Dec 14, 2009

barter gift guide #3: for foodies! (& Moby Dick fans)

We eat well at La Muse. John has a knack for pointing out special foods at the grocery store, and, if you're lucky, Kerry will share with you some of her wild food secrets (wildflower fritters!).

Inspired by our delectable stay here, we've collected a few gift ideas that should delight the food-lovers on your list.

Mark Bittman is the go-to guy around here. At John's urging, and with  How to Cook Everything as our guide, we've learned how to make a pretty delicious (if we do say so ourselves) clafouti. We know a number of people who learned to cook with this book alone, and we can see why; it's straightforward, fun, and chock-full of useful information. Check out David Lebovitz's long favorite cookbooks of 2009 list for other ideas.

Good salt. A nice stash of salt will improve everything from salads to chocolate chip cookies. Around these parts, we use a lot of Fleur De Sel de Carmargue, but there's certainly no shortage of delicious and pretty gourmet salts out there. Pair your pick with some tiny spice cellars (and their adorably wee spoons) and you've got yourself a pretty sweet (salty) gift.  If you like your sweet with your salty in more than just dorky puns, we highly recommend Fran's famous Gray & Smoked Salt Caramels.

For the cook who has everything (and for the gift-giver with a bit more to spend), why not consider a gourmand fragrance?

We adore the rich vanilla whollop of Serge Lutens' Bois de Vanille (notes include: black vanilla absolute, licorice, sandalwood, coconut milk, beeswax, caramelized benzoin, bitter almond, Gaiac wood, tonka bean). Chocolate-lovers may enjoy Aftelier Perfumes' incredible, all-natural Cacao scent, made with jasmine and blood orange. Aftelier also offers essences, oils, and absolutes created specifically for use in the kitchen. Acqua di Biella's Baraja fragrance, along with standard gourmand fare like lemon, lime, cardamon, and nutmeg, includes fabled perfume ingredient ambergris (click the link for rather unappetizing details).

For those on the barter budget, all sorts of swanky perfume samples can be purchased here. Bundle together an ambergris sampler, a pop-up book interpretation of Moby Dick, and an Ahab jersey for the Moby Dick completist on your list.


No comments: