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Archive | December 24th, 2009

Last-Minute Gift Ideas for the Foodie on Your List

Last-Minute Gift Ideas for the Foodie on Your List

Give the gift of chocolate this Christmas.

Give the gift of chocolate this Christmas.

Foodies will love an array of salts.

Foodies will love an array of salts.

You’ve waited to the last minute and still have presents to get. Don’t worry. You can finish your shopping in a hurry and please all the foodies on your list. Here are a few ideas:

  • Cooking classes at Central Market. You can get a certificate and let your foodie friends choose what class they want to attend.
  • Drop by the chocolate aisle of your supermarket. You’d be surprised at how some stores have expanded their selection. Grab a few premium bars and use them as stocking stuffers.
  • Coffees and teas. Bulk coffees and exotic teas are always welcome, especially in winter.
  • Visit a store with a large cheese selection, such as Central Market, Whole Foods or the H-E-B Plus stores, and assemble an array of cheeses from around the world. Add a box or two of fine crackers to go with them.
  • Grab a bottle or two of sparkling wine. After all, what’s a party without bubbles?
  • Make a spice basket by gathering a few jars of more exotic seasonings. Central Market has a host of dried mushroom powders as well as imported spices, like Chilean merkén, that will let your foodie friends broaden their cooking repertoire.
  • Gather a collection of salts. There are so many on the market these days, including finishing salts like fleur de sel. Flavored salts, from those with ginger or coriander in the mix to salts that have been smoked over various woods. Salts even come in colors, from Himalayan pink to black.
  • Fill a picnic basket with some tinned seafood (anchovies, sardines, smoked oysters), some pâtés, caviar, if you can afford it. It may be too cold for a picnic now, but the promise of spring is always welcome.
  • Put together the basis of a meal. For example, you could assemble some fine pasta, some canned tomatoes from Italy, a jar of capers, a tin of anchovies, a bottle of olive oil, a bottle of Chianti and a CD of Puccini, all of which can be used for an evening of pasta puttanesca.
  • Visit one or two ethnic markets and put together an assortment of different foods, from pickled eggplant to tapioca pearls for making bubble tea.
  • If you want to steer clear of the supermarkets, then head to a bookstore for a cookbook or two. People who love cookbooks never have enough. (For a list of suggestions, click here.)

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