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Best food-related gift you ever received or gave?

What's the best food/cooking related gift you have ever received or gave to someone? It can be something as simple as a cookbook that sparked your interest in cooking or as extravagant as a private chef coming to cook for you.

One of my most memorable gifts is the spouse treating me to a 14 course birthday meal at Momofuku Ko with accompanying wine flights. I also had a friend who mentions that he still uses the cleaver that I and another friend gave for his birthday over 10 years ago. He buys whole sides of lamb and loves to break it down using that cleaver.

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  1. We received a year subscription to a Bacon of the Month club as a wedding gift. It was the best thing ever!

    1 Reply
    1. re: rebs

      Yes!!! How can bacon not be the best gift ever?

    2. My KitchenAid mixer in Duke Blue from my boyfriend, now-husband (who incidentally went to Duke's rival school) I'd ogled it for years... It was the first Christmas we were together, and I'm pretty confident he sealed the deal when I unwrapped the box. Talk about legendary!

      1. Many many years ago, when I lived in Turkey, a dear friend who was a resterauteur gave me a KILO of fresh beluga caviar from the Black Sea for my birthday. Yes! Premium grade! If I had that caviar today, I could sell it an buy my own private 747! Well, if I tasted it first, maybe only a Lamborghini. Or a bicycle? But oh my god, it was soooooooo exquisitely wonderful!

        The best food gift I ALMOST gave away, was a Christmas or two after my second divorce, which was financially devestating and then some. So I decided to make a whole bunch of different home made candies for my kids. Rum balls. Truffles. Lokoum. Peppermint sticks. About eight or ten different types. One was chocolate dipped "gourmet" (it said so on the package) dill weed ruffle cut potato chips. I made two bags of them. Then I made the mistake of tasting them. Neither of my children has ever tasted them. They were FANTASTIC! The kids were very happy with the other candies. Sometimes wickedness is its own reward. '-)

        10 Replies
        1. re: Caroline1

          next time you are going to an event where they have one of those ridiculous chocolate fountains, be sure to have a bag of chips hidden away in your purse.

          1. re: KaimukiMan

            BINGO! I'll feature a chocolate fountain surrounded by dill potato chips at my next fete and come up as Hostess with the Mostest! Thanks for the idea, KM! '-)

          2. re: Caroline1

            When I was about nine, we stayed at the Sheraton (now Intercontinental) in Istanbul. The took us to the restaurant on top with it's fantastic views of the Bosporus. They then treated us to Beluga caviar, complete with a table side fanfare. It was the most delicious thing I have ever eaten. Just devine. Although I have had fine caviar since, nothing came close to what I had there.

            The treat back fired on my parents a bit, as we then ALWAYS asked for caviar when we saw it on the menu.

            1. re: cosmogrrl

              I have totally given up on finding another beluga that matches what Sureya gave me for my birthday. I've tried Iranian, and all of the rest, but it's all disappointing. The closest I've come in texture was salmon roe during a "Salmon Festival" in a Texas restaurant nearly twenty years ago. Living in Turkey for four years was an incredible blessing. Incredible food, incredible people, incredible history. Reliving a fond memory, Sureya had standing orders in all of his restaurants that whenever I was seated, a complimentary bowl of caviar appeared instantly! How do you spell "spoiled"? C... A... R... Well, you know the rest. It all came to a screeching halt when we moved back to the U.S. <sigh> When I win the lottery, I'm moving to Istanbul! '-)

              1. re: Caroline1

                My good news is that my college girlfriend gave me a jar of Romanoff Iranian Caspian Sea beluga caviar for Christmas of 1974. The bad news is that I still have it.

                1. re: Veggo

                  I can see still having the jar, Veg, but if the contents are still in it, SHAME ON YOU....!

                  1. re: Caroline1

                    It used to have pretty black spheres visible through the glass jar, but 36 years later it's a more uniform shade of gray, not unlike the border around this post.
                    My bad.

                2. re: Caroline1

                  I just reread this thread and still am blown away by this. I can barely imagine the luxury of it. I'm pretty happy with my 2oz. jars of flying fish roe :)

                  1. re: c oliver

                    I'm still blown away by it too, and it happened fifty two years ago! It ain't just diamonds that are forever! '-)

                    1. re: Caroline1

                      Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!

                      What a fabulous memory to have, Caroline, thanks for sharing it with us.
                      I feel pretty blessed to get an order of ikura when we go for sushi, but obviously it doesn't hold a candle to your kilo of beluga- I can't even imagine what it looks like.

            2. a 1.5Kg tin of Ox Tongue from Harrod's in London.....the one packed in "Jelly". delicious!...mmmmmmmmmmmm, meat jelly.

              1. I was very generously given a Thermomix for my wedding. My life is now almost complete. Also, my very thoughtful brother always gives me excellent food related gifts. Most years I get a subscription to my favourite food magazine (Delicious.), but this year he gave me a ceramic knife and peeler and my husband kindly picked up my food porn subscription.