20 July 2010

7 Gift Ideas for the Foodie Host

Secret Stash Salt Chorizo
Heading to a dinner party or other occasion where the host is a gourmet or fellow foodie?  Practicing the art of being a gracious guest, and looking for an appropriate host gift? (See prior post, The Art of Being a Gracious Guest as needed.)

Not interested in offering them the "same old same old"?

Here's a quick list of hot hostess/host gift ideas (around $25 and some conveniently available ONLINE) sure to please their palate!  We added a few of our favorite examples...but don't hesitate to share a few of your own!

(1) Specialty Sea Salts

Secret Stash Salt - Almond Cardamom
Perfect for finishing a dish, accenting a flavor, or adding special zest.  These often come in gift sets, or interesting bottles or other packaging.

We're liking our new discovery Secret Stash Sea Salts a small-scale artisan team based in Seattle.  Their products are packaged in colorfully labeled 3.5 ounce jars - we are especially fond of their Lavender Rosemary Salt  and the Almond Cardamom (a NASFT SOFI Silver Medal winner!).  ($15 plus shipping)
Artisan Salt Company - Limited Edition Sampler Set
We're also fans of the Artisan Salt Company - in particular their 3.5 ounce Cork Top Jar of the Fumee de Sel (in coarse and fine), the Salish Smoked Salt (in coarse and fine) and the Himalayan Pink (in coarse and fine). For a gift take a look at the different Limited Edition Sampler Sets, including salt serving bowls and spoons. ($25 plus shipping)

(2) Chocolate & Bacon
This tantalizing flavor combination will definitely win you a repeat invitation.  And to our way of thinking, no one does it better than Vosges Haut-Chocolat.
Vosges Bacon & Chocolate Gift set
Choose from assorted Bacon & Chocolate Gifts all beautifully packaged & ready to go including a Mini Bacon Candy Bar Library ~ Mo's Bacon Chocolate Chip Pancake Mix (3 pack) ~ Bacon Caramel Toffee ~ and the coveted gift set of Mo's Bacon Bars, Flying Chocolate Pig & Rogue Shakespeare Stout (slightly above the $25 threshold at $42 but WELL worth it).

(3) Garrett Popcorn
Garrett Popcorn 1lb Tin
With 60+ years of popping under their belts, no wonder this delicious "most-sought-after" popcorn is a delight.  Not just for Windy City savvy hosts, there are retail stores in New York as well.  And they'll ship across the country!  Garrett's 1 Gallon Tin of your choice of flavor (we go with The Chicago Mix of CaramelCrisp & CheeseCorn, but Macadamia or Cashew CaramelCrisp is also tempting) in a variety of designs from sports-themed to Garrett's logo is a fun & delish treat for the host and their family.  Also consider 12 Traditional Size Popcorn Balls ($24) or there's even a New Baby Bundle including a 1 gallon of your choice of flavor plus a "Love is Messy" Bib.

(4) TableTopics
The gift that will be enjoyed over many gatherings, we love these elegantly boxed sets of 135 thought-provoking questions packaged in a 4" acrylic cube.  
TableTopics Dinner Party Cube set
Perfect for the foodie host are the Gourmet and the Dinner Party versions of TableTopics including such conversation triggers as "Which celebrity chef would you most like to fix you a meal?" "Who's your favorite celebrity right now and why?" and "What would you rather be - lucky or wise?". ($25 plus shipping)

(5) Specialty Spice Sets
Penzeys Spices Pepper Lover's set
Any home chef loves to dabble and experiment with new tastes and flavors, so a host gift of interesting spices works well!

We're big fans of Penzeys Spices and have had great success with their Some Like it Hot ($20), Cocoa Lover's ($14) and International Salt Free ($22)  - each boxed set contains four 1/2 cup jars.

Taking it up a notch for that extra special host or gathering?  We recommend the Pepper Lover's 6" or 8" ($40-$49) which includes 3 jars of peppercorns along with a 6" or 8" wooden Peppermill.

Truffle Shaver
(6) Truffle & Chocolate Shaver
For a true gourmet who enjoys both variations of truffle - of the earth and of chocolate - this tool is a MUST-have to ensure these exceptional tastes are portioned properly.  Italian-made of stainless steel, the shaver creates paper thin curls and shavings.

Pictured right is the truffle shaver available from CHEFS Catalog for $20.  We pair this with a mini bottle of Roland Black Truffle Oil and a small wedge of Valrhona (white, dark or milk) and let our host swoon.

(7) Balsamic Syrup & Pint of strawberries
Balsamic & Strawberry Set
A staple in our kitchen and entertaining, we love a drizzle of balsamic syrup on salads, grilled meats and even fresh berries!

Grab a pint of raspberries or strawberries, and a 12.9 ounce bottle of Isola Cream of Balsamic ($14) or whichever version is available to you, and you have an inspired way to honor your hostess this season.  Our hometown inspiration for this combination is Fox and Obel.

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Happy Entertaining!

1 comment:

Sonica said...

Nice Blog! Well most of your content and image is original and informative. /many thanks for sharing this, cheers.

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