We all have at least one friend or relative who seems to have everything. Every birthday or holiday, it’s such a challenge to figure out what they could possibly want or need. What do you get for someone like that? Here are some unique, quirky gift ideas for that hard-to-buy-for person.
Inflatable Obstacle Course
If you have too much money and too little common sense, keep reading because you’re about to be very excited. This 85-foot-long military-inspired inflatable obstacle course features such challenges as climbing a rope, swinging over a pit of water, and clearing hurdles. I’m sure this is a lot of fun. Until it pops, that is. Nothing inflatable lasts forever, but $12,500 (plus $1,050 for shipping) seems like a lot of money for a temporary toy. Or it could be a great value; I really have no idea when it comes to things like this.
Electric Roller Skates
Check out these motorized roller skates. Yes, you read that right: spnKiX strap onto your shoes and let you go up to 10 miles per hour with virtually no effort. Welcome to the future.
Nintendo Controller Coffee Table
How awesome is this coffee table?! Every Gen Xer wants this in their living room, especially if they still have their old school Nintendo (which most do). The handcrafted table is made from walnut, maple, and rich mahogany. This might fool you into thinking it’s a purely decorative piece of furniture, but it’s so much better than that: it’s actually a fully functional Nintendo controller! It might be trickier to use than a normal handheld controller, but after 25 years everyone has mastered Donkey Kong anyway, so a little extra challenge couldn’t hurt.
Mermaid Tail Swimsuit
This is a real thing. Someone makes it and other people buy it. For $250. Let’s all just take a minute to think about that. Apparently these mermaid tails are all the rage this summer, a trend that baffles me. I’m not a little girl, though, so maybe I’m unqualified to judge. By the way, boys won’t be left out while girls indulge their Little Mermaid fantasies; dolphin and whale tails designed for boys will also be available too.
Remember the old fashioned one man band with a bunch of drums and horns strapped to his back? This is the 21st Century version. Plug in your iPod and take the party wherever you go. The only little flaw is that it probably won’t actually be possible to talk to anyone at said party. Also, mounting speakers six inches from your head might make your ears bleed.
Killer Whale Submarine
This has to be my favorite gift on the whole list. It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a two-person submarine that looks like a killer whale. It’s even designed to imitate the way whales swim, submerging beneath the water and then launching into the air–up to 16 feet above the surface! The submarine travels at up to 50 mph on the surface and 25 mph under water. The $100,000 price tag pretty much guarantees that there won’t be one under my Christmas tree anytime soon, but maybe a few thousand of my friends can all chip in.
Tired of bicycles, with their predictable two-wheeled design? Want to stand out? The Monovelo will definitely get you noticed. The rider sits inside a giant wheel and steers by shifting their weight back and forth. With a little practice the Monovelo is very maneuverable and is a surprisingly effective means of eco-friendly transportation.
iPhone Scuba Suit
Here’s a gift for your techie friend who just can’t separate himself from his beloved iPhone. This watertight case turns any iPhone into an underwater camera, perfect for taking pictures at the pool or beach without worrying about destroying your expensive iPhone. Just promise to only use it for fun stuff, not to check email on the beach.
Unicorn Fart Lip Balm
What do unicorn farts smell like? According to one company, spearmint and cotton candy with a hint of honey, which seems like a reasonably accurate answer to a question no one’s ever asked.
Good help is hard to find, but the Virtual Butler is a perfect substitute for the real thing. Its software connects to your home’s security system and alerts the master of the house to any changes, from the arrival of guests to the temperature of the hot tub. His face is much creepier than it should be, but the Virtual Butler is still cooler than anything else in the house.
Top 5 Gifts that No One Wants
5. The GoPad. The beauty of an iPad is that it’s so small and portable, but I guess some people insist on buying junk to make it less convenient. Or maybe they think the iPad is too cool, so they want to make themselves look dorky while they use one.
4. Lotion, perfume, and soap. Somehow there are entire stores that exist solely to sell this stuff. But it’s a boring, generic gift that either says, “I don’t know you well enough to buy a real present,” or, “I do know you, and I wish you smelled better.”
3. The Butter Cutter. Do you know someone too dumb to cut butter with a knife? Give them the Butter Cutter, a device that cuts a pat of butter with one click of the handle. It works with margarine too, for your dumb friends on a diet.
2. Gift cards. Come on, really? Why would anyone give a gift card? It’s no more creative than giving cash, it can only be used at one store, and it will expire.
1. Flowers. Americans spent $32 billion on flowers last year, but why? Having a bouquet of flowers delivered is ridiculously expensive, and even in the best case scenario they’re dead within a week. For that matter, they’re dead from the start; all they do is sit on a table and decompose right before your eyes. Even worse, 70% of the flowers sold in the US are imported from countries with minimal environmental regulations, so that rose you’re sniffing is probably covered in highly toxic pesticide. Add in the CO2 emissions from shipping those flowers thousands of miles, first from South America and then to your home, and you’ve got a gift that isn’t nearly as green as it would seem.
Crazy Gift Contest
Do you have a great gift story? Submit your crazy, funny, or otherwise awesome story in the comment section below. (Keep it PG-13 please!) The SendFudge.com team will read them all and pick a winner to get the best gift of all: a box of our handmade fudge!
*Contest open to residents of the United States age 18 or over. Winner will receive one half pound box of fudge. Contest ends August 10, 2012.
Many candies are strongly associated with particular regions: maple sugar in New England, saltwater taffy on the coast, pralines in New Orleans. Fudge, on the other hand, has spread far beyond its birthplace of New York and can be found all over America, from sea to shining sea. You can eat fudge at chocolate shops, theme parks, church potlucks–I’ve even heard rumors that there are companies selling it online.
It’s safe to say that fudge is equally beloved throughout the country, but there’s a little island in northern Michigan that takes great pride in its special devotion to fudge. Mackinac Island has been known for its outstanding fudge for more than a century. This rich history started when Harry Murdick and his son opened a candy shop in 1887. They put their marble cooling slabs in the front window and used fans to blow the irresistible aroma of fresh fudge into the streets. Imitators soon followed, but Murdick’s was the only shop to survive the Great Depression. The 1950s brought a new wave of tourists and new prosperity to Mackinac Island. Today there are no fewer than fifteen stores producing their own version, which seems like a lot when you consider that the island’s year-round population is less than 500 people, but they’re feeding the insatiable appetites of the 15,000 tourists who visit the island every day in the summer. In Michigan these tourists are often called “Fudgies,” for obvious reasons. It’s not unusual for friends to request fudge when they find out someone is planning a trip to Mackinac Island, nor is it unusual to debate which of the many shops does it best. True fudge fanatics visit during the annual Mackinac Island Fudge Festival in August, when they can enjoy special events and a surprising variety of fudge-inspired cocktails. Fudge is popular everywhere, but Mackinac Island definitely takes it to a new level.
The hometown of SendFudge.com also happens to be America’s largest raspberry producer. Whatcom County, Washington produced over 66 million pounds of raspberries last year. That’s more than 65% of the berries grown in the entire United States! The berries grown right here in our own backyard end up in countless products, from jam to juice to ice cream, so it’s safe to say that you’ve probably eaten them yourself. We’re right in the peak of raspberry season right now; in fact, the annual Northwest Raspberry Festival kicks off today with live music, a car show, a basketball tournament, and of course tons of fresh raspberries.
Naturally, we can’t just ignore all those delicious raspberries. Our Raspberry Chocolate Swirl is one of my absolute favorite fudge flavors, and when you consider that we make almost 40, that’s really saying something! The rich chocolate and fruity berry layer are perfect together and just taste like summer in every bite. Raspberry Cheesecake is amazing too. Tangy cream cheese and sweet, tart raspberries; it’s definitely a winning combination. Both fudges are made with real raspberries, which gives them an authentic flavor that will surprise and delight any fudge lover.
There’s no better way to enjoy the summer than by taking advantage of all the fresh flavors the season has to offer. Even if you aren’t lucky enough to live in the country’s raspberry mecca you can still treat yourself to one of our best local delicacies.
When asked to define fudge, most people will think of the smooth, creamy, slightly soft chocolate confection that their grandma made (and that you’ll find on our site). This kind of fudge is a uniquely American invention, and a relatively new one at that; the oldest known recipe dates to the 1880s. But there are quite a few other candies that resemble fudge, with origins all over the world.
The Scottish have been making a candy called tablet for more than 300 years. The ingredients are very similar to an old-fashioned fudge recipe: sugar, condensed milk, and butter. Everything is boiled together, then poured into a pan and allowed to set. Like fudge, tablet depends on the crystallization of the sugar to become firm. Also like fudge, tablet can be a miserable failure if you don’t do it perfectly. Tablet is usually harder than fudge and has a somewhat gritty, crumbly texture. The flavor is kind of like butterscotch. Some people like to add vanilla, nuts, or even whiskey, while others find any deviation from the basic recipe blasphemous. If you make it yourself, you can stir in whatever you want. As long as there aren’t any Scots around you can probably get away with it.
A version of tablet made with golden syrup (which is like corn syrup, but made from sugar instead of corn) is called Russian fudge, but it’s actually Scottish too. Don’t ask me why that little bit of golden syrup makes it Russian, but apparently it makes a difference. Note that neither recipe contains any chocolate.
Sucre à la crème, which translates to “sugar with cream,” is a traditional French-Canadian form of fudge. It’s a lot like the Scottish tablet, except that it’s made with brown sugar. Many cooks add maple syrup–a very Canadian ingredient. Sucre à la crème is popular in Quebec, especially around Christmas, but you probably won’t see it anywhere else. If you want to make your own, here’s a typical recipe.
In the Dominican Republic you’ll find a treat called dulce de leche en tabla. Dulce de leche is made in many parts of South America, Mexico, and Latin America, but it’s usually more like pudding or sauce than fudge. In some regions, though, it’s cooked longer to create a firmer candy that can be cut into squares. It has a very sweet caramel flavor; it’s also common to add cinnamon. Dulce de leche en tabla can be eaten plain or topped with jam. Want to try it at home? Check out this recipe.
Many countries have their own versions of fudge and I’m sure there are lots that I haven’t mentioned. Leave a comment telling me which of your favorites I left out! So far, though, I haven’t seen any foreign recipes that include chocolate. That’s an American innovation, and I think it’s one we can all be proud of.
The success of your business depends on so many people: your employees, clients, vendors, consultants, and investors, to name a few. Why not show them how much you appreciate all their hard work and loyalty with a thoughtful gift? Instead of another boring paper weight or tote bag, send a unique gift that will impress and delight the recipients. Our fudge is guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face. They’re sure to remember–and talk about–both the gift and the giver long after every last morsel is gone.
We make corporate gifts simple. All you have to do is place the order–we’ll take it from there. We ship the fudge directly to the recipient’s home or office. It will arrive in a handsome gold box with a personalized gift tag, allowing you to include your message. With delicious fudge starting at just $14.99, it’s easy to stay within your budget while still delivering a high-quality gift.
Whether you want to thank one important client or reward your entire staff, fudge is the ideal way to do it. A half pound box is great for an individual or small group, while the pound or 1.5 pound sizes can be shared by up to fifteen people. If you send a bouquet of flowers to an office they’ll look nice for a day or two, but how much will anyone really care about them? Sending fudge creates an experience that the whole office will enjoy and is a surefire way to boost morale.
If you would like more information or are ready to place a corporate gift order, feel free to contact us.
Let’s face it: fudge isn’t exactly a health food. Most people can enjoy it as an occasional treat, but our diabetic customers have to be more careful. Fortunately, they don’t have to miss out on anything; we offer several sucrose-free varieties that are suitable for most diabetics. (If you’re unsure whether sucrose-free fudge is appropriate for your dietary needs, discuss it with your doctor. His opinion is worth a lot more than mine.) The diabetic population is rapidly growing, so we’re pleased to be able to offer a quality product that can let them indulge without affecting their health.
Our sucrose-free flavors are sweetened with isomalt and fructose instead of sugar. Isomalt is a sugar alcohol derived from beets. Unlike many other sugar substitutes, it doesn’t have a chemically flavor or strange aftertaste. Fructose is a natural fruit sugar that doesn’t raise blood glucose levels as sharply as regular sugar. Because fructose is a form of sugar, our sucrose-free fudges aren’t technically sugar-free. However, diabetics who can eat fruit are also generally able to tolerate the fructose in our fudge. Sucrose-free fudge isn’t low-carb or low-calorie.
By now you’re probably wondering if I’m going to answer the big question: “Is sucrose-free fudge as good as the normal version?” Because the ingredients are so different it isn’t really fair to compare the two. Sucrose-free fudge isn’t quite as creamy, but we use the same flavorings for all of our fudges, so the taste is practically identical. Our customers’ feedback has been quite positive. I’m often told that many sugar-free chocolate, candies, and desserts just aren’t very good and that our sucrose-free fudge is a great alternative. Diabetics hoping to satisfy their sweet tooth are sure to enjoy a piece of sucrose-free fudge.