Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Holiday Gifts for the Foodies you Love

Is it too early to start talking about holiday gifts? Can any of us even afford to buy gifts in light of the fact that the economy has gone down the toilet? I'll leave those answers up to you, but I will suggest that if you're going to give gifts, why not give gifts of food and drink, because who doesn't love food and drink? I've written about all the products below at some point or another on this blog, but thought I would compile them into one handy list of some of my most favorite consumables. Tested and loved by me, and sure to be loved by you and your favorite foodie.

Oh, how I love anything made by the Katz company, based right here in Northern California. I first learned of their products when my friend Denise gave me a jar of their citrus blossom honey for my birthday a couple of years ago, and I have been smitten ever since. Besides their honeys, they make exquisite fruit preserves and artisan vinegars and oils. They also have beautiful gift boxes, brimming with deliciousness. If you're fortunate to live in the Bay area, you can find their honeys at the Berkeley Bowl. But if not, don't fret. Just wander on over to their online store and have yourself a ball.

Bless that Denise; she is a woman who knows her food! She's also the one who turned me on to this superb olive oil, and I swear since she gave me that bottle, I must've bought another 10 bottles that I've given as gifts over the last couple years. This oil is great for dipping bread or using to dress a salad; it's wonderfully fragrant, tangy and refreshing. If you live in the Bay area, you can find it at Berkeley Bowl or at The Pasta Shop. You can also find it on Amazon.com.

I wrote about this chocolate recently, and I meant it when I said it ruined me for all the other chocolates. There is just no comparison. This Colombian single origin chocolate is like no other. Their 70% dark chocolate bar is smooth like velvet, deliriously dark and delicious. As far as I can tell, you can't purchase their chocolate from them directly on their web site, but you can get it from Chocolate.com, Chocosphere.com, or even Amazon.com.

I first learned of this tea through my friend, vegan chef extraordinaire Phil Gelb. One sip and I was hooked. I am a big fan of their Night Blooming Jasmine tea - so delicate and fragrant. They have so many wonderful varieties of tea that you'll find it hard to choose just one. They also carry many lovely teapots and cups. To the best of my knowledge, you can only buy their teas directly from them, via their online store.

So that's my two cents, for what it's worth.  Hope everyone out there has a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Although I always enjoying cooking a feast, I'm happy to be able to enjoy someone else's feast this year.  Tomorrow I'm headed to Palm Springs to spend the holiday w/ the family of my sweetie, who's mother's husband is a fabulous chef, and whom I'm told has been already cooking for days.  I can't wait!

Until next time, cheers to one and all.

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