasoned pecans in flavors that include milk, dark, white and sugar-free chocolate, Amaretto chocolate, chocolate toffee, cinnamon, honey toasted, praline and Cajun.

Also available is an array of non-pecan merchandise, mostly from Texas – pralines, jellies, preserves, salsas, dips, mustards, BBQ sauces and rubs, honey, olive oil, vinegars, pickled foods, ceramic ornaments, soaps lavender bath/body products, and small household items. For more information, visit them online at navidadfarms.com.

Texas Hill Country Olive Company

Holiday Gift Shopping Made Easy on the “Texas Foodie Trail”
Photo: Texas Hill Country Olive Co.

From Navidad Farms, head 12 miles northwest to Dripping Springs to the state’s only certified organic olive orchard and most awarded olive oil producer. John Gambini, a leading advocate for the Texas olive industry, co-founded and co-manages this beautiful, 17-acre operation with family members. It includes a Tuscan-inspired mill house, state-of-the-art Italian olive press, sunny tasting room, limited menu bistro and bar serving Texas wines.

The oils sold here are produced from olives grown on-property. Choose from three extra virgin olive oils (EVOOs) – the delicate and buttery Sola Stella, the herbaceous and mildly peppery Terra Verde or the more robust Texas Miller’s Blend.  Also offered are three crushed versions – lemon, jalapeño and garlic – and limited edition EVOOs.  Be sure to try the dozen-plus, luscious traditional and fruit-infused balsamic vinegars. For more information, visit them online at texashillcountryoliveco.com.

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