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It can be hard to know what to say when a loved one is going through a difficult time. Perhaps a friend, family member, or pet passed away or was diagnosed with an illness. Maybe they’re going through a tough time at work or lost their job.
In offering your condolences, it can be nice to show that you care by way of food and drink. Whether the recipient is a wine lover, cheese fiend, has a sweet tooth, or bears a certain dietary restriction, a curated collection of goodies is a kind way to let them know they're in your thoughts. Here, the best sympathy baskets.
Harry & David is famous for its gift baskets, and once you send or receive one, it’s easy to see why: They’re bounteous, crowd-pleasing, and thoughtfully curated. There’s something for everyone, from foodies to picky eaters. The Grand Sympathy Gift Basket is especially impressive, brimming with famed Royal Riviera Pears, garlic-stuffed olives, flaky baklava, seasonal apples, sharp cheddar, smoked salmon, and more. It also comes with a special “with sympathy” tag, letting the recipient know that you’re there for them through their difficult time.
This tower of goodies measures over a foot high and includes blue “cheeze” pretzel nuggets, vanilla apple caramels, caramel popcorn with chocolate and peanut butter drizzle, chocolate chip cappuccino cookies, cracked pepper and sea salt popcorn, and chocolate s'mores pretzels. We like that it’s kosher-certified with a mix of classic and unique flavor combinations. Plus, you really can’t beat the price. While it’s not exclusively branded as a sympathy gift, you can personalize your message in a card at checkout.
As far as we’re concerned, there are few things cheese can’t cure. The beauty of sending the Lady & Larder Large Cheese Board—aside from it being a gorgeous assortment from a woman-owned company that comes with its own cutting board and plating guide—is that the recipient can eat everything on its own or assemble a charcuterie board to share with family. It comes with goat Gouda, world-renowned Point Reyes Bay Blue, heritage-breed prosciutto, truffle mustard, wildflower honey, sourdough flatbread bites, nuts, and fruit from California family farms. You could not find a more scrumptious and stunning collection.
This gift tray includes delectable pastries, from baklava to sweet apple loaf cake. You’ll find lemon citrus shortbread cookies, Wolferman’s lemon poppyseed coffee cake, raspberry galettes, walnut chocolate chunk cookies, and more. For comforting confections, you can't beat this sweet assortment.
With a name like “Bummer Box,” you may not want to send this in response to a death or serious illness. On the contrary, if someone is having a hard time in a less permanent, life-altering way, it may be the right move. The snacks are unparalleled. There’s heirloom hot chocolate, chocolate sea salt almond butter made by artisanal producer Big Spoon Roasters, small-batch potato chips, chocolate and peanut butter popcorn, beer, caramel pretzel nuggets, and more. It will turn any bad day or tough break into something sweet.
We’ve all heard of a sympathy fruit basket, but when’s the last time you heard of someone sending sympathy ice cream? For an abundance of frozen treats, go with the Sympathy Ice Cream Assortment from Harry & David. It includes four mouth-watering pints in flavors that the recipient will almost certainly love: chocolate with chocolate chunks (dubbed “Pint of Compassion”), mint chip (“Tub of Hugs”), cookies and cream (“Scoops of Support”), and sea salt caramel (“Thinking of You”).
This basket is a cornucopia of freshness and summery bounty. It includes kiwi, navel oranges, pears (Beurre Bosc, Red Sensation, and Imperial Comice), plus Fuji and Granny Smith apples, all in a hand-woven willow basket tied with a sympathy gift ribbon. This elegant offering weighs a whopping 11 pounds and is sure to bring a much-needed smile to any fruit fanatic's face.
Even if you’re not shopping for someone kosher, this lineup rules. It includes Old Dominion peanut brittle, caramel swirl pretzels, smoked wild salmon, Davidson's tea, roasted and salted pistachios, olive oil and sea salt crackers, baklava, and more. This isn’t branded as a sympathy basket only, so let them know in the card that you’re sorry for their loss.
Great gluten-free desserts can be hard to find. This assortment of crunchy biscotti is certified gluten-free, dairy-free, preservative-free, and kosher. Each cookie is hand-dipped in toppings like coconut flakes, craisins, cappuccino chips, white chocolate bits, cinnamon sugar, nonpareils, and chocolate chips. Depending on when you order, you can get same-day delivery, and while it’s not branded as a sympathy box only, you can add a thoughtful note at checkout.
If you’re on the hunt for a healthier option, the search stops here. This lovely and distinctive crate is tasty, nutritious, and well-designed. It includes roasted and salted almonds and cashews; dried pears, peaches, apricots, plums, and dates; date nut rolls coated with coconut; and more. The fruits are arranged in the shape of petals in bloom, making it a tasty alternative to flowers. It's beautiful, practical, and doubly thoughtful.
If you’re shopping for a wine enthusiast, look no further. This basket houses three bottles from premier Sonoma producer Chalk Hill, including a red blend, chardonnay, and pinot noir. Snacks are also in tow for perfect pairing. Expect Lindt Lindor Milk Chocolate Truffles, roasted garlic and onion dip, bruschetta, garlic and herb cheese wedges, Ghirardelli squares, fruit jellies, macaroons, and more. It's deluxe and delicious.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Writer and professional eater Christine Clark is an avid sharer and enjoyer of all things delicious. Her love languages are food and gift-giving. She has a cheese podcast, a fridge that is always too full, and a very lived-in kitchen.