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After reading the Wikipedia page, I have decided that Foodie is simply the hipster version of “gourmet” or “epicurean.” I was trying to determine if I should consider myself a foodie or not. The jury is still out. I like to eat, and I’m pretty adventurous, but I don’t know that I put terribly much effort into it, like I see some people do. I do find satisfaction in knowing that I can create a whole lot of dishes from what I have in the freezer, fridge and pantry, though. I was pretty miffed the other day when I couldn’t buy sumac in town, despite never having had it before. (Yes, I admit I had to wiki it when I read it in the recipe.)
Just like when buying souvenirs people will actually want, going to the grocery store is a very good place to find foodie friend gift ideas. (Shocker, I know.) You may have to venture to a fancier grocery store than your normal haunt, or perhaps a specialty store or health food store.
Spices and condiments are a fantastic foodie friend gift idea because many of them last for a very long time. They won’t work very well if your foodie friend is more of the “go out to restaurants and eat things” variety, but if they are keen to cook, check out this list of ideas.
Salt – I’m not talking about giant boxes of free running table salt here. I mean a salt cellar, or several, with a variety of fancy-pants salts. You can get sea salt from all sorts of places, from Vancouver Island to New Zealand to Ireland! There’s Himalayan pink salt, and flavored salt sampler packs and flaked salt and coarse salt. Did you know that salt is mined underground and above ground?
Truffle Oil – One of the restaurants in town dumps this stuff liberally into mashed potatoes. I love mashed potatoes to start with, so fancy and delicious oil makes them even more awesome. Truffle oil can be pricey, though it isn’t out of the realm of the possible. On that note, there are a million flavoured oils and vinegars available for purchase, or you can even make your own! We received a sampler pack from my parents at Christmas and then set out on an adventure to make our very own chipotle oil. It is surprisingly smokey.
Silicone Ball Whisk – Lots of us have pretty basic versions of kitchen tools, picked up at the dollar store, IKEA or the grocery store. However, there are fancier versions out there, like silicone ball whisks instead of plain old metal ones.
Spice Grinder – Your foodie friend may already have a fancy burr grinder for their coffee, but what about a dedicated spice grinder? Sometimes you want more than one, to keep strong flavours separated. Cheap coffee grinders also work well as spice grinders.
Subscription Box – In shocking news, this foodie gift idea is only for Canadians! Check out The Missing Ingredient, which is a monthly box. I received a three month subscription as a birthday present from my parents (thanks!). While I received it, I got all sorts of awesome things like pink peppercorns, barbecue sauce, spreaders, tarragon mustard, espresso salt and more. It got me experimenting with things I didn’t even know existed!
Mason Jar Accessories – Did you know that you can get a HUGE variety of mason jar accessories? I’m talking mason jar martini shakers, to cup lid inserts (like Nalgene lid inserts).
Tasting Sets – Tasting parties are very fun, you get to try a million little things, without eating more than you ever thought possible. Hosting a tasting party requires a lot of tiny little dishes, which thankfully are available at most major stores now, like Walmart or pick up some super cute tasting sets on Amazon. My Mom has found great mini dishes at dollar stores, which she has used for appies and tasting parties, and they were a fantastic price!
Mini Casserole Dishes – These little guys come in all the colours of the rainbow, which is super-fun! At home, we make dips and sauces in them, and individual pot-pies. Mini casserole dishes are absolutely a luxury item and therefore a really fun foodie friend gift ideas. Of note, individual casserole dishes are really fantastic for people who have family or friends with allergies, you can work around the preferences or food intolerances people have very easily.
What foodie friend gift ideas do you have?
[Photo – Creative Commons Attribution – sqrpix]