I’m often asked by those that don’t obsess about food 24/7/365 for host/hostess gift ideas for their food-loving friends. To that end, I’ve compiled a list of my top five food-oriented gifts that are around the same cost as a gift-worthy bottle of wine.
Here they are:
1) Extra virgin olive oil – great for drizzling on salads, swirling into hummus, or topping some vanilla ice cream (don’t forget the sea salt). Good olive oil is something every kitchen should have. However, given the # of bills one must part with to get a good oil can make buying your own bottle a bit self-indulgent. Getting it as a gift, however? Heaven. Cheese Plus on Polk St. has a makeshift tasting bar set up so you can try before you buy.
2) Champagne or sherry vinegar – there are a plethora of recipes that call for one of these two lovely vinegars. But just like olive oil, it can be a muy caro add to a grocery list so you”ll brighten an amateur chefs day when you hand over a bottle.
3) Salt– Yes, salt. There are countless varieties of salt available now. And, they ain’t cheap. I heart a lovely truffle salt that does wonders for poached eggs. Just think how much fun your hostess will have finding uses for her new fleur del sel?
4) Nduja– It’s like a salami pate. That’s the best way I can describe it. Now that may gross some of you out, but spread on a baguette slice and tossed into the oven to get it hot and bubbly … OMG, sooo good! I dare you not to get addicted. Boccalone in the Ferry Building sells nduja and other varieties of pig deliciousness.
5) Bob’s Big Donut– Even your friends that are not food obsessed will love you for giving them this fried bit of yum. It costs around $6 which is a lot cheaper than any giftable bottle of vino. Plus, a monster-sized donut is just plain FUN. Unless, you are one of those freaks that balks at the thought of putting something fried in your mouth. At a recent Shalimar birthday celebration an ingenious friend of mine went up the block and purchased one of these big boys as an impromptu birthday cake. I ate 3 “slices”. You can follow @whatfreshest on Twitter to get alerted to what’s hot, fresh, and delightfully sinful from Bob’s Donut & Pastry Shop.
Up next week: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup