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What does a foodie want for Christmas?

I am trying to put together a shopping list for foodie type Christmas gifts. Last year was the year of macarons from all over Montreal... Maison du Macaron, Esprithé, Nocochi, Point G, Gastronomia. The year before brought chocolate from Les Chocolates de Chloé, Suite 88, Bouchées Gourmandes, Juliette & Chocolate, and Festin de Babette. I am thinking maybe a combo of things this year... perhaps some foie gras items... something with truffles...

I would love to hear your ideas... what would you like to find under your tree this Christmas?

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  1. Sorry, I don't have any brilliant ideas for you...but I love your previous themes and may just have to steal them! I myself would enjoy gourmet-type ingredients that I'm too cheap to buy - like fancy salt, really good balsalmic vinegar, vanilla beans...I've gratefully received smoked paprika and grains of paradise as gifts before.

      1. re: mainsqueeze

        How about a vinegar collection? Ice wine cider, ice cider vinegar, a good balsamic, champagne vinegar, raspberry, etc....

        1. re: mainsqueeze

          Great gift idea. They have awesome kits.

        2. Anything with Le Creuset on it...really!

          Truffle oil, finishing salts or something really simple like some very nice cheese and a loaf of very good bread.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bigfellow

            I saw sme really inexpensive and good sized Le Creuset at the Winners in Decarie Square. It was the "Second Choix" line but the defects were sooo minor, so worth the trip!

          2. A chef knife (or any knife), cooking pans (like All-Clad), new cookbooks or a dinner at a new restaurant.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Foie Gras Lover

              I'll second the knife idea. What I wouldn't do for a nice set of Henckels.

              If you're feeling flush - the new updated hardcover edition of Larousse Gastronomique (published October 09) would also make a fabulous gift.

            2. Nice ideas folks. My brother in particular is hard to shop for; he is a foodie that only eats at home once or twice a month... plus he lives in Vancouver, so carrying the items back is a challenge. I was looking for specialties made with truffles, foie gras, or anything else outstanding. Spices is a nice idea, and I may pick up a few unusual choices. Keep the ideas coming!

              2 Replies
              1. re: Andria

                Since your bro is in Vancouver, you could shop by mail for him. There are also gift cards to his favourite restos there.

                1. re: Andria

                  anything from Thomas Haas.
                  i am dying for a chocolate sparke cookie. It is beyond doubt "the best cookie in the world".

                2. How about teas from various tea shops - Camellia Sinensis or Cha Guan, and perhaps some tea paraphernelia to go along with the teas? Tons of possibilities there (or teas and tea-flavoured macarons?)
                  And I'd be delighted to receive any knife from L'Emouleur as a gift...

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: cherylmtl

                    I have to agree with the Camelia Sinensis rec--they make the most beautiful gift packages. Have bought these as Christmas gifts and they're stunning. You can also buy people gift certificates for tea tasting lessons.

                    1. re: cherylmtl

                      Well, this covers my sister-in-law... great! I did the macarons from Esprithé last year and loved them. I also did the chocolates, but I didn't get to try those.

                      1. re: cherylmtl

                        Cherylmtl, Tsura and anyone else familiar with either of these tea shops, what would you recommend? I am not a tea drinker, but my SIL is... last Chrismas I went to Esprithé and picked up tea (don't remember what), macarons, and chocolate. How do these other two compare for their tea as well as other products. Has anyone tried the desserts from Cha Guan?

                        1. re: Andria

                          Cha Guan only carries Chinese teas - a highly impressive variety, but only Chinese ones. I've only bought teas for myself there, so haven't paid attention as to what sort of gift assortments they might have (if indeed they do). Camellia Sinensis has a much wider variety of teas, and they have lovely gift boxes of teas, which I've bought for others (I buy many teas there as well, but haven't gotten myself any gift boxes...) Both places have a great assortment of tea pots, cups, tea paraphernelia, etc. (although again, Cha Guan's are specific to Chinese teas) I've never tried the desserts from Cha Guan, but I believe the owner's mother makes them. In any case, there's more than enough at either shop to find all sorts of goodies for gifts, at all price ranges. I'd lean towards CS, just because they have a wider selection, but that's just my opinion. Either would be fine.


                      2. Falero Delices on Parc is selling to die for foie gras. Only available for the holidays. 44$ for a good size jar

                        1. My cookbook list is very long
                          A Thermapen thermometre
                          Anything cast iron
                          A smaller knife
                          A big mixer (the countertop variety)
                          Lava rock mortar and pillar
                          And a lot more...

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: Campofiorin

                            Something frivolous, a whipped cream dispenser, or a torch for creme brulée, a good mandolin, a hand crafted salad bowl, funky salad forks...the list goes on and on. And um, I already peeked and I am getting a gorgeous Henckel knife...I know, my bad.

                            1. re: bistrobabe

                              I like the torch idea. Any foodie would love to have this torch on their keychain

                              They have Royal Command winter truffles in a jar at Atwater market for about $20

                              A gift certificate for something like live crawfish from Louisianna (makes for a great crawfish boil

                              A gift certificate from Schwartz where he can have a vacuum packed smoked meat shipped to the west coast.

                              Ditto...... Fairmont Bagel ditto ditto.... bagels shipped to the west coast

                              Make a personal cook book with family recipes and pictures
                              (OK this particular site might be a bit hokey, but you get the idear


                              a Laguiole pocket knife
                              or if you really love your brother, in tuya

                              A package of dulse shipped from NB
                              (OK, maybe not for EVERYBODY...)

                              1. re: porker

                                The dulse sounds interesting... anyplace in Montreal sell it that you know of? I bought my brother a torch a while back, but I'm not sure he has ever used it. Now I kind of wish I had one myself. maybe I should ask my brother to get me that mini one... very cool.

                                1. re: Andria

                                  I've only seen it at the specialty store next to the seafood shop in the Atwater Market (where they have the Royal Command truffles). Looks like this
                                  About $5

                                  You know the dulse suggestion was a kind of joke...granted I don't know a whole lot of people, theres only one person, besides myself, that I know of who likes the stuff (but then again, she grew up in New Brunswick...).

                                  1. re: porker

                                    Actually, my brother occasionally does a "weird food purchase of the day" segment on his blog. He has tested, among other things, durian, Stappj bitter, Pocari Sweat, squid ice cream, and Naga Bhut Jolokia Pepper Sauce. I thought dulse might be a good idea.

                                    1. re: Andria

                                      maybe you hit the nail on the head.

                          2. Few bottles of High quality Olive oil for bread dipping or finishing plates is always awesome. I love arbequina olive based oils.

                            1. a trip to vietnam
                              it seems to affect the celebrity chefs

                              1. if you want want something fun grab the alligator and onion goggles! i got them one year and so i did it the next in all different colors, huge success!

                                microplanes are also a very welcome gift!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: thehotplate

                                  I second the microplane idea! I also love the notion of collecting a number of nicer salts (black, red, pink, smoked) into a colourful package, if the recipient has a "savoury tooth," like I do.

                                2. A smoked goose or turkey from Schwartz's

                                  1 Reply