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Mariana Tello-Sucre, co-owner of The Golden Hog. 

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"Holiday Breakfast" basket.

You know gift-giving season is upon us the moment you walk into The Golden Hog these days and notice a change – one that is the culmination of months of planning. Seems everywhere you turn in the store, there are holiday gift options, including panettones and gift baskets.

Oh yes … the baskets.

Mariana Tello-Sucre, who along with husband Jorge Gonzalez Capiello, own and operate The Golden Hog, located in the Harbor Plaza, takes pride in providing island residents – and beyond – holiday gift baskets that “stand out” once gifted, noting that she wants baskets that have una presencia y calidad spectacular (of spectacular quality and status).

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The Golden Hog gift collection.

Tello-Sucre says the selection process for each basket style – there are 24 pre-designed gift baskets in this year’s Golden Hog Holiday Gift Collection menu -- is detailed, and each basket is themed to feature products that complement each other. Of course, customization of baskets based on each customer’s desires are available with just a few hours notice.

“We will always have a good assortment of grab-and-go baskets,” says Tello-Sucre, adding that baskets with refrigerated products take a few extra minutes to prepare.

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"Foie Gras and Sauternes Wine" basket.

As an example of the painstaking detail that goes into each basket, Tello-Sucre points to one of her favorite baskets: the Foie Gras & Sauternes basket.

Working with The Golden Hog’s in-house Sommelière, Marcella Carneiro, the basket includes a dessert wine that Carneiro calls “the most emblematic of all sweet wines.” The pairing in this basket, said Carneiro, is “amazing” because of the contrast of flavors. When combined with the sweet wine served cold, Tello-Sucre calls the enjoyment of the rich, buttery and delicate foie gras “heaven.”

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"Deluxe Wine and Cheese" basket.

Tello Sucre welcomes the challenge of keeping their catalog of gift baskets fresh, balancing customer favorites with new offerings. This year, for example, there is a new Deluxe Wine & Cheese basket that includes delicious Vina Vik Milla Cala red – a Chilean blend selected by Carneiro – that perfectly brings out the flavors of the cheeses.

Of course, there is always the “wow” basket, and this year that’s the Holiday Extravaganza basket, which features an assortment of salty and sweet products, and what Carneiro calls a “powerful red” from Pauillac and a Grand Vintage 2013 Moet & Chandon champagne.

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"Holiday Extravaganza" basket.

Tello Sucre and Gonzalez are strong proponents of featuring local products, too. This year, they are offering a Local Breakfast Basket.

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"Local Breakfast" basket.

“We are committed to supporting local businesses and carry more than 100 locally sourced products, many from right here on the island,” said Tello Sucre.

More than baskets available

If looking for an alternative to a basket, Tello Sucre says a panettone, an Italian Christmas tradition that has been described as something between a bread and a cake, is worth considering. This year, more than 30 varieties of panettones are available. Options include “commercial brands” to small batch artisan brands not commonly available, Tello Sucre said.

“We have an option for just about every taste or budget,” she said. For those looking for an upscale panettone, Tello Sucre said they offer the Fiasconaro Traditional Panettone by the slice. “This is the same baker (who) produces the panettone that is included in our Dolce & Gabbana designer tin.”

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"Dolce & Gabbana" basket.

Tello Sucre’s favorite? Filippi Panettone Marron Glace, by an award-winning small-batch producer, But her family’s favorite – and part of her Christmas morning table – is the Pandoro de Loison.

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Loison panettone "classico," sold at The Golden Hog. 

To order any of the baskets, visit www.thegoldenhog.com or click here

The Golden Hog is located in the Harbor Plaza, 91 Harbor Drive. They open at 7:30 a.m. daily and remain open until 9 p.m. Monday to Friday, and until 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, or to place a basket order, call (305) 361-1300.


Panettone. Did you know?

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Cipriani panettone, sold at The Golden Hog. 

– Panettone is somewhere between a bread and a cake in taste; a sweet yeasted bread that is traditionally around Christmas in Italy.

– Panettone was invented in Milan in the 1400s.

– It is said to have originated from the Italian word “panetto” or a small loaf cake. Early written records call it pane di tono, or “luxury cake.”

– Italians consume an estimated 5.5 lbs per family, per year.

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