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An Italian Food Gift Guide to Celebrate Mother’s Day

Our contributor recommends Italian food gifts from specialty shops and iconic restaurants to celebrate mothers on their special day.

Aside from showering the mamma, nonna, or the mamma/nonna-figure in your life with lots of amore and un bacio or two on Mother's Day, there’s one surefire way to touch their hearts: cibo. It’s practically a universal Italian truth that the best gift of all for Italian mothers is food.

From mom-and-pop companies to iconic restaurants, these are some delicious ways to celebrate mothers on their special day. And, of course, we know that Italian mother’s love to share…

Carlino’s Market Taste of Carlino's Gift Box 

The Taste of Carlino's Gift Box.
The Taste of Carlino's Gift Box.

Sometimes it’s a headache deciding what edible gift to get the mother in your life. Maybe a bag of risotto? A fancy bottle of olive oil? Or perhaps some jarred peppers stuffed with hunks of prosciutto? Enter Carlino’s Market to come save the day. With locations in Pennsylvania (along a popular online storefront), the company is known for their delectable spins on all of the classic Italian pantry staples, from grissini to jarred sauce, dried pasta and vinegar. All of it comes stuffed in their signature gift boxes, which boast three sizes depending on the needs of your mom’s kitchen. Don’t waste time buying all these items individually; let their gift box do the work for you. Plus, its impressive size would be enough to impress even the most stoic of mothers. 

RELATED: Mother's Day Gift Guide With Little Luxuries and More

Bright and Bold Gift Duo from Olive and Basket

The Bright and Bold Gift Duo from Olive and Basket.
The Bright and Bold Gift Duo from Olive and Basket.

Based in Maryland, if there’s one thing the mom-and-pop operation of Olive and Basket knows, it's two of the most important ingredients in the Italian pantry: olive oil and vinegar. You can thank the brand’s founder, Sharon Streb. After growing up on a farm and following a stint studying art in Italy, she combined her expertise for eye-popping beauty and the freshest ingredients around into Olive and Basket. That includes their Bright and Bold Gift duo, which infuses mango and lemon into their vinegar and olive oil.  “We’re all about simple pleasures,” they state on their website. “The joy of discovery, and the love of good food made with care.” Now, that’s something any mom can appreciate.

Settepani Bakery Rainbow Cookie Croissant Six-Pack

rainbow croissants
Settepani Rainbow Croissant Cookies.

You may have seen them blowing up online, viral sensations that have made the stomach of hungry fans worldwide growl: glorious croissants, bursting with instantly-recognizable rainbow cookies, a fusion of two of life’s most scrumptious pleasures. You can gift some to your mother thanks to the New York City Italian mainstay Settepani. With a restaurant in Harlem and bakeries in Williamsburg and Dumbo, Brooklyn, they ship their luscious creations through Goldbelly: a six-pack of Rainbow Cookie Croissants making the perfect Mother’s Day treat. 

Rubirosa Pasta Sampler

The Pasta Sampler from Rubirosa.
The Pasta Sampler from Rubirosa.

Located in Manhattan’s Nolita neighborhood, Rubirosa has gained a reputation for bridging the gap between the modern flavors of Italian cuisine and that old school taste that carries an iconic mystique. And while one can’t order one of their famed pizzas or salads if you don’t live in New York, what anyone around the country can get their hands on is their pasta. Packaged in what resembles an eye-popping, colorful popcorn tin, the sampler boasts a pound each of three unique shapes: Lumache, Casarecce and Trottole. What’s better than a pasta feast on Mother’s Day?

Carbone Spicy Vodka Kit

Carbone's Spicy Vodka Kit.
Carbone's Spicy Vodka Kit.

Perhaps your mom is discerning about what Italian restaurants currently retain that cool factor; ones where the stars go to dine and a reservation is harder than refraining from eating more than one piece of bread before dinner comes. You can’t get much cooler than Carbone, the New York City-based restaurant which regularly fetes some of the most important names in pop culture, from Tony Bennett to Justin Bieber and President Obama. (As owner Mario Carbone recently told US Weekly: “We give our guests more than just dinner – we give them an ultimate night out.”) But if one can’t get into any of their Fort Knox-like locations nationwide (including Las Vegas and Miami Beach), this gift set is the next best thing. Along with their iconic Spicy Vodka sauce, the kit also includes pasta, a measuring cup, and even an authentic Italian platter for serving. 

Patsy's Jarred Sauces

Patsy's jarred sauces
Patsy's jarred sauces.

It’s the original New York Italian icon. Steps from Carnegie Hall, Pasty’s created the concept of the celebrity restaurant, and its most famous guest is none other than the Patron Saint of Italian-Americans himself, Frank Sinatra. A frequent diner, the iconic singer became a major champion of the restaurant, and his birthday is celebrated annually there to this day.  But the family-owned operation doesn't just rest on their laurels; the food is some of the best Italian-American fare one can be lucky to feast their taste buds on. This includes their iconic pasta sauces, which are thankfully available for purchase for customers who can’t get to New York. Buy a couple jars; Frank would want you to. 

[Note: Appetito may earn commissions from products featured in links to this story.]

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