Chicago Foodies - Holiday Shopping for Foodies

Holiday Shopping for Foodies

Josh Brusin

December 09 2012 - 6:41 PM

Short of a gift card, or cash, there are a few nearly all-purpose gifts that will make almost anyone happy. Here are some essentials that are sure to please.

1. Booze
It’s hard to go wrong with booze but at the same time, not every bottle is equal. A gallon of vodka might certainly be put to good use but take extra consideration by adding something to a liquor cabinet that might make an impression. Barrel-aged spirits are certainly popular. Look for sherry-barreled bottles, like the options from Glenrothes or Macallan. There is a surprising sweetness that is unexpected, especially from Scotch.

Gin is in the midst of a resurgence and amongst a diversity of options here are two that are special-use gins. Letherbee makes a nearly perfect gin and in this case, they’ve added the Autumnal to their line. The gin uniquely adds cloves, allspice and nutmeg. The yin to this yang is Nolet’s. It’s also a unique bottle bringing fruit and an unmistakable turkish rose. Neither of these gins are good candidates for a dirty martini but instead they add a unique option for specific usages.

2. Knives
So far it’s all weapons and booze but what chef could be disappointed by a Damascus chef’s knife? Granted the price point is stellar but it’s the type of item that becomes an heirloom. From Mac to Shun to Sabatier, everyone has a preference but at the same time you can’t really go wrong.

3. Etsy
Cutting boards on Etsy are surprisingly affordable and beautiful. If you’re looking for more of a service piece or a butcher block, both are readily available.

4.Foie Gras
Ethical foie is seasonal and winter is the season. Here’s a link to a Spanish purveyor living up to Dan Barber’s standards from his epic Ted Talk.

5.The Magical Animal
Like the foie gras, Jamon Iberico likely falls into the category of wonderful things people would never buy for themselves. Hence they make great gifts. Hamlovers.com gives you options from $12 to $1200.

Oregon white truffles are totally unique. They’re a fraction of the price of our Piedmont friends but they bring a very different flavor and aroma.

7. Wine Decanters
Metrokane makes a beautiful aerator (our featured image, above) with a filter/screen that delivers on presentation and aeration. Vinturi (pictured here) provides an entirely portable and equally elegant option with their travel vinturi. You’ll start decanting everything, and rightly so!

8.Nosing Glasses
If you have a whiskey lover in the family and you’re too young to purchase alcohol, get a set of four nosing glasses. It’s an elegant way to enjoy spirits and while whiskey/rocks glasses might already be owned, nosing glasses are far snootier and more unique.

Tonewood, who coincidentally launched a Kickstarter this week, makes unique products out of maple. Their maple cube is a winner as is their maple flakes and maple cream. If you have any sweet-toothed friends who especially like breakfasting any of these products will be something they will talk about.

10.Truffle salt. It’s $30. It’s bank… I know I mentioned truffles before but that’s really a whole other commitment. Sprinkle on eggs, fries, risotto, steak. You can’t really go wrong.


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Dori Ross


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June 05, 2016

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