Holiday food traditions are about much more than satisfying our appetites. Time spent hunkering over a fourth generation recipe with your Grandma or seeing a smile surface when a friend bites into their favorite seasonal cookie are moments that draw us closer together and sustain us for the new year to come. We asked our own team what is the best thing they’ve ever eaten for the holidays. From decadent Bourbon Balls to Italian Tomato Gravy, discover what our foodie dream team dines on and where to find it!
Tina Do, Operations, San Francisco - “Bourbon Balls. I have been eating them since I was a kid. Initially, my Mom didn’t let me have them because they are soaked in Bourbon! When I was four, she accidentally left a batch out on the counter, caught me eating them and freaked out! Since then, the dessert has become a family staple. I combine crumbled Vanilla Wafers, ground nuts and cocoa powder together, roll the mixture into balls, drench the balls in Bourbon and cover them in confectioner’s sugar!” (Best Boozy Dessert in San Francisco – Boonville Chestnut & Brandy Mousse from Viva La Tart)
Alex Lorton, Co-Founder, New York City - ”Peanut Butter Blossoms. I am always a sucker for peanut butter and chocolate combinations. My Grandmother makes soft-baked peanut butter cookies with mini Reese’s Cups in the center. When she makes them, she always sets aside a tin for me. If I am not seeing her for Christmas, she’ll even mail me a batch. The holidays aren’t complete without them.” (Best Peanut Butter Dessert in New York City – Peanut Butter Cake Cup from Bees Knees Baking Company)
Dan Morris, Operations, Chicago - “For Hanukkah, my Mom always makes traditional Potato Latkes. However, we eat ours with sour cream and her homemade hot sauce. Each gardening season, she saves the seeds from the best peppers to grow next year’s crop. With these peppers, she turns them into incredibly flavorful sauces ranging from “Hmm, yeah, that’s pretty hot” to “OH GOD WHY?!” Varieties utilized range from Ghost Peppers to Scorpion Peppers and one dubbed ‘7 Pot Chili Peppers,’ a name that comes from the fact that it packs enough heat to season seven separate batches of Chili! ” (Best Heat-Packing Dish in Chicago – Atomic Pork Tamales from Dia de los Tamales)
Jen Flaxman, Operations, San Francisco – “My Mom’s Tomato Gravy. Gravy is what Italians call sauce here in the States. The sauce is simmered with any meat we see at the store that looks good at the time – usually veal or Italian sausage. We throw it together Christmas morning and its amazing smell fills the entire house. We take turns tasting the gravy every couple of hours before it is done and then serve it over gluten-free pasta.” (Best Traditional Pasta in San Francisco – Penne Marinara from C’era Una Volta)
Sandeep Sankarankutty, Finance Manager, New York City – ”My family loves to share a bottle of whiskey after our holiday meal. Everyone is too busy eating to talk during dinner, so the real catching up happens afterwards. Once we open a bottle of Macallan 30 or one of the many Octomore varieties, suddenly everyone is in the room, ready to dish on the past year. I can’t really think of spending the holidays any other way.” (Best Whiskey-Infused Treat in New York City – Whisky Pecan Pie Cupcakes from City Cakes)