12 Christmas gifts for the gourmet
Buying for the gourmets on your Christmas gift list is easy with this gourmet holiday gift guide. From high-end kitchen appliances to delectable eats, you'll find everything you need to please aspiring foodies and seasoned gourmands.
1. Scanpan Professional Nonstick Skillets
Get the eco-conscious gourmet a set of Scanpan skillets – which have a certified PFOA-free Green Tek nonstick surface. In addition to being toxin-free, Scanpan skillets are denser than most aluminum cookware, are safe for metal utensils, and are ideal for high-heat cooking for browning, searing and deglazing. Scanpan nonstick skillets will allow the gourmet on your gift list to cook much more efficiently and whip up dishes with professional results. Available at SurLaTable.com.
Retail:Ranges from $59.95 (8-inch) to $99.95 (12-inch)
2. Café Modena Espresso Machine
For the gourmet coffee lover who wants a coffee bar experience at home, the Café Modena delivers barrista-caliber espresso and cappuccino. With a constant 15 bars of pressure, your coffee gourmand is guaranteed a hot single or double shot. The machine's dual wall filters also create a powerful back pressure that creates perfectly frothed crema. Available at Williams Sonoma and other fine kitchenware retailers or for order online at BrevilleUSA.com.
3. Ergo Chef's Pro Series 7-inch Santoku Knife
A must-have for professional chefs and home cooks, Ergo Chef's newly released 7-inch Santoku knife is designed for safety, convenience, and efficient knife work in the kitchen. Not only is this knife lightweight, its handle is angled for a natural feel and the blade is precision-tapered with an 18 degree cutting edge, all factors that result in less strain on the hand, wrist and forearm. Best yet, the Santoku's thin blade allows for extremely precise and smooth cuts, ideal for expertly cut food. Available at cutlery retailers and at ErgoChef.com.
4. Breville Smart Toaster
A high-end stainless steel toaster with innovative features, such as "Lift and Look" and "A Bit More" functions, that evenly brown bread, bagels and other toaster goodies every time. With the toaster's smart chip, your favorite gourmet will never have to worry about an overdone breakfast. Available at better kitchenware retailers and for order online at BrevilleUSA.com.
5. Ritrovo Premium Finishing Salts
Give your gourmet giftee the finest collection of flavored finishing salts, including truffle, saffron, floral, fennel and sweet. A simple pinch of any one of these artisan salts will elevate the satisfaction and tasty nuances of any dish, making every meal a memorable occasion. Available at MarxFoods.com.
6. Braswells Select Preserves
Packaged in elegant, collectable glassware, Braswells preserves are a sweet and delectable gift. Available in four flavors (fig, black raspberry, spiced apple and strawberry) at Williams Sonoma stores as well as in nearly 20 flavors (including rhubarb ginger, and cherry and pomegranate) from Braswells.com.
Retail: Ranging from $5 for a single 8-ounce glass to $28 for a gift pack of four 15-ounce glasses
7. Global Gardens Santa Ynez Deluxe Olive Oil and Vinegar Gift SetGive the gourmet on your gift list an artisan taste of California. Grown in Los Olivos, the Santa Ynez Deluxe Olive Oil and Vinegar gift set includes one (200 ml) bottle extra virgin first cold pressed olive oil from family olive groves in Santa Ynez Valley, bottled fresh after pressing, one (200 ml) bottle your choice pomegranate, peach or blueberry champagne vinegar made with estate grown fruit, and 24 Global Gardens exclusive kitchen recipe cards. Available at OliveRevolution.com
8. Lazzaris Mostarda
Mostarda is an Italian condiment traditionally served with meats and, most recently, with hard cheeses. Made of candied fruit, mustard essence, wine must and honey or sugar, this spicy sweet combination of flavors makes mostarda the perfect accompaniment to both salty and savory dishes. Excellent for formal dinners as well as cheese platters for cocktail parties. Check Lazzaris.com for dealer information.
9. Napoleon's Everyday Gourmet Grilling by Ted Reader
For the grilling gourmet who wants inventive recipes that go well beyond the usual "marinate and slap meat on the grill" approach, this beautiful cookbook depicts mouthwatering photos along with every rave-worthy recipe. A coffee table caliber book in hardback, this must-have for the grill, will be available in softcover in 2009. Napoleon's Everyday Gourmet Grilling is available on Amazon.com.
10. Food Art by Susi Franco
Surprise the food lover on your gift list with food art. Susi Franco depicts perfect tomatoes, carrots, plums and pears in her "juicy little color study" of fruits and vegetables. These 6-inch square paintings are original oils on stretched canvas, ideal for decorating the walls of a gourmet's kitchen. Available at DiscoveredArtists.com.
11. Theo Sipping chocolate
An exciting hot cocoa combination of spices and chiles, this Fair Trade Certified, organic sipping chocolate is a quintessential winter or holiday drink for your favorite gourmet. Perfect to warm up cold mornings or to break the chill after a fun afternoon on the slopes. Visit TheoChocolate.com to find a store near you.
Retail:$17 per bag
12. iGourmet of the month clubs
For the adventurous gourmet who wants to experience a variety of gourmet foods and fine beverages, iGourmet's Of The Month Clubs are the perfect holiday gift. Choose from cheese, wine, olive oil, tea, coffee, salsa and a connoisseur club, each delivering a delectable array of goods every month. Available at iGourmet.com in 3-, 6- or 12-month options.
Retail:Varies depending on club and duration