Gone are the days where buying quality artisan food was a hassle. In this digital age, we can buy gourmet foods online and have it delivered right to our doorsteps the next day. With the internet, we now have wide access to the best selection of almost every food item we’ve ever dreamed off. Sounds all great right? Nope! Well, that’s if you don’t know how to safely buy them. There are a few concerns you need to be cautious of. Once you are able to identify and address them, then all is wonderful. Read on to find out what they are, how to address them and where to shop so you can avoid any potential problems.
Issues with Ordering Online
Things have become a lot easier for buying gourmet food, but that doesn’t mean there are no longer any problems. You still have to worry about credit card security, as well as the authenticity of the product you’re buying. Aside from those concerns, you have to worry if it’s safe to have some food—especially raw—stuffed in a box and weather the elements for days before it arrives at your doorstep.
Keeping Your Information Safe
If you’ve don’t a lot of online shopping before then you’re probably comfortable and aware of the potential problems with online transactions. But if you’re still kind of new to this while ordering online thing, you might be a little concerned about submitting your personal credit card and information over the internet.
Online shopping doesn’t have to be scary. In fact, it’s very safe and secure if you know what to look out for and what to do. I’ll cover what you need to know so you can stay safe out there.
Look at the online shop you are about to buy your food from. Look at the browser bar and see if there is a green lock on the left of the address. If the lock is green and locked, it’s using the https protocol; meaning everything you send is encrypted—protected—so only you and the website can see that information. Your information sent with the https protocol is secured.
Making Sure You’re Buying Authentic Products
Another problem with buying online is the concern of buying counterfeit items. You can be sure that with the high price of some specialty food items, there are people out there looking to make a quick gain on your ignorance. They’ll sell you fakes for the prices of the real stuff and run off with your money—never to be heard from again.
To avoid this problem, only buy from online shops that are known and trusted. I’ll list some known trusted online gourmet food vendors below.
Buying Too Much
One issue I’ve been having since I started buying gourmet food (and other perishables) from the internet is I buy too much. It’s so convenient and the prices are so good; sometimes, I get carried away and buy way more than I can finish. A lot of these items come packaged quite well, so they’ll store for a bit just fine if I don’t open them. For the items that I open and can’t finish within the day, they tend to get lost in the refrigerator. By the time I find them again, they’ve already spoiled.
This problem was not only wasteful of good food, it was also getting expensive. I sat down and did the math on day, and it was not funny at all. So, I started searching for some solutions to help me keep opened food fresh for much longer. Some items can be covered and placed in the fridge for a few days. But I also found that those sometimes get forgotten for longer than a few days. I don’t really have time on the weekdays, so by the time the weekend arrives and I have time to go digging through the fridge, I was already too late.
Maybe you can avoid this problem. Maybe the warnings of my failures is enough to stop you from over buying. However, I too was was warned of overbuying many times. I’ve made the mistakes many times and yet I still continue to do so. Maybe the problem is just me? Well, I won’t leave you hanging. I’ve found a few solutions that have worked quite well for me and I’ll share them with you. If you’re just like me and you forget sometimes, these tips will most definitely help you save some delicious food, as well as some of your hard earned money.
Keeping Your Gourmet Food Longer
Food will spoil fast–even when you cover and refrigerate it. While covering it will help keep it fresh for another day or two, it just isn’t good enough when life is so busy. I still use plastic wraps and ziploc bags to quickly store some food. I use that for stuff that wasn’t too pricey. If it spoils, I won’t beat myself up over it. But for other items where it was a little pricey, I found that nothing beats vacuum sealing.
Vacuum sealing allowed me to keep it in the fridge for over a week. Then for other items where I wanted to keep it for much later, I vacuum seal it, label, and place it in the freezer. This method is great for sweets, cured meats, fresh meats, and other items. I actually started out with a cheap little vacuum sealing machine at first, but after a few months of seeing how great it was working out, I upgraded to a chamber vacuum sealer. I haven’t looked back since.
Chamber vacuum machines are great, but they sure are pricey. If you’re considering using this method to help save your food, I’d recommend stargin out with something a more affordable option first. I bought mine after reading all the reviews at https://kitchenreviewed.com. The one I bought was from https://www.vacmasterfresh.com.
How to Have Gourmet Foods Delivered Safely to You
There’s no denying it, specialty gourmet food, while we love them, is on the pricey side. It’d be a waste to spend so much on quality and then have it spoil during transport. What if you were ordering raw steaks in the middle of summer? A few days on the road could potentially make it downright dangerous to eat once it arrives.
How do you make sure a scenario such as the one mentioned above doesn’t happen to you? The first thing you need to check is how the shop is planning to ship their items. Their website you are ordering from should at least briefly tell you how they ship their items. Are they shipped in coolers (when needed)? If they don’t tell you how, then it’ll be in your best interest to move on to the next shop that is willing to tell you.
Aside from the shipping method, you need to see how fast they will ship it. Even in a cooler, raw meat won’t last for days on the road. They should be willing to overnight it to you for such delicate items. For other items that can withstand the elements, shipping time doesn’t matter as much. If you really can’t wait that long for it to arrive, it’s worthwhile to pay a little extra to get it there sooner.
Where to Buy Gourmet Food on The Internet
With the internet being so vast, it’s easy to get lost and wander into the wrong shop. Unless you’ve been doing this for a while, it can be a little scary not knowing who you’re dealing with. Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered there. I’ve compiled a list of online gourmet shops that stock a wide variety of quality specialty foods. Give them a try—you promise you won’t be disappointed. The following is my list of the best online gourmet and specialty food shops. They’re not ranked in any particular order, so the number doesn’t indicate a better quality or anything.
- iGourmet.com is one of the big players. They’ve been around for years and their selection is huge.
- D’artagnan is another big player. They specialize more in, well, specialty meats.
- Oliviers & Company offers high quality olive oils, vinegars, and many other specialty food items.
You can find more information gourmet/specialty food, as well as food in general on this site. Just pick your interest below.
As already mentioned, the internet is vast and the number of shops selling gourmet foods online is countless. My list is only consisted of the shops I’ve shopped from before. There are many others out there and discovering one worth visiting again and again is fun in of itself. Take what you’ve learned here—how to shop safely—and go out there to discover the best selections the world has to offer; all from the comfort of your own home.