Features & Editorial

Holiday Gift Guide for Foodies

Written by Amy McAloon

Buying presents for people is often an exercise in torture. Torture for the gifter, because it can be tricky to guess what your loved ones will like — and maybe they already have a [insert random gift idea]. And torture for the giftee, because we all know what it’s like to get a well-meant present that we really didn’t want or need. Two words that on their own are painful, but in tandem are a giant ball of headache: awkward and expensive.

But if the intended recipient of your holiday giving likes to get his or her food on, things become a whole lot easier, because who doesn’t like a present you can sink your teeth into? (Or with which you can at least make something you can sink your teeth into.) For the times you want to get a bit more personal than “Uh, here’s a gift card to Whole Foods,” have a look at our holiday gift guide for the foodie(s) in your life.

  • La Tourangelle Roasted Hazelnut Oil by La Tourangelle
    Ready for a break from the cheese plate? Artisan oils are a delicious option for dunking chunks of fresh baguette. Your foodie friend or relative can also drizzle the oil on salads or freshly steamed vegetables. La Tourangelle has many flavors to chose from, and the packaging is lovely in its simplicity. This three-pack of 16.9-oz bottles of roasted hazelnut oil runs a quite affordable $30-40.
  • Kyocera Revolution Paring and Santoku Knife Set by Kyocera
    Knives are extremely important to a foodie. Ever tried to slice a tomato with a dull knife that almost always slides off and onto, say, a finger? Also, chef types tend to pride themselves on their rockin’ knife sets. Pick up one of their paring knives without asking, and you’re liable to get cut. Ceramic knives are something a lot of people are talking about lately. They’re hard, sharp, antibacterial and just really cool. Here’s a nice set from Kyocera Revolution that includes a 5-1/2-inch Santoku chef’s knife and a 3-inch paring knife in black ceramic (said to be sharper than the white variation).
  • Dave’s Six Gourmet Salts Collection by Dave’s Gourmet
    Designer salts are showing up at all the trendy tables nowadays, and any foodie worth their salt is well aware of this. We’re talking about salts with exotic names like Bokek, Fleur de Sel, Sel Gris, Smoked Sea Salt, Hawaiian Red Salt and Eurasian Black Salt (actually pink!). This isn’t your mom’s classic Morton Salt. A good introduction to the world of designer salts is a sampler gift pack, such as Dave’s Gourmet Salt Shaker/Grinder, which comes with six different salts: Hawaiian Red Salt, Eurasian Black Salt, Grey Salt, Fleur de Sel, Smoked Salt and Italian Sea Salt.
  • Saveur magazine
    Food magazines are always nice to have around, since their job is to stay up-to-date on all things food-related. Now, your foodie is probably already dialed intoFood & Wine and Bon Appetit, but Saveur — French for “flavor” — might not be on their radar. This foodie-focused magazine combines adventure tourism, off-beat recipes and photography that’s downright edible.
  • Moleskine Passions Recipe Journal by Moleskine
    And with all that inspiration, your beloved foodie will definitely want to keep track of his or her fabulous new recipes in a personal recipe diary. Leave the index cards in an old cake tin to your my grandmother and check out the Moleskine Passions Recipe Journal. With 240 pages, this elegant and compact diary is small enough to pop into a purse or pocket, and will encourage chefs to be discerning about what gets committed to paper. Also fun? Saying the name of the notebook made famous by Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway the right way: mol-a-SKEEN-a. Sure it’s pretentious, but so is genius.

About the author

Amy McAloon

Born in Montreal, Canada, writer and artist Amy McAloon discovered photography when she was 13, after her father bought her a little point-and-shoot. Eventually the automatic was tossed aside for an old Nikon FE, and the two have been best friends ever since.

Amy went on to study writing, fine art and black and white photography in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. After a few years spent traveling through Central America with her battered Nikon slung over one shoulder and a notebook tucked away in her camera bag, Amy enrolled in a photojournalism program in Victoria, B.C.

Since then, she has lived and worked as a writer, reporter and photographer in New Mexico, Florida, California and Belize. She now makes her home in Montreal with a loving partner-in-crime, a beautiful baby girl and a hot new Nikon D7000 DSLR.