When Gallup surveyed Americans about their “Most Admired” people, it was hardly a surprise to find Oprah Winfrey claiming a top spot on the list. Scoring four percent of the vote and trailing only Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama in the women’s rankings, Oprah also bested the likes of Condoleezza Rice, Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher, and the Dalai Lama in terms of the share of votes she amassed.
But Oprah is more than just admired. She’s also trusted, inspiring, and the most influential name in entertainment — ahead of everyone from Star Wars creator George Lucas to media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Given all of these superlatives, it’s easy to understand the fuss and fanfare surrounding the annual announcing of Oprah’s “Favorite Things.” The consensus? If Oprah likes something, we’re pretty sure we’re going to like it, too.
But what goes into choosing these things, anyway? Is Oprah even involved in the process, and if so on what criteria are her decisions based upon? Here’s a roundup of everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Oprah’s Favorite Things, along with a highlight of some of her foodie favorites over the years and where to find them.
Oprah’s Favorite Things 101
Oprah has been announcing her eagerly awaited favorite things for more than two decades — first on her television show and later on the pages of O, The Oprah Magazine. The list is so popular, in fact, that it even earned its own shopping section on Amazon!
Which begs the question: Why does Oprah hold so much sway? Let’s circle back to that whole trust thing. According to an Esquire-NBC News survey of American voters “who make up a New American Center that is passionate, persuadable, and very real” Oprah is the country’s second-most trusted person. Garnering six percent of the vote, she fell just shy of leader Barack Obama. “In Oprah we trust,” is a suitable conclusion.
But back to the list. Given her demanding schedule and various other commitments, it’s natural to wonder whether Oprah even takes part in the Favorite Things selection process or whether her involvement is in name only. According to Huffington Post’s “The Top-Secret Selection Process for Oprah’s Favorite Things,” it takes a village to gather items and sort through them, but the final decision rests with Oprah herself. Pulling together this shortlist for her consideration is no small endeavor. According to O’s creative director Adam Glassman, it takes months of “hunting, gathering, looking, searching” to find fresh-to-Oprah’s-eyes items.
In fact, over the course of year Oprah and Glassman’s team go back and forth both in person and via Skype to eventually cultivate one fabulous final list. Said Glassman, “We bring everything in that we think Oprah’s going to like so that she can go, ‘Yes,’ or, ‘No.’”
Guiding the team along the way? Awareness of specific criteria, according to Glassman: “It has to be something Oprah likes. It has to be very attainable. It has to be beautiful and useful.”
That said, it’s not always a slam dunk. Glassman recalls items the team was certain Oprah would love, but which she rebuffed. And while this may make the process more intensive, it also gives it even deeper meaning. Said Glassman, “I think what’s so great about Oprah’s Favorite Things is whether you’re buying something for your mom, you’re buying something for your kids [or] you’re buying something for a teacher, we have done the work for you.”
In other words, the list isn’t a throwaway, formality or necessary evil; the Favorite Things team is wholeheartedly invested in identifying and sharing the very best things.
Oprah’s Foodie Fix
Anyone who’s ever watched Oprah on her show or in a television commercial knows that the celebrity loves food. We’re quite sure she’d also love FoodyDirect — especially when you factor in how many of her “O-Listers” are included in the gourmet mail order food company’s extensive inventory.
From pizza and pound cakes to lobster pot pies and pie cups, Oprah’s picks may vary widely, but they are guaranteed to have at least one thing in common: They’re unusually delicious and well worth indulging in. Because let’s face it: If they’re good enough for Oprah, they’re good enough for us.
But Oprah isn’t the only one who’s recently sung the praises of FoodyDirect. Other enthusiasts have included The New York Times, USA Today, Today Show, Bon Appetit, Money Talks News, Eater, Daily News, Vanity Fair, People, Thrillist, Forbes, Esquire, the Wall Street Journal and many others. The takeaway? Even if you’re the rare person for whom Oprah isn’t your go-to gal, you’re still guaranteed to find something you love at FoodyDirect.
Oprah once said, “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” We can think of no better way to celebrate all of life’s most momentous occasions — not to mention the occasional “just because” ordinary day — than with the phenomenal fusion of Oprah’s Favorite Things and FoodyDirect. Shop amazing foods and food gifts at FoodyDirect today.