Though anxiety over finals is slowly but surely bubbling in my stomach, I still found time to procrastinate over Thanksgiving break and make my Christmas wish list.
Along with a plethora of books (I’ve decided to jump on “The Hunger Games” bandwagon) and the “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” DVD (Hello, Ryan Gosling’s abs), I’ve listed a number of gifts that will satisfy my foodie soul.
As someone who has asked for and received food-related items for the past several holidays, here’s my advice on the do’s and don’ts of foodie gift-giving this season.
Do: Give something completely unexpected.
Foodies love a quirky culinary gift, and there’s no shortage of them nowadays.
Consider giving a cheese-making kit for the dairy-lover in your life: The Cheese Supply offers creamy ricotta, rich mozzarella or tart goat cheese kits for less than $30.
For the Italian enthusiast, think about adopting an olive tree from a hillside olive grove in Italy. Nudo-Italia is a collection of olive groves that allows you to adopt an olive tree of your choice, and sends the olive oil it produces to you over the course of one year. At over $100, the price is hefty, but the flavored oils that arrive in the autumn shipment are well worth the cost.
Don’t: Give kitchen appliances or tools.
There’s nothing a foodie dislikes more than having a drawer full of wooden stirring spoons and mismatched sets of measuring cups. This holiday, avoid giving another food processor or citrus zester unless it’s specifically mentioned on the receiver’s list.
Do: Give a classic cookbook.
Irma Rombauer’s “The Joy of Cooking” is essentially the bible of cookbooks, but it’s kind of like the “Citizen Kane” of food: Everyone’s seen (or read) it, but no one owns it. Correct that by giving the chefs on your list the classic cookbook they’ve been dying to put on their bookshelf. One Christmas I hunted down an early edition of Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” for my dad, who’d been searching for one in second-hand bookshops for months. It was one of my favorite gifts to give.
Don’t: Buy any sort of cooking video game.
Food and Xbox sound good in theory, but in reality they just don’t mesh. Take last year, when my mom bought my brother “Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine” — he played with it for about five minutes, and I think it’s still gathering dust on top of his Blu-ray player.
Do: Make reservations for dinner at the restaurant of their dreams.
As a foodie, I have an entire section of my bucket list dedicated to cuisine, starting with dining at Michel Richard’s Citronelle. With the meal starting at $350 dollars, you can see why it hasn’t been crossed off yet. This year, treat the food-obsessed with a meal from a restaurant that would otherwise break their bank. For D.C. dwellers, consider a plate of braised short ribs and truffle-mashed potatoes at BLT Steak, or the 22-course feast at Komi.