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Top 9 Gourmet Food of the Month Clubs

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"Of the Month" clubs make a great gift for food lovers. Many of the top gourmet companies now feature various food-of-the-month clubs that spotlight some of their best products such as cheese, chocolate, wine, fruit, jam, cakes, cookies, pasta, salsa, olives, and even gourmet popcorn. These clubs are a convenient, yet unique (and delicious!) gift idea that the recipient will appreciate for months to come.

1. igourmet

Cheese of the Month club features three 1/2-pound selections of gourmet cheeses. The Salsa of the Month Club features wonderful salsa made by small companies. You can choose either hot or mild. My favorite club is the Connoisseur's Club which features monthly selections from a particular world cuisine. For example, December features the foods of Scandinavia and includes ready-to-eat Salmon Fillets in Dill Sauce, Abba brand Caviar Spread, and Kavli Whole Grain Crispbreads.

2. Dale & Thomas Popcorn

"One of Oprah's Favorite Things" and other rave reviews have showered this gourmet popcorn company. Dale is farmer Dale Humphrey. Thomas is Isiah Thomas, the NBA legend and president of the New York Knicks. The Popcorn of the Month club features a tasty delivery of popcorn with flavors like Chocolate Chunk n' Caramel, Sweet Georgia Pecan, Peanut Butter & White Chocolate Drizzlecorn, North Country Cheddar, and Ragin' Cajun.

3. GotFruit

There are many good fruit-of-the-month clubs. Most feature a selection of fruit in season delivered to the recipient nicely packaged in a gift box or crate. GotFruit is one of the best and was named best overall by the Wall Street Journal. New to GotFruit is their all-organic fruit and nut club featuring organic peaches, pears, apples, Mandarin oranges, plums, nectarines, and bing cherries.

4. Stonewall Kitchen Specialty Foods

Stonewall Kitchen is a wonderful New England company that has some of the best jams, spreads, and dessert toppings that you will find anywhere. I love their products. Stonewall's Specialty Food Club features a monthly delivery of gourmet products with recipe cards and tips for using them. For example, April's selection includes Lemon Curd, Wild Maine Blueberry Jam, Lemon Blueberry Muffin Mix, and Lemon Pear Marmalade. Delicious!

5. Zingerman's

Zingerman's has a number of great food-of-the-month clubs. Coffee Cake, Brownie, Bread, and Chocolate Clubs all feature wonderful products made by Zingerman's. The Cheese Club and Olive Oil Club feature hand picked selections accompanied by notes on how each product is made and used. For a real treat, I suggest the Premier Food Club. Four times a year, a box will be delivered containing rare, exclusive or seasonal foods along with extensive notes on their history and recipes for their use.

6. Artisanal Premium Cheese

These guys know cheese! If you love cheese, this is the place to go. Culinary geniuses Terrance Brennan and Max McCalman will not only introduce your taste buds to some of the world's greatest cheeses, they'll educate you as well. Each month features 3 selections accompanied by a note from the fromagers, explaining the logic behind the selection, and the attributes and history of each cheese.

7. Wine Clubs from Wine.com

What is food without dring? Four different clubs to choose from: the Holiday Gift Club brings two hand-selected wines to your door (along with educational material about the wines), the Discovery Tour gets you two premium wines each month from new or emerging estates($19.99), the Grand Tour brings two bottles from highly acclaimed estates ($39.99), and Build Your Cellar brings two carefully selected ultra-premium reds that have great flavor and aging potential ($69.99).

8. Lake Champlain Chocolates

Chocolate lovers rejoice! One of my favorite chocolate companies has a Chocolate of the Month Club available for 3-, 6-, or 9-months (no deliveries are made in the summer). This Vermont company will deliver each month a wonderful chocolate treat such as 30-piece Assorted Chocolate Truffles, 30-piece Lake Champlain Selection, One Pound Box of Almond Butter Crunch, 15-piece Small World Chocolate Truffles, or a 1 Pound Box of Pecan Caramel Clusters

9. Santa Barbara Olive Co.

High quality gourmet olives from an eigth-generation olive grower. Each month, members will receive three 5-ounce jars of hand-stuffed, international select or green spiced olives. Deliveries might include Almond Stuffed Sevallano Olives, Sevallano Olives hand stuffed with sun dried tomatoes, Chipotle Stuffed Olives, Bleu Cheese Stuffed Olives, Hickory Smoked Olives, Cajun Style Berrouni Olives, or Wine Cured Olives.

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