For the person who loves to get creative in the kitchen, a holiday gift of exotic ingredients certainly will be appreciated.
This is a fun gift that any adventurous chef would love. With this DIY mushroom kit (UncommonGoods, $20), you can grow up to 1-1/2 pounds of pearl oyster mushrooms by just spraying the soil and mushroom root twice a day. The kit includes the instructions, the mister, the soil (which is comprised of 100 percent recycled coffee grounds) and the oyster mushroom spawn.
For the adventurous chef who loves her Italian food, why not give the gift of cheese? The Formaggio del Cucina assortment (iGourmet, $30) is just one of the many cheese choices available at iGourmet.com. You can select everything from an Irish cheese assortment to smoked cheese and pub cheese to great goat cheeses of the world.
Olive oil and vinegar
Olive oil and vinegar are pantry staples that should be in everyone's kitchen. And these products are a cut above the rest. The Chef's Choice set (The Olive Press, $194) features three bottles each of their award-winning olive oils, plus one bottle each of their imported balsamic vinegars for a total of 12 bottles.
For those who love to grill, you can't go wrong with the Killer BBQ Sauce Gift Set (Gourmet Mike's, $30). This set includes some of the best sauces you can find, from Lynchburg Tennessee (made with Jack Daniels) to Mad Dog Original BBQ Sauce.
Perfect for chefs or any salt lover, the Artisan Deluxe Trio Exotic Salt Collection (SaltWorks, $30) makes a terrific gift. This set includes three full-size flip-top jars of salt, a beautiful serving tray and three salt spoons packed in a display box. The trio features coarse Alaea Hawaiian Sea Salt, Murray River Australian Flake Salt and fine Himalayan Pink Salt.
For something unusual, give the gift of Italian Black Truffle Oil (Black Star Gourmet, $20). This oil is created from the finest virgin olive oil infused with the aroma of seasonal Italian truffles. It can be drizzled over bread or seafood, added to salad dressings and used in a number of vegetable dishes.
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