Holidays and the Foodie
With the holidays only weeks away, it’s time to find something for the foodie or cook on your list. Even if no one you know fits that description, almost everyone likes to eat. I am both a cook and a foodie. I find these stores fascinating. If you don’t, let me share the highlights of what I have found. Here are some ideas for both tools and treats that can be puchased online.
Gifts for the Foodie Cook
One of my favorite stores is the Food52 shop. They always have something I need. Their charming, porcelain spoon rests are a perfect example. Somehow it’s the simple things I never think about buying. Hand thrown, and available in a range of colors they are less than $25. Since I don’t have as many baking supplies, I find it hard to resist the french rolling pins at Tagain shop, The Wooden Palate Hand turned from a block of reclaimed Atlantic City boardwalk wood, they are both practical and displayable.
Gifts for New Cooks
If the cooks on your list are just stocking their kitchen, something basic will be appreciated. My Immersion blender is one of my favorite appliances. I find making soup or sauce in a traditional blender an invitation to disaster. If I don’t burn myself putting the ingredients into the blender, hot liquid is sure to fly out. Immersion blenders don’t require the hot ingredients be transferred to another appliance, an exponential improvement. My device also serves as the motor for a mini-food processor. It’s a great invention. They are available at mall specialty stores such as Sur La Table and Williams Sonoma, as well as traditional department stores. For other useful, but less expensive gift ideas for cooks, I suggest: colorful silicone spatulas, tongs, or microplane zester graters.
Gifts for foodies range from the traditionally delicious to the more esoteric. My favorite online purveyor for both, is Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, MI. They have the best of everything. I admit to some hometown prejudice. I am a native of Michigan, and was a student in Ann Arbor in their early days.
Chanukah Foodie Gifts
Since I celebrate both Chanukah and Christmas. I am always looking for some new additions to our celebrations. The Chanukah gelt featured in Zingerman’s online store sounds truly remarkable. Gold and silver dusted disks, they are made from dark chocolate with layers of crunchy sea salt. Kids may still enjoy the traditional, foil wrapped, milk chocolate version, but I can’t wait to try these, from local Chicago chocolatier, Veruca Chocolates.
Gifts for Entertaining
For a truly unusual gift, give something that is both delicious and a centerpiece. A 12 – inch hand painted, artisan chocolate nutcracker made in Charleston by award – winning Chistophe Chocolatier, and available on Taigan.com. I discovered the tradition of bringing sculptural chocolate as gifts, when traveling in Paris at Easter. I think they make lovely and original gifts. Another entertaining find from the Taigan online store is their fun selection of cocktail napkins. I’m particularly fond of their cute crawling ants. Party giving can’t be easier when you have a supply of Spark Syrup’s Hibiscus Ginger Lime Syrup for holiday cocktails. A versatile syrup, I also add it to salad dressings and desserts. Try their recipe for Hibiscus Vinaigrette on my Southwestern salad. For readers in the Chicago area, follow my Instagram feed @measured_food_lover this week for a Spark Syrup’s Hibiscus Ginger Lime Syrup giveaway.
Gifts for Foodie Men
If your man has everything, give him food. Zingerman’s Bacon Club includes chefs Bobby Flay, Michael Symon and Mario Batali among its fans. It has even been featured on the Food Network show, “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”. For after dinner gift ideas, give the wittily packaged dark chocolate bourbon-infused Golf Ball Truffles from Ziva chocolates. The tasty infusion will also please both the sportsmen and whisky lovers on your list.
Specialty Foodie Gifts
Everyone knows a coffee lover. For aficionados who worry about losing the flavor of their newly roasted bean, buy Opaque Airtight Coffee Storage Containers from Food52. I also have some Zingerman’s food gifts that I rely on, such as their cheese passports. I’ve given the Mountain Cheese Passport,several times, but I’d be happy to receive any of them. Their gelato has also been a hit with members of my family, so I also recommend the Custom Gelato Five – Pack.