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Help! Seeking Gift Ideas for My Food-Obsessed Husband

Lmarent Feb 8, 2013 11:16 AM

Looking for ideas for some of the best foodie gifts for my husband's upcoming birthday. Is there an incredibly gourmet or adventurous food of the month club you know of? Maybe a farm where you get the freshest meats on demand? My husband loves trying exotic foods, foreign foods and street food. Anything authentic and interesting. Would love any and all ideas you've got. Many thanks

  1. l
    Lmarent Feb 14, 2013 06:32 AM

    Thanks so much to everyone for all of these amazing ideas. In the end I decided to incorporate a bunch of ideas from the ones you all offered: I'm going to give him his own Babette's feast of sorts - a grand party at our house, with a menu he can design featuring some of the craziest and most exotic culinary options he can think of. I'll arrange it and procure all of the ingredients and offer up selections from many of the web sites you guys suggested. I also love the smoker idea, I forwarded that to my mother in law to get him as a gift. Thanks again.

    1. ursy_ten Feb 11, 2013 04:37 AM

      Truffle salt. I bought a jar of it along to a workplace morning tea to go with some mushroom pate, and it wowed everyone who tried it. One of my colleagues even got herself a jar on the way home that same day.

      1. Uncle Bob Feb 10, 2013 08:14 AM

        Here ya go! ~ Lots of goodies here.

        Smoked Boudin, Chaudin, Head Cheese, Stuffed tongue.....

        Have Fun & Enjoy!


        1. JoanN Feb 10, 2013 07:51 AM

          I recently ordered a selection of cured meats from Salumi Aftisan Cured Meats in Seattle--Mario Batali's dad's place. The express shipping anywhere other than the Pacific Northwest is pretty expensive, but it was worth it to send my friend the best salami and guanciale he'd ever had.


          1. PotatoHouse Feb 9, 2013 09:44 AM

            If you want exotic, try this website http://www.exoticmeatsandmore.com/

            Everything from Anaconda meat to Zebra steaks.

            1 Reply
            1. re: PotatoHouse
              foiegras Feb 9, 2013 11:27 AM

              ... but be aware that some game meats are illegal.

            2. p
              pine time Feb 9, 2013 09:27 AM

              I gifted several foodies baskets from D'Artagnan this year, and they were very well received. You might take a look:


              1. l
                LJS Feb 9, 2013 09:03 AM

                For Christmas, my daughter gave me a terrific gift box of "food-stuff" and all things she knew it was unlikely I had tried/would buy for myself.

                For example, a jar of Toulouse goose fat, Indian garam masala, Spanish dulce de leches, smoked Hungarian paprika, Indonesian kaffir lime leaves, her own Chinese 5 Spice mix, Himalayan pink salt, an exotic brand of vanilla extract, Cassis,very good dried porcini mushrooms: you get the picture.

                Accompanying it was a copy of the Flavour Bible.

                It was an inspired gift and has set me on the road to finding recipes that help me explore my new condiments etc.

                1. grampart Feb 9, 2013 08:46 AM

                  Check out these folks. http://www.marxfoods.com/?gclid=COLeh...

                  1. f
                    foiegras Feb 9, 2013 08:41 AM

                    where are you located?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: foiegras
                      Lmarent Feb 9, 2013 08:53 AM

                      We are in Washington DC.

                      1. re: Lmarent
                        ipsedixit Feb 9, 2013 11:56 AM

                        Take him to this exhibit at the Smithsonian http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/885994

                        And then dinner at Rogue24.

                    2. g
                      gordeaux Feb 9, 2013 08:15 AM

                      "exotic" is a pretty relative term. I can go get a plate of stir fried worms at a Thai place down the street from me. In the area my wife grew up, "exotic" mean fresh basil instead of dried. What would you (or he) consider exotic?

                      Does he cook. A lot? What kinds of foods does he like to cook?

                      Does he like hot/spicy foods?

                      I have some ideas. I'm a guy, and I love to eat/cook lots of goofy stuff. If you answer these questions, I'll throw a list of ideas for you. Hopefully they'll help.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: gordeaux
                        Lmarent Feb 9, 2013 08:52 AM

                        Great questions. So exotic for my husband are things like brains, testicles, tongue, frogs legs,sweetbreads, all manner of game meats and delicacies - he loved trying Yak and loves the idea of trying other lesser-eaten things. He likes spicy stuff well enough, but is not particularly into it (i.e. he's not a heat-seeker.) He loves to cook for us, fresh simple stuff, but laments that I'm not more adventurous in my tastes so he can cook the above exotic stuff for us to enjoy together.

                        1. re: Lmarent
                          gordeaux Feb 10, 2013 07:29 AM

                          If he (and you) enjoy smoked meats (brisket, ribs, real pulled pork, etc) I'd suggest a Weber Smokey Mountain if you guys do not have a smoker. And then, for subsequent gifts, perhaps build upon that for home smoked sausage making with "exotic" meats.

                          OR, if you haven't tried ostrich yet, try to source it. It won't put you off (the flavor won't, anyway.) It's red meat, and tastes like light beef. Simple high heat sear to a med rare, and some sort of sauce. I don't believe it should be very hard to source it at all.

                          OR, if you guys dig sushi, but don't make it at home:
                          Rice cooker
                          bamboo sushi mat
                          bottle of sesame oil
                          bottle of rice wine vinegar
                          pkg of nori (roasted seaweed)
                          bag of nishiki (or other sushi style rice grain)
                          bottle of kewpie mayo
                          tin of wasabi powder (or tube of paste)
                          Bottle of gari (pickled ginger)
                          bottle of togarshi (dried hot red pepper mix)
                          fancy chopsticks
                          Bottle or two of schnazzy sake
                          Perhaps a silly book on "how to" to go with it, but maki rolls are incredibly easy, and this stuff should be pretty easy to source in a decent metro area. When you are ready to make it, just find a store in the area that sells masago or tobiko, maybe some tuna to start?

                          1. re: gordeaux
                            MGZ Feb 10, 2013 07:50 AM

                            Hell, if you're gonna give the man a grill to make barbecue, give him something special. If the Engelbrecht was good enough for Obama to give it to Cameron, it's good enough for any husband's special gift:


                            or, if she really loves him,


                            And, if he doesn't like it, let me know and I'll give you an address to send it to!

                            1. re: MGZ
                              gordeaux Feb 10, 2013 08:24 AM

                              Well, a grill is not for bbq, but I see where you're going with this. The Smokey Mountain is an idea for a more entry level smoker - easy temp control, and great insulation. At the multiple thousand dollar level, for a smoker, I'd want a more "set it and forget it" type of set up. That Englebrecht grill / smoker hybrid thing is very interesting tho. I like to have mine separate tho. So I can have slow smoke things going early in the day, and also be able to do grill things like steaks and fish and veggies later if I'm serving it all at once.

                              1. re: gordeaux
                                grampart Feb 10, 2013 08:46 AM

                                Before I purchased a smoker, I did a 17-1/2 pound packer-cut brisket on my Weber Genesis. It took almost 24 hours and, to this day, it just might be the best thing I've ever cooked!

                      2. MGZ Feb 9, 2013 07:39 AM

                        I commented on La Tienda, of which I think very highly. Nevertheless, there is NOTHING on the Farm 2 Market website that I would not be blown away to get as a present:


                        Osetra caviar, foie gras, and aged American Kobe beef sure seem like the fixin's for a stellar birthday for a food dork like me.

                        Edit: Whole Striped Bass and Golden Trout, as well as Halibut cheeks and live King Crab. I'm glad you posted this query, Lmarent, I guess I hadn't looked at the website in a while and am now smitten again.

                        1. Kholvaitar Feb 9, 2013 07:27 AM

                          Here's a list of 5 from Details Magazine.


                          The "Salumi Society" looks pretty tasty to me.

                          1. h
                            Harters Feb 9, 2013 07:07 AM

                            One Christmas, my partner bought me a wicker hamper filled with assorted unusual foodstuffs that she'd bought over several months. It was a great present - not only because of the actual food but, also, that it was a present that kept on giving over several weeks. Really thoughtful.

                            1. n
                              nemo Feb 9, 2013 05:52 AM

                              Recently, while searching for tapas recipes, I stumbled upon La Tienda, a Spanish importer. They have a brick-and-mortar in Williamsburg, VA, and an on-line store. I've recommended this establishment before on CH.


                              They have everything from whole Iberia hams to paella pans and kits, to cheeses, breads and sweets. I particularly adore their smoked olive oil. We gave eight bottles as Christmas gifts this year!

                              They have wine tastings and special events, if they're within driving distance for you. Certainly not exotic, unless you count the baby eels, but perhaps a theme that would interest you for the BD.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: nemo
                                MGZ Feb 9, 2013 07:23 AM

                                I'm a fan of La Tienda. Sherry vinegar, sliced Bellota, grilling Iberico, and there are some super tasty olive oils . . . the list goes on an on. Needless to say, I've ordered from them before.

                              2. p
                                Puffin3 Feb 9, 2013 05:28 AM

                                How about ordering a large variety of really excellent sea food and making him a 'sea food platter' he'll never forget?

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