5 GOURMET PRESENTS FOR THE FOODIES IN YOUR LIFE

If there's any type of shopping that's more fraught than regular holiday shopping, it's belated holiday shopping. Not only do you need to come up with a thoughtful gift, you need to find something that's so special the recipient won't mind that it's coming a little late. Fortunately, food never goes out of style. Here are five gifts sure to please the gourmands in your life:

  1. A Produce Box Subscription

    In most cities these days, you can find services that deliver a box of farm fresh produce to your (or your friend’s, in this case) doorstep each month. This is a great way to find out about new fruits and vegetables, and it can be a lot of fun to find recipes to use this top-quality produce.
  2. Wines, Whiskeys and Gins

    Let’s face it, almost all foodies like fine drinks, too. Wine and whiskey are traditional gifts. But if you want something with a little more flair, consider an at-home gin kit. It’s half science experiment, half gourmet liquor.
  3. Exotic Spices for Sale

    Plain old cinnamon might not make a great gift. But if you look around, you’ll find that there are quite a few exotic spices for sale that even the most avid cook might not have on hand yet (you can buy spices online if you don’t have a specialty spice store in the neighborhood). If you’re not sure what to get, consider fennel pollen. It offers an extremely potent fennel flavor for maximum impact. This aromatic perennial herb, from the Umbelliferae family, can be used in both culinary and medicinal applications. Tuscan cooking often uses fennel pollen to flavor bread, but it can also be used in salad or on roasted fish and meats.
  4. Gourmet Dry Rub

    Also in the spices and seasonings family, dry rubs make for excellent smaller gifts. You can make your own (perhaps with some of the aforementioned exotic spices for sale online), or buy a premade mix. If you want to make this into a larger gift, it’s better to offer a selection of rubs, rather than a large quantity of one -- after all, your friend might not be as fond of it as you are.
  5. A Sous Vide Machine

    If you want to really make a statement, a sous vide machine can make cooking soft, mouthwateringly tender meat and fish a snap. As Sam Hiersteiner wrote for the Huffington Post recently, “Sous vide technology for the home has gotten so simple that an orangutan could cook you hangar steak.”

What other gift spices, foods, drinks and cookbooks would you recommend as epicurean presents? Add your ideas in the comments section below.

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