Ho ho ho…ly cow, holiday time is here. Are all the foodies on your list accounted for? FOF Food Gurus recommend the tastiest treats to GIVE gourmands.
FOF Jill Silverman Hough is a food and wine writer, culinary instructor, and the author of the 100 Perfect Pairings cookbooks.
1. Olive Oils from The Olive Press (starting at $18) in this adorable dachshund cruet set from Velocity Art and Designs, $40
“I’ve tasted lots of different olive oils from lots of different producers and this is hands-down my favorite. The individual olive flavors (arbequena, ascolano, etc.) really come through. Their citrus olive oils are the absolute best, with lots of true flavor and little of the bitterness that sometimes accompanies. The dog-lover in your life might especially like this cute dachshund cruet.”
2. Salami of the Month Club from Olympic Provisions, $135
“You get one salami delivered each month, for an entire year. I’ve tasted their salami nola, saucisson d’Arles, saucisson d’Alsace, and saucisson sec and loved ‘em all–subtle yet complex flavors, the textures are deliciously creamy and chewy.”
3. Sweets from Poco Dolce, starting at $16
“Sometimes when trendy chocolatiers get creative it’s just too much savory seasonings and/or not great chocolate. But, with Poco Dolce, a small-batch artisanal producer based in San Francisco, the chocolate itself is really good and the flavors are creative, but subtle. I particularly liked their olive oil bar with its soft, sexy texture and can hardly stop eating their toffee tiles.”
4. Happy Goat Caramels, starting at $6.99
“Caramels are so hot these days that there are a million to choose from. But these have that slight goat-cheese flavor that makes them uniquely delicious – like dulce de leche in a candy wrapper. There are several flavors – I particularly like the vanilla bean and winter spice. I also like their Scotch caramel sauce, which is wonderfully boozy.”
FOF Julia della Croce is one of America’s foremost authorities on Italian food, with over 13 cookbooks bearing her name. She is also author of the food blog, Fork Tales.
5. Fabbri “Amarena” cherries, $12.99 (8 oz) to $69.95 (7 lb, 10 oz) also available at select Williams-Sonoma and Sur la Table stores
“The most superb cherries you’ll ever eat, and they come in a beautiful, opaline jar. The company that makes them was started in 1905 in Bologna by the current owner’s great grandmother.”
6. Signed copies of Julia’s cookbooks with personalized messages, $15-$35
“I ship them in time for the holidays and offer both my cookbooks in print, or out-of-print, hard-to-find books–as long as they last.”
7. Livestock for a family in need, starting at $10 for a share
“Heifer International lets you give gifts of livestock, such as baby goats and chickens, to needy families all over the world. In many poor countries owning livestock can mean having the ability to provide eggs or milk to a family or being able to sell the extra to pay for other staples, medicine or clothing. Gifts of livestock can also reproduce, so provide very long-lasting resources. There’s little in the way of middlemen here–your money really goes directly to the people they say it does.”
8. Harbor Candy, $5.95 (Tea Infused Chocolates) to $54 (Grande Sampler)
“The Harbor Candy Shop, Ogunquit, Maine, is one of the best candy stores in the U.S. My husband and I go to Ogunquit every August, and this amazing shop is one of the reasons. Superb quality; handmade candies and chocolates are made on the premises. My favorites are the caramallows and the orange slices in chocolate. My daughter loves their beautiful marzipan and my husband brings the crystalized ginger home every August for his boss’s wife.”
Cathy Wheelbarrow is an FOF food guru and brilliant mind behind the fabulous cooking blog,
Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen
9. Canal House Cookbooks, $10-$19.95
“Away from the clamor of food with foam and exotic ingredients, Christopher Hershheimer and Melissa Hamilton have created an oasis of food sanity in their Canal House series. These are elegant cookbooks with simple, exceptional recipes. The first six books in the series were curated seasonally, and beginning with January, the next grouping will be by cuisine, with Italian food up first. A perfect cookbook or series for any cook.”
10. The Food52 Cookbook, $19.92
“Okay, I’ve got two recipes in this book, but that’s not the only reason I’m suggesting it. The Food52 Cookbook from Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs collects the best of food52.com’s recipes, gathered from home cooks everywhere. There are cakes and cookies, main dishes, sandwiches, cocktails and more. And every recipe has been tested, so you can be sure you’ll end up with great results.”
11. Handmade Marshmallows from Eat Boutique, $24.95
“A sweet treat, all ready to float on a cup of hot cocoa that first snow day. Eat Boutique has many lovely food gifts gathered from artisan cooks around the country.”
12. Picot Platter from Anthropologie, $98
“This lace-patterned, perfectly white serving dish will make your holiday cookies look even more delicious.”
Meridith Ford Goldman is an FOF food guru, food writer and former Atlanta Journal-Constitution dining critic.
13. An adopted olive tree from Nudo, in Italy, $109
“You can choose from dozens of olive groves, pick the type of tree you think your recipient would prefer and then they’ll reap the rewards all year long–Nudo sends olive oil from their tree to their doorstep.”
Enter to win this adorable dachshund cruet set by leaving a comment below.
One FOF will win.
(See all our past winners, here.)
(See official rules, here.)
Contest closes December 14, 2011 at midnight E.S.T.