There are a variety of dried fruit baskets, differing in size and content. They are a type of gift basket and are almost exclusively used as a prepackaged present. Some contain only dried fruits while others contain a variety of fruits, chocolates, nuts, coffees, and other non-perishable items. Dried fruit baskets are available online, through catalogs, and from specialty shops. For individuals who are inclined to crafts, dried fruit baskets can also be home made.
The size of the basket varies. Typically, the price is related to the overall size of the basket, but it is more closely related to the weight of the fruit that is included. Some baskets are quite small, containing only two or three varieties of dried fruit in small amounts. Others are quite large, spanning 2 feet (about 60 cm) or more in diameter and containing a smorgasbord of treats.
Larger baskets typically have some type of theme or predictable contents. For instance, dried fruit is often combined with chocolate, coffee, and and attractive mug as a complete gift basket for the coffee lover. Others may contain dried fruit, crackers, cheese, and meat for a heartier spread, appropriate for an individual who enjoys snacks.
Technically, one would expect a dried fruit basket to arrive in a real, woven basket, but this is not always the case. Sometimes dried fruit baskets are actually arranged on trays or modified bowls. This is because it is easier for the contents to be displayed on a flat surface than in a concave basket. Regardless of the base, dried fruit baskets are almost always wrapped decoratively, in clear plastic or mesh with a decorative bow.
Many companies offer organic dried fruit baskets. This means that the fruit is grown under the exacting standards of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for organic farmers. Typically, use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers is prohibited in organic farming, which is said to produce a healthier, more flavorful fruit.
Homemade baskets can be made by small business owners as a professional service or simply as a gift from one friend to another. Making a dried fruit basket is not difficult, especially if the individual has a talent for arranging items in a visually pleasing manner. Sometimes a homemade basket is preferred to a store bought basket because unusual items can be included. In some cases, a certain theme is desired which is not readily available through stores or catalogs.