SOFI's Choice Collection

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For more than 45 years, the SOFI Awards have played a critical role in honoring and advancing culinary excellence and creativity worldwide. SOFI stands for "specialty outstanding food innovation" and the Awards represent the best of the best in the specialty food industry. They've been described as the "Oscars of Food," and that's pretty accurate. There isn't an accolade that's considered any higher in the industry. While there are several SOFI-heralded items in the collection, I have hand-picked these to offer a diverse selection for your gift. 

The set includes: 

Fat Toad Farm's Original Cajeta: Similar to Argentina's well-known dulce de leche, this Mexican-inspired cajeta is made with goat's milk, resulting in a super-creamy, delectable treat! Won Outstanding Product Line at the 2015 SOFI Awards

Lowcountry Produce's Sweet Potato Butter: Sweet potato butter might be one of the world's greatest inventions. Use it the same way you would an apple butter, but it doesn't make you think you're taking a bite of Autumn in the process. From biscuits to pancakes to cheesecake to ham and cheese sandwiches, this one is a winner! Won Outstanding Diet and Lifestyle at the 2010 SOFI Awards

Le Bon Magot's Tomato and White Sultana Chutney (with Ginger & Garam Masala): Every product in Le Bon Magot's catalog is a blend of Africa, South Asia and the Middle East, based on owner Naomi's travels and expert palate. In two years, she won six SOFI awards for the collection. This version is a perfect pairing for a soft cheese, oily fish, steaks or burgers or even yogurt. Won Outstanding Condiment at the 2017 SOFI Awards

Auria's Malaysian Kitchen's Lime Leaf Sambal: Sambal is Malaysia's version of ketchup. Traditional sambal is made with chilies and peppers, garlic and more to create a spicy, intense sauce to add to any given meal. Auria's Lime Leaf Sambal is unique in that she changes up the traditional recipe by adding Makrut lime leaves, creating something that would remind you of a salsa, but without the chunks. Won Outstanding Cooking Sauce, Marinade at the 2018 SOFI Awards

The Gracious Gourmet's Lemon Artichoke Pesto: Nancy Wekselbaum's smooth, creamy artichoke pesto is enhanced with lemon juice, garlic and parsley. It's a simple recipe, but Nancy uses the best ingredients, generating a delicious sauce that pairs nicely with any seafood pasta, tossed into a salad, or even used as a dip, with crudités. Won Outstanding Pesto at the 2010 SOFI Awards

Kitchens of Africa's West African Hot Pepper Sauce - Kaani: Unlike most crazy-hot hot sauces, this jewel from Gambian-born Jainaba Jeng's Kitchens of Africa has flavor for days. So much so that you really just need a small amount to flavor a large dish. It's almost a concentrate, if you will. And it will make you look at pepper sauce in a different light. I am in love. Won Outstanding Condiment and Outstanding New Product at the 2018 SOFI Awards

Colt's Chocolate's Colts Bolts: Mackenzie Colt and her chocolate factory are legend in Nashville. The former Hee-Haw cast member started making Colts Bolts - handmade milk or dark chocolate, a custom blend peanut butter and whole roasted almonds - in muffin tins after her TV show gig ended. She's been making them ever since for the past thirty-two years. In 1993, she took them to the Fancy Food Show and a Japanese company order 60,000 units, propelling her little chocolate factory into the big leagues. Won Outstanding Confection at the 1993 SOFI Awards