Here’s to all the dads and father figures out there with food allergies and intolerances! Father’s Day is right around the corner, so I took the guesswork out of finding gifts for the dads in your life with dietary restrictions by rounding up some safe (and tasty) options.
All of these items are made in Pittsburgh (although most ship if you live elsewhere) and any of them (in any combination) would make a wonderful Father’s Day gift.*
A Cast Iron Skillet from Lancaster Cast Iron: 129 five-star reviews can’t be wrong. The Lancaster No. 8 Cast Iron Skillet ($149.99) is cast, machined, seasoned and packaged in Lancaster, PA. It can be used over gas and electric stoves, and even over a campfire (perfect for the outdoorsy dads in your life who love camping). Add on a leather handle cover ($24.99) and dad’s all set to get creative with recipes like steak, hash browns or gluten-free corn bread (include a box of allergen-free cornbread mix to complete the gift).** Order straight from the website.
Gourmet Salts from Steel City Salt Co.: Based in Millvale, Steel City Salt Co. specializes in a wide assortment of gourmet salts, spices, infusions, rubs and blends. Some standout options include the 5 O’Clock Somewhere Gift Set ($19.95), which contains a pink Himalayan Salt Shot Glass, Lemon Lime Sea Salt and Sriracha Salt (you know what to add); the Griller’s Gift Set ($21.95), which includes Hickory Smoked Sea Salt, Red Hawaiian Sea Salt, Ghost Pepper Sea Salt and Espresso Sea Salt (which is great sprinkled on Sunbutter Blossoms); and their newest offering, the love, Pittsburgh Everything Salt blend, a mixture of Trapani Sicilian Sea Salt, onion, garlic, bell peppers, mustard and celery seed ($5.95). Visit the shop at 206 Grant Ave. in Millvale, or order online.
Aurochs Brewing Co. Gluten-Free Beer: Emsworth’s Aurochs Brewing Co. creates craft beer from millet, quinoa and buckwheat at its dedicated gluten-free brewery and now ships to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky, Vermont, New Hampshire and Washington, D.C. Their brand-new Hefe blend – the only gluten-free Hefeweizen I’ve come across – is a winner, and the packaging is gorgeous. Other summertime favorites include the light and citrusy Blonde Ale; the Light Lager; and the dynamic, tropical Hazy IPA. If you’re in Pittsburgh, a visit to the brewery at 8321 Ohio River Blvd. in Emsworth is a treat (hours are Thurs. and Fri., 4:30-8 p.m. and Sat., noon-6 p.m.), or place an order and have it shipped. Prices range from $12 for a four-pack to $65 for a 24-pack.
Kombucha from Moody Culture Kombucha: Partners-in-crime Lisa Harpster and John Schaffer founded Moody Culture Kombucha out of State College in 2017 and have been creating small-batch, hand-made kombucha (aka fermented tea) from water, tea, sugar and SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast), plus fresh fruits, herbs and roots ever since. All of the blends, which currently include Hopped up, Blueberry Ginger, Raspberry Lemon, Mint Madness, Pineapple Cayenne and Watermelon Mint, are raw, fresh, free of preservatives and are gluten, dairy and soy-free. The flavors are deliciously complex and refreshing, and the packaging is artful and recyclable. Email them directly at email@example.com to order a six-pack or case, and they’ll deliver it to a convenient Pittsburgh pickup spot on Tues., June 8, or visit this link to find Pennsylvania locations that carry it.
Pickles from Pittsburgh Pickle Co.: Pittsburghers are known for being hardworking and dedicated. So it stands to reason that every pickle at Pittsburgh Pickle Co. is picked fresh from the farm, sliced by hand, then packed in jars with fresh herbs and brine. The result is crispy, crunchy, salty, and perfectly tangy. The Pittsburgh-Style pickles are classic dill; if Dad likes heat, Fire & Smoke includes red and chipotle peppers; and the Picklexir can be used to brine meat, make a mixed drink, sweeten breath and even cure hangovers. You’re welcome Dad! (Note that some products, like the Briney Mary, contain allergens such as anchovies, so always check ingredient labels). Pick some up at a retailer near you, or order online.
Handmade Leather Belt from Studebaker Metals: Every Studebaker Metals piece is hand-forged and shipped from their metalsmithing workshop in Braddock, and each item is one-of-a-kind. Dad could always use a new belt, and Studebaker’s handmade leather option ($148), which comes in Havana Brown or Black, is extra-special. Other great gift ideas for dad include tie bars (from $48), keyholders (from $58), money clips ($48) and signet rings (from $68). Order online; they even ship internationally on orders over $250. Or, if you’re in Pittsburgh and want to schedule a private ring appointment or a curbside pickup, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dad, You’re a Hoot! Card from Winter Pickle Press: Round out your gift for Dad with a hand-printed greeting card from Winter Pickle Press, founded in 2019 by Becky Compeau in Bloomfield. The cards are printed on 100% recycled paper with water-based inks and compostable plant-based protective sleeves. The adorable barred owl design featured above ($5) is part of Compeau’s Birds of Prey series, perfect for the outdoorsy dad who also loves a good dad joke. Winter Pickle Press also sells fun cork coasters ($18 for a set of 4) with themes like “camping in the woods” and “retro sneakers.” Pair the coasters with a card and a six-pack of Auroch’s or Moody Culture, and dad’s all set!
*I did my best to recommend items free of the top 8 food allergens, but please always double check ingredient labels and product contents before purchasing items for someone with allergies or intolerances.
**Just make sure Dad subs non-dairy milk and flax eggs. Sign up for my email for a full ingredient substitutions list, which includes buttermilk, eggs, flour, nuts and other common ingredients.