Eats & Treats

Not your ordinary fare, these savory treats are full of flavor and not so much guilt.

Derrik J. Lang Current Guide, Restaurants, Shopping


Cool it with the crummy Christmas cookies and basic gift baskets. Instead, serve the gourmands in your inner circle a decadent indulgence they’ll savor forever.

1. Toffee

Brandini Toffee began as a fundraising venture by two teens saving for a school trip to Italy. Now, they boast a candy empire with four locations, including in Rancho Mirage and Palm Springs. Treat someone sweet to a 1-pound box of Brandini toffee and a bag of their cashew almond toffee popcorn for Christmas.

2. Energy Bars

With Coachella Valley-appropriate flavors like the Tram Bar (peanut butter milk 
chocolate) and the Tiki Bar (mango 
coconut), Kate’s Real Food makes for a great guilt-free Christmas stocking stuffer for adventurers in search of organic snacks packed with nutrients — not soy and gluten.

3. Tea

The siblings that founded the La Quinta specialty tea shop Cali Rosina offer sample sips — and sniffs — to help visitors pick the right leaves for any giftee. You can’t go wrong with their hand-rolled jasmine pearls or cherry pomegranate, which brews up into a pleasantly pink-red cup.

4. Sweeteners

Enhance a health-conscious pal’s holiday with sugar substitutes created from Shields Date Garden’s tasty Medjools. The ground sugar is great for baking, while the crystals can be used to top Christmas treats. They come in the same style of reusable metal tins that Lloyd Shields used after founding the oasis in 1924.

5. Olive Oil

La Quinta Olive Oil Company’s flavored extra virgin olive oils and vinegars are a prime present for amateur chefs — or 
anyone whose favorite part of an 
Italian-restaurant meal is the bread. Their bright, Meyer lemon EVOO will zest up everything from sourdough to salads.