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What does a foodie want for Christmas?

Andria Nov 28, 2009 08:32 PM

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?

  1. s
    stak Nov 29, 2009 04:03 PM

    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. mainsqueeze Nov 29, 2009 04:13 PM

      Spice kits from Olives & Epices?

      2 Replies
      1. re: mainsqueeze
        UnConundrum Nov 29, 2009 06:08 PM

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

        1. re: mainsqueeze
          JG88 Dec 7, 2009 02:14 PM

          Great gift idea. They have awesome kits.

        2. b
          bigfellow Nov 30, 2009 12:38 AM

          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
            Arktik Dec 1, 2009 07:21 AM

            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. Foie Gras Lover Nov 30, 2009 06:20 AM

            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
              NickMontreal Nov 30, 2009 06:59 AM

              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. Andria Nov 30, 2009 07:00 AM

              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
                mtlcowgirl Nov 30, 2009 10:32 AM

                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
                  hala Dec 2, 2009 03:17 PM

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

                2. cherylmtl Nov 30, 2009 07:00 AM

                  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
                    tsura Dec 2, 2009 06:44 PM

                    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
                      Andria Dec 4, 2009 07:39 AM

                      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
                        Andria Dec 7, 2009 10:01 AM

                        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
                          cherylmtl Dec 7, 2009 01:35 PM

                          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. i
                        isa1 Nov 30, 2009 08:03 AM

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

                        1. c
                          Campofiorin Nov 30, 2009 08:56 AM

                          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
                            bistrobabe Nov 30, 2009 11:33 AM

                            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
                              porker Dec 5, 2009 02:43 PM

                              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
                                Andria Dec 5, 2009 07:18 PM

                                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
                                  porker Dec 6, 2009 06:07 AM

                                  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
                                    Andria Dec 6, 2009 07:14 PM

                                    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
                                      porker Dec 6, 2009 07:28 PM

                                      maybe you hit the nail on the head.

                          2. e
                            Evilbanana11 Nov 30, 2009 11:30 AM

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

                            1. m
                              marblebag Dec 1, 2009 05:49 AM

                              a trip to vietnam
                              it seems to affect the celebrity chefs

                              1. thehotplate Dec 2, 2009 05:12 PM

                                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
                                  wokhei Dec 7, 2009 07:40 PM

                                  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. TheSnowpea Dec 6, 2009 05:44 PM

                                  A smoked goose or turkey from Schwartz's

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: TheSnowpea
                                    Andria Dec 6, 2009 06:44 PM

                                    Ooooh! How is the goose?

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