Wednesday, April 23, 2014 · 7:27 a.m.
Holiday dinner. (Photo: nick_hang, Flickr)

The term "foodie" is sometimes seen as a bad word, but personally, I see it as a title that reflects someone who takes food very seriously. Wikipedia defines it as "a person who has an ardent or refined interest in food and alcoholic beverages," which doesn't sound all that bad. Whether you see it as an insult or a compliment, I think we should all take our food very seriously.

But there's probably someone in your life who defines the word a bit better than others, someone who spends five hours cooking and one hour savoring every dinner and would never be caught dead near the golden arches. That person isn't necessarily rich or snobby, but they see food as their hobby. For that special person, I present to you my top five gift ideas for this holiday season.

Crabtree Farms gift membership
This membership, starting at only $35, will grant the recipient 15 percent off the Crabtree Farm stand, free admission to select workshops, access to the special plant presale and more. Or you could splurge on a CSA (community-supported agriculture) for next year's growing season and make sure your favorite food lover has access to locally grown fresh produce every week from May until November.

A six-pack of The Terminal's Global Warmer craft beer
What foodie doesn't like local craft beer? The Terminal's Global Warmer is a malt spiced with cinnamon, clove and pepper to warm you up during the cold winter holidays. The alcohol content doesn't hurt, either.

Local restaurant gift certificate
From 212 Market to 1885 Grille, you'll find that most of the city's top restaurants serve food from local farmers, and that's an important distinction for those who care about their food. Some establishments have sections of the menu set aside for local cuisine, while others serve a little bit of local in every meal. A gift certificate will allow your friend to try something new without spending the time cooking and preparing the meal.

A loaf of handcrafted artisan bread from Niedlov's
If you've ever had Niedlov's bread, then I don't even need to continue; you know what I'm talking about. But for those who have yet to experience what it's like to eat the best bread in the city (state? country?!), Niedlov's is the place. Not a bread fan? Niedlov's also serves dinner rolls, doughnuts, sandwiches, gingerbread cakes and more. Who doesn't like cake?

Etsy gift certificate
Even foodies like gifts that aren't necessarily edible, so you can let help with those other food-related gifts. Whether it's a Tennessee-shaped cutting board, a hand-forged cutting knife or a wine rack made from reclaimed wine barrel wood, there's bound to be something for everyone on your list. Gift certificates are easy to buy right from the website, and you might even find a few crafty things for yourself along the way. That's half the fun of holiday shopping anyway, right?

Shawn Schuster is a writer/editor for AOL and sustainable farmer in Alabama. He can be reached on Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not or its employees.

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